|artwork by Krista Hamrick|
It is so energizing and exciting to participate in #Write31days, an online writing challenge where writers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day in the month of October. Within the #Write31days category of Inspiration & Faith, I chose to focus on the topic of the Name Above All Names every day for 31 days. You can view each of my daily posts at this landing page.
Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art prints, Name Above All Names Alphabet & Psalm 23, have so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference.
My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available on Amazon at this link.
NASB: I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
Amplified: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.
J. B. Phillips: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd will give his life for the sake of his sheep.
The Message: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.
Pastor Warren W. Wiersbe writes: "The present tense verb “is” means, “the Lord is shepherding me,” indicating an ongoing relationship. Eastern shepherds guarded their sheep, led them, provided food and water for them; took care of them when they were wearied, bruised, cut or sick; rescued them when they strayed; knew their names; assisted in delivering the lambs; and in every way simply loved them."
JEHOVAH-RA’AH—the Lord is my shepherd—(Psalm 23:1)
NASB: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
LEB: Yahweh is my shepherd; I will not lack for anything.
TLB: Because the Lord is my Shepherd, I have everything I need!
MSG: God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
NOG: Yahweh is my Roeh. I am never in need.
NET: The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
"The Lord is"...a present relationship. "My shepherd"...a personal relationship.
Pastor Charles Spurgeon writes: "Give me ten million dollars, and one reversal of fortune may scatter it. Give me a spiritual hold on the divine assurance that “the Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” and I am set for life. I cannot go broke with this stock in my hand. I can never be bankrupt with this security...Do not give me ready cash; give me a checkbook and let me withdraw what I need. This is how God works with the believer. God does not immediately transfer the inheritance; He lets us draw what we need out of the riches of His fullness in Christ Jesus. “The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” What a glorious inheritance! Walk up and down it. Rest on it. It will be a soft downy pillow for you to lie on. Ask then, Christian, for He is your Shepherd, and you will not want. He will supply your need. He will give you whatever you require. Ask in faith, never doubting, and He will give you what you really need."
Pastor Winslow continues: "Our Shepherd claims the verification of these wonderful predictions. "I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep." "I lay down my life for the sheep." Oh what a precious view does this present of the love of Christ for the flock of His pasture! We needed a sin-bearing; a sin-atoning; a sin-sacrificing Shepherd; one who by His sinless obedience would honor the rigid claims of the law, and by His sacrificial death would satisfy the righteous demands of Justice; be, the plague of death, and the destruction of the grave, on behalf of His elect church. The Lord our Shepherd did all this. All the sins of His church were made to meet upon Him. Your sins, oh you doubting, trembling sheep! Fear not! Christ, your Redeeming Shepherd, has ransomed you, died for you, has paid all your great debt, has drowned all your sins in the fathomless sea of His blood, and has clothed you with the robe of His righteousness, making you in God's eye lovely through His loveliness put upon you. "He was made sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." "MY Shepherd.” It is the privilege of faith to turn a general into a particular truth, a collective blessing into an individual one. The apostle illustrates this, "Who loved ME, and gave Himself for ME." He loves you individually, chose you individually, died for you individually, called you and lives for you individually; and it is your privilege to join in the lofty melody of David the king, "The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want."
Good Shepherd, we ask you to wrap Your Loving Arms around us today. You are close to the brokenhearted and You save those who are crushed in spirit. You are our Good Shepherd, we lack nothing. You make us lie down in green pastures, You lead us beside the still waters. You restore our souls. You lead us in the path of righteousness for Your name’s sake. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for You are with us. You are Emmanuel, God with us, we are absolutely certain, You are with us at this time. Your rod and Your staff, Your Holy Spirit and Your Word, they comfort us. You prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies. You anoint our heads with oil, our cup overflows with blessings. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. In Your mighty Name Above All Names—Good Shepherd, we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on John 10:11
Look In—as you meditate on John 10:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.
Look Out—as you meditate on John 10:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.
* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ