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I can think of no better, more instructive, God honoring, soul satisfying way to describe Christ as our Shepherd than by using the words of David’s sweetest psalm. In Psalm 23, David declares a blessed fact which he perceived and rejoiced in by faith. He says, “The Lord is my Shepherd!” As his heart meditated upon this blessed fact, he began to realize the blessings that would surely flow to him because the Lord, Jehovah, was and is his Shepherd.
“The Lord is my Shepherd!” — What a word of faith this is! David does not say, “The Lord is our Shepherd.” He says, “The Lord is my Shepherd!” He does not say, “The Lord was,” or “The Lord shall be,” but “The Lord is my Shepherd.” He does not say, “I hope,” or “I think.” David speaks with confidence and assurance, saying, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” He knew that the Lord was his Shepherd for one reason. — He trusted the Lord as his Shepherd.
And I know the Lord is my Shepherd for one reason and one reason only. I trust him. He has, by his Spirit, by his grace, by his power, given me faith in himself as my Shepherd. I acknowledge to God and to you my entire dependence upon Christ as sheep upon their Shepherd. Trusting Christ as his Shepherd, David could not doubt his interest in his Shepherd.
It is one thing for the Shepherd to say, “This is my sheep.” But it is another thing for the sheep to say, “This is my shepherd.” When David says, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” he is expressing his faith in Christ, his love and affection for Christ, and his joy because of Christ.
If you trust Christ, he is your Shepherd, too. If the good Shepherd has called you and caused you to hear his voice, if you follow him, that is to say, if you trust him, you are one of his sheep, and he is your Shepherd (John 10:1-5, 26-28). Settle this one question, and it will settle all others. — Do you trust the Lord Jesus Christ? If you do, you are one of his saved sheep (Mark 16:16).
We must not fail to observe the position of this 23rd Psalm. It follows Psalm 22, the Psalm of the Cross. Spurgeon wrote, “We must by experience know the value of the blood-shedding and see the sword awakened against the Shepherd, before we shall be able truly to know the sweetness of the good Shepherd’s care.”
If the Lord is my Shepherd, and I cannot doubt that he is, I belong to him. I am his property. He owns me. The fact that I belong to the Son of God gives me utmost confidence and security and inspires my heart to daily consecrate myself to him. I was chosen of God and given to Christ as one of his elect sheep from the foundation of the world (John 6:37-40). The Shepherd is responsible for the sheep. Christ has redeemed me and purchased me with his own blood (John 10:11-14). Christ, my Shepherd, has sought me, found me, and saved me by his grace (Luke 15:3-5). Christ Jesus protects me, keeps me, preserves me, and promises that I shall never perish (John 10:27-30). The Lord, who is my Shepherd, will bring me safe to heaven at last (Luke 15:6-7).