Scripture

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
    my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me
    all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
    forever.

Reflection

This Psalm is often quoted in times of great need. But many find it a daily prayer and reminder that God is with us at all times, not just times of desperation. Yesterday, we talked about our need for amazing grace. When our need is great, the grace is greater. But often, we forget about God in the every day, small sin realm. When we are not in great need of God, so we think, we fall back to reliance on ourselves. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.” Of course, God is always there, always ready with much grace and mercy, but also guidance and comfort and strength. 

When we begin to center our lives around God’s will, we allow grace to be present in us every day. We see that God’s will is Christ living in us and through us.  The grace in us spills over into every part of our lives. We become aware of God’s presence in everything. The “success” becomes truly meaningful because it is created with God. Don’t wait for the desperate need for Jesus in your life. Instead, recognize that you need Christ now, with you, guiding you, and offering you strength and wisdom for the journey.

Are you intoxicated with your own success in such a way that makes you think you don’t really need God today? Are you too self-sufficient to feel the need for redeeming grace? 

Prayer

Dear God, Thank you for your unfailing love. Thank you for redeeming my heart and reconciling me to a relationship with you. Help me renew my commitment to live in your ways each day. Remind me that I need you and your grace in every aspect of my life, even the areas where I feel more than capable. Help me recognize my weaknesses and celebrate them as places for you to demonstrate your strength. I love you, Lord, and I long to follow you with all that I am and all that I have. Amen.