Preface: This week, I invite you to join with me as we experience God’s love through His Word. We’ll use Psalm 23 as our text, taking one verse each day and spending a little time considering what it means to be loved by God.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
(Psalm 23:1 NIV – New International Version)
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
(Psalm 23:1 NLT – New Living Translation)
Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!
(Psalm 23:1 TLB – The Living Bible)
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
(Psalm 23:1 KJV – King James Version)
Before we begin today’s journey, let’s take a moment to consider a question:
Imagine God having thoughts about you. What do you assume about God’s thoughts when He thinks about you?
If you’re not a follower of Jesus, you might think that God has no thoughts about you, or that He is angry toward you.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you might think God is simply disappointed with you, or that you don’t measure up in some way to His standards.
All these above scenarios are flawed and wrong.
In fact, God is deeply and unconditionally in love with us.
Because God loves us, he does not force us to love Him in return – he allows us to choose whether we love Him or not. It’s a big risk that God took – and not everyone takes God up on His offer of love. Regardless of whether we accept God’s gracious gift of love or not, He still offers it to us at great cost to Him and no cost to us.
The psalmist tells us that because God loves us, we lack nothing. He supplies everything we need. The psalmist says we will not be destitute (in dire want or need). In fact, the psalmist uses the image of a shepherd caring for his sheep as the image of God loving us in all ways.
I was a small child when I first read this psalm. Like most children my age, we read the King James version of the Bible because that was what was available at the time. As I read this first verse, I didn’t understand the phrase “I shall not want”. I thought it meant that I had to forfeit any desire for good in my life. Later on in life, thankfully, I discovered that this phrase was saying that God would supply my needs and that I can trust Him to provide what I need for a joyful and meaningful life.
So what do you imagine God thinks about you?
How has this first verse of Psalm 23 changed your thinking about God’s thoughts of you?
May you spend some time allowing God’s Word and His truth to wash over your heart and mind, to the very most inward part of your soul.
And may the reality of God’s love toward you form the very core of your identity, of who you are – beloved of God.