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October 20, 1995

The Working Relationship

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The LORD is my shepherd. PSALM 23:1
Take a moment and read this verse five times, each time emphasizing a different word.
In those five words, we learn that there is one all-powerful God Who is committed to a present-tense, personal relationship with each of us in which He embraces the role of a loving, caring owner. There’s also the understanding that we, the creation of this God, willingly and gratefully fulfill an obligation to recognize Him for all that He is and all that He does for us.
All of this in five words.
This practical, working relationship between human beings and God works perfectly, doesn’t it? The psalmist goes on to show how God, the Good Shepherd, takes care of His sheep, feeding them, keeping them watered, moving them from pasture to pasture depending on the seasons, protecting them from predators and parasites and even from their own stubbornness and ignorance.
He also explains that the good sheep trusts unfailingly in his shepherd, fears no evil, and embraces the rewards of living under the assurance that “goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (v. 6).
Take another moment and picture a working relationship with a bad shepherd. He doesn’t care, so his sheep are fearful and neglected. They’re skinny, sickly, and easy targets for bugs and carnivores alike. They live in fear. And they have little hope in the future.
As followers of Christ, we can look across the field to the other ranch where the sheep are untended, and we can say with total gratitude, “The Lord is my shepherd.” What difference does that realization make in your life today?

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