Gordon Greene
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Psalm 23

1  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

I shall not want.....

      Is there anything you want?  Or are you perfectly happy with what
you have?

      Last Sunday I had two teen girls in class.  When asked this
question they both said they wanted a horse.  So the shepherd became a
rancher......  :)

      The rancher owns the ranch.  On the ranch is all that the horses
will need.  There are fields and meadows...quiet ponds and running
brooks.  There is a stable.  And there are those who watch over and
protect the horses.

The Lord is my Shepherd.....

     The Lord is my rancher.  I belong to Him.  I wear His brand...the
mark of the Cross.

     Today, I shall not want usually means "having it all"...plus no

     We seem to be living in a generation where people want it NOW!
Too many times people forfeit today to purchase tomorrow.  And tomorrow
never gets here.
Like a hamster on a revolving wheel they rush and hurry and never move
from where they are.

2   He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me
beside the still waters.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.....

      He makes me lie down.  "But Lord, I have to (fill in here
you have to do that will not let you rest in the Lord)."  This is a
journey not a race.

      A few will become race horses.  They will win races.  Most of us
will become work horses.  No cheering crowds.  No thunderous applause.
Just the weight of the plow and the voice of the Master.

     "But Lord, I want to do so much for You," we complain.  Not
realizing that what we do is preparing the ground of hearts for the
of the Lord.

He leadeth me beside the still waters.....

     He leads me beside still waters.  A quiet place.  Where you can
hear and drink in the words of the Lord.  A place where you can reflect
on Him.

3   He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of
righteousness for his name's sake.

He restoreth my soul.....

     He restores what has been lost or stolen by sin.  Our life can be
like a house that has been robbed and vandalized.  We lose what we
cherish and what the robber does not take he damages.  Damaged goods
reduced in value.

      But our GOD does not look at what we have become due to the
caused by sin.  Rather He sees what we have the potential to be and
works at restoring us.

      The years take their toll.  But just as priceless works of art
be restored by the careful, meticulous work of a restorer...so our
can be restored by the Master Artist.

      A horse that has been stolen is restored to its' rightful owner.
The rancher does not punish the horse for being stolen...rather He
treats the horse for any injuries or illnesses that may have occured
while out of His possession.  And then the horse returns to the green
pastures and still waters.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness.....

        A second time we see the Lord leading.  The first He was
beside still waters.  Now He is leading in the path.

      He has traveled this road before.  He knows it well.  I follow
where He leads.  When He leads He is able to deal with
any dangers that lay ahead.

      Path of righteousness.  The right path is the one where He is
"right(eous) in us".  The right path is like the right recipe.  Follow
the directions and it will all turn out right.

      An egg is broken...for a reason.

       A variety of ingredients are mixed together...for a reason.

      The batter is beaten...for a reason.

       It is placed in the oven...for a reason.

      What comes out of the oven is different from what went in the
oven...for a reason.

      Icing is put on...and everyone comments how beautiful the cake
is...not realizing what the cake had to go thru to get to this point.

     Then the cake is sliced and served.

      But what if the egg did not want to be broken...for its own

      What if the ingredients refused to come together...for their own

      What if none of the ingredients were willing to be beaten...for
their own reasons.

      What if the oven proved to be too hot...and everybody headed to
the fridge to cool off...for their own reasons.

      Nothing is different.  When we choose the path we avoid what is
necessary to create changes....for our own reasons.

      And then we wonder where the "icing and decorations" are?  The
good things only belong to those who have accepted what comes with
His and follows where He leads.  And these people are constantly giving
pieces of themselves in service to others.

For His name's sake.....

      For His names' sake.  We treasure what we cherish.  We keep our
money in a bank so that it will be safe and secure.  I am cherished and
treasured by Him.  In Him I am safe and secure.

4   Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they
comfort me.

Yea, though I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death.....

      Mountaintops are wonderful places but it is in the valley where
most of the growth takes place.

       It is one thing to be headed up a mountain...striving for the
top...with its' sense of accomplishment.  But when the trip down the
other side of the mountain takes us to very unfamiliar
we have to totally depend on Him...our highs are often replaced by

      With the mountain blocking our light we find ourselves in the
shadows...longing for the tranquility of the green pastures and still

I will fear no evil for thou art with me.....

      This mountain is Self.   The journey to the other side of the
mountain is treacherous.  Narrow, winding paths.  Unsure footing.
Dangerous cliffs.  He is with us...or at least with those who do not
retreat to the safety of what they know.

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.....

      His reins and spurs guide and urge me to continue.  At times the
Lord walks me thru the most dangerous parts of this journey.  I am
totally dependent on Him.

      At the foot of the other side of the mountain we turn to look
at where we have been.  To our amazement the mountain was actually a
hill with a unique landmark...the Cross.

      In this valley of the shadow of His death...I will fear no evil.
One nail pierced hand holds a rod...the other a staff.  He is my
protector.  He is my guide.

     Lucas...three years old...knows this concept well.  When he is
afraid he is not afraid to come to "pa".  When he reaches up when
frightened or hurt he is never turned away.  There is safety in the
of one who loves him.  There is safety in the arms of One who loves us.

5   Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.....

      When you get beyond the mountain of self and live in the shadow
the Cross GOD prepares a special banquet.  In the presence of your
enemies this table is set.  We are not removed and isolated from the
world.  What GOD does in our lives is not secret or hidden.  As always
enemies will be unkind and criticize.

      At this banquet we focus on who sits at the head of the
table...our Lord.  We celebrate with joy.

      We are served liver.  I don't like liver.  I like ice cream and
candy.  I don't always get what I want but I always get what I need
(just hope the Lord doesn't think I need liver too often).  But even
though I may not like what is on the table I enjoy the fellowship and
conversation with my Lord.

Thou anoinest my head with oil.....

       Doesn't it feel good when someone washes your hair?  Or when
someone massages your shoulders or feet?  Funny thing is...you can do
the same thing for yourself and it doen't feel nearly as good.

      Remember the woman who broke the alabastar box open and anointed
Jesus's head with its' contents while she washed His feet with tears?
Remember the comments of those who witnessed the  "wastefullness" of
this woman?

      The enemies will comment when the Lord anoints your head with the
oil of gladness.  You are not good enough.  You do not deserve this.
What a waste.

      It is never a waste to comfort and bring soothing to one you
We are loved.

My cup runneth over.....

      When I buy a fountain soda I hate it when it is full of ice and
has just a little soda.  I prefer much soda and a little ice.
Spiritually, when we are full of ourselves we have little room for Him.
When we are full of Him we have little room for ourselves.  And there
are free refills......  :)

6   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

       Goodness and mercy follow me as I follow Him.  Leaving behind a
trail of lives touched, needs met, hope given as I pass on what He
freely, abundantly gives me.

       The "secret" to abundant living is that you freely give as you
freely receive.  Our security and wealth is not in the things we own
that we are owned by One who owns it all.  When I own nothing but Him
when I am truly rich.  And it is then when I am in a position to enrich

       And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.....

       I live here.  This is my home.  I belong here.  He gave me the
keys.  I am free to enjoy all the benefits that come from living under
His roof.  And with joy I do my share of the "chores".

     All the days of my life.....

     As a member of the family of GOD this will always be my home.  All
the days of my life.  And when this life ends I will move from this
to His home.....  :)


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