Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  That’s the start of one of the most comforting chapters of the Book of Psalms.  The following verses speak of a wonderful and caring God that watches after His people.  “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me besides still waters.”  Green pastures are essential for sheep.  That is where they can get a lot of nourishment and can get good rest under the watch of the shepherd.  Having still waters is just as important.  If the water is rough, the sheep’s wool can become waterlogged and the sheep could drown.  Again, these couple of verses talk about an amazing person who takes really good care of His flock, but what about the sheep?  If God is the Shepherd, then that would make us His sheep.

To be honest, it really doesn’t sound too bad, right?   After all, we are being cared for by the Father.  I don’t know if you know this, but I want to let you in on a little secret.  Sheep are dumb.  Above I shared how the sheep’s wool can get waterlogged and they can drown.  They’re too dumb to realize they’re at risk of drowning, so the shepherd has to make sure the water is calm.  Sheep can fall over and not get back up, making them very easy prey. Now by no means am I saying we’re dumb, but we’re dumb.  We often don’t realize what kind of danger we are in.  We wonder around aimlessly looking for just about anything to get into and the Shepherd is constantly bailing us out.  Sometimes when a sheep strays, the shepherd has to pop it on the nose or in extreme cases, break the leg.  It sounds cruel, but sometimes that’s the only way that the sheep will start to listen to the shepherd.

There are lots of times where God pops us in the nose or “breaks our leg” by taking everything away to get our attention back on Him.  These are times we grow in the Lord.  It’s times where we realize that we can’t do whatever we want because the dangers that surround us lead to death.  As followers of Christ, we’ve placed our faith in Jesus to be our Shepherd and keep us from death.  Just like sheep rely in the shepherd, we must rely on God.  We may not understand where we are going, but we know that He will lead us to rest in green pastures and He will keep us by still waters.

This Sunday at Salem Baptist Church, we’re getting ready to start a new series. We’ll be going through the book of James.  To sum up the entire book, it’s a book of test.  The first “test” if you will is our Test of Faith.  We’ll be looking at the times God pops us in the nose and how we should respond.  To make things even better, we’ll start off our service again with two baptisms! Our Sunday School Small Group starts at 10:00 AM and our worship service starts at 11:00 AM.  We’re located at 5286 Old State Road in Brandenburg. If by some chance you aren’t able to make it, the service will be posted on our Facebook page.