Weekly Devotionals – 1 January 2024

One of the most frequently quoted Bible passages is Psalm 23. Millions of people have found comfort and strength by meditating on it.
There is so much packed into these six verses. Therein lies the provision for all human needs, not just in this life but also in eternity.
Let’s examine each verse closely in order to derive its spiritual nourishment.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. (Psalm 23:1)
As we learn to submit to Jesus Christ and make Him Lord and Shepherd of our lives, He assumes His sacred responsibility to watch over us and see to it that we do not lack any good thing.
He is the good Shepherd who is willing to lay down His life for His sheep. In fact, He did it 2,000 years ago so that our eternal welfare is taken care of first.
Having not spared His own life, but He gave it up for us, how shall He not give us the provision which we need? So if you make Him your Shepherd, you indeed lack nothing.
This is the most important and meaningful relationship one can ever have. He is the Creator God and yet He wants to be our Father and Friend.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. (Psalm 23:2)
As we journey through this life, we inevitably have to navigate through both safe and dangerous terrains. Our Shepherd knows where the safe drinking spots are where we can refresh ourselves; so He leads us beside still, quiet waters.
Some sheep may find these peaceful areas too boring so they wander off. Then our Shepherd has to search and rescue them.
There are times the Lord has to make us lie down in green pastures, especially for the hyperactive sheep who have frequent burnout and are wrecking their health. He has some painful ways of getting our attention, and “forcing” us to get some needful rest.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)
Through rest, He restores our souls (stress in the mind and emotion). To those whose lives are committed to Him, they are able to sense that He is always leading them through the right paths of safety. And He does it for His own name’s sake. Hence, He is faithful and protective over His sheep so that His integrity remains untainted.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
This life has its risks and our journey through it is not always smooth sailing. Sometimes we have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death. This is when death threatens to seize us with its shadow hanging over us.
In such a situation, we shouldn’t fear for our watchful Shepherd is close by. As His staff guides us, His rod is ready to strike the predator with a deadly blow. So our courage is in Him as He sees us through all the enemies’ attacks.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;My cup runs over. (Psalm 23:5)
In celebration of our victory, our Shepherd sets a sumptuous feast before us, much to the envy of our enemies. He vindicates and honours us by anointing our heads with oil. That’s also the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. And our cup of joy runs over. It’s a great time for rejoicing!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. (Psalm 23:6)
Through the years of ups and downs, His goodness and mercy follow us till the end of our life journey. Finally and most importantly, He escorts us to our eternal Home where we will dwell in our Father’s home forever.
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
For Christians, this is the grand finale. There is no other celebration that is more joyous and important than this occasion. From this point on, suffering and pain will never touch us.
So keep relating to Jesus as Lord and Shepherd. This is a relationship we can never do without.

Monday: Matthew 9:36
But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.
Tuesday: Isaiah 40:11
He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.
Wednesday: Ezekiel 34:12
As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.
Thursday: Hebrews 13:20
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
Friday: John 10:16
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Saturday: Matthew 25:32
 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.
Sunday: 1 Peter 5:4
and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Rony Tan