The Lord is My Shepherd Thoughts on Psalm 23:3b "You lead me on paths of righteousness for Your name's sake."
Your daughter looks beautiful! She has spent days with you and/or her friends shopping for that perfect gown. “Oooo, is it a little tight here? Does it pooch out there?” she asks, studying herself in front of a full-length mirror. She twists around, trying to see how the back fits and twirls to see if the skirt flows, a must when dancing! Finally, after a full day of shopping, she picks just the right gown. You are pleased, because it is modest, too!
Your son has rented a tux, and as he stretches his neck, shifting his head from side to side, you can tell he is uncomfortable with that tie! You briefly dwell on the fact that the years have passed far too swiftly; in place of your little boy now stands a very handsome young man! The proof? He was even willing to take a shower!
At last “the day comes.” Your daughter’s make up is just so, and every curl of her up-do is exactly in place. Your son’s hair is combed for a change, and the few hairs above his lip have been shaved. You’ve guessed it. It’s prom night, and much to your offspring’s embarrassment, you’ve snapped, oh, at least a hundred pictures!
As your child nears the door, readying to leave, you recognize you’ve taught him or her all you could to live life well—to be honest, loyal, to have integrity—to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind… and to ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Matthew 22: 37-38 So you look your child carefully in the eye and admonishingly say,“Be good” or “make good choices.” Why? Your son's or daughter’s behavior not only will affect all their future days, but will either honor or dishonor you as a parent.
If this is true for us as parents, how much more so is this true in regard to our heavenly Father, who is our parent? For years He has taught us through church sermons, radio broadcasts, and His Holy Word, the Bible. So each day when we get up, let's picture Him looking at us with love in His eyes saying, “Be good! Make choices that will honor Me because they are in obedience to my commandments and according to My good and perfect will for your life. Now head out into your day, and because you love Me, follow Me on paths of righteousness.”
How do I do this? I hear God’s voice in my heart: “Have you taken into the depths of your soul My words in Scripture? Do you truly know who I am as well as what I have been and continue doing for you? Do you fully and completely trust me and the design I have for your life? Do you live, knowing that when you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, My Spirit came into you and changed your nature so that your old desire for sin would recede and be replaced with a desire for righteous living?
“Continue, child, to read my Word, for it is active, alive, and life-changing! It will mold your heart into a masterpiece of beauty with a longing to follow Me. Obedience will become a natural act of love, and honoring my name by your good choices a goal. So let your heart grow close to me and let the Holy Spirit give you the strength you need to live this way.”
I open my Bible, and God illuminates the path before me...the path of righteousness that will honor Him because I have a deep, abiding love for His Son and desire to walk in obedience to His Word. In following my Good Shepherd on this path, my hope is that others will see who it is leading me—my indescribably perfect, compassionate, merciful, and loving Lord and Savior, Jesus—and that they will join the line I am in...a line of redeemed sheep following their Savior on paths of righteousness.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” NLT
Proverbs 4:18 “The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.”
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” NLT
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” NLT
2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” NLT
PRAYER: “Lord, help me to do an honest heart and soul check regarding my relationship with You!
Thank You, Father, for helping me examine myself. I sincerely ask you to keep working in me daily, changing me to become ever more like You. Help me to follow You as you lead me on paths of righteousness so that I might honor Your name and point others to the way of salvation through Your Son, Jesus Christ.
Disclaimer: I am just an ordinary woman who loves Jesus, accepting Him as Savior at the age of thirty-two and digging into the Bible ever since. How could I possibly hope to develop a heart relationship with God and trust Him with my life if I didn't know who He is?
These devotionals are written to help you journey with Christ and grow in your heart relationship with Him. However, it is essential that you examine my words, and those of all other 'teachers," with God's Holy Word. Therein lies the source of all truth!
Candice Mary Thomas writes about loving God and loving people! Coming to Christ at age 32 and now in her 70's, Candice knows what a difference it makes living with or without Christ as one's personal Savior.