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(Some of this content is taken from the study guide. For more in-depth personal study download the study guide here: STUDY GUIDE )
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Many times, we think about God in awe-inspiring terms (which we should). He is creator, sovereign, Lord, and so on. But as Matt pointed out, “shepherd” does not inspire awe so much as nearness and care. It communicates a level of intimacy that God has with his people.
How does the idea of God as your shepherd add to your understanding of who God is and what your relationship with him is like?
From Eric: Obviously it is not wrong to want things. When David says “I shall not want” I think he is saying something like “I shall not be ruled by want” because of the life he has in God.
Where do you see yourself ruled by want? What things do you find yourself so focused on thinking “if I just had this.”
7 So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
One of the characteristics Matt pointed out is that the sheep that belong to Jesus hear his voice and follow wherever he leads. But Jesus is not the only voice we hear in our world today. There are many different things vying for our attention. Matt specifically mentioned three examples: our personal desires, culture, and relationships.
What are some of the things you tend to look to as a shepherd other than Jesus? How do these things rob joy and life from you and leave you wanting?
How is Jesus the only good Shepherd who can give life and cause us to say “I shall not want”? How ought the reality behind the phrase “I shall not want” transform our lives and relationships? How does it affect the way we face the current difficulty our world is in?