By Ray Pritchard
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Additional resources for Green pastures, quiet waters : refreshing moments from the Psalms
Shepherd" may seem a homely name for God, yet it reveals an essential part of His character. All that a shepherd does to protect and provide for his sheep, the Lord does for His children. The present tense of the first verse is crucial. The Lord is my Shepherd—not just that He was, nor that He will be in the distant future. Friends come and go, even beloved family members die, but the eternal God is our eternal Shepherd—today, tomorrow, and forever. Verse 2 contains two lovely pictures of the shepherd's care of his sheep.
Which of those characteristics do you most need in your life right now? WHERE WORSHIP BEGINS: BOWING BEFORE THE LORD Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. Psalm 95:6 It has been said that we worship our work, we work at our play, and we play at our worship. In many ways this explains the problem with contemporary Christianity. We worship something, but not the right thing. In all of life nothing is as important as learning how to worship. When we learn how to worship, whole new vistas open before our eyes.
This word has the idea of honor, dignity, and reputation. That last word—reputation—brings us very close to the meaning of "glory" in Psalm 34:3. I remember hearing Dr. Charles Ryrie explain that God's glory is His reputation in the world. To live for God's glory means to live so that God's reputation is enhanced, not diminished. That leads me to an important thought. In one sense you cannot diminish God's glory. It exists forever because God is eternal. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, you cannot diminish God's glory any more than a madman can diminish the sun merely by scribbling "darkness" on the walls on his cell.