The 23rd Psalm

Psalm 23

Saturday, July 9, 2022

What comes to your mind when I say “The 23rd Psalm?”  Perhaps you know that it is the most famous of all the Psalms, or even the most well-known chapter of the Bible.  You might think, “Ahhh, the Shepherd Psalm.”  Maybe you remember its author, David, and that he was a shepherd boy.  Or, perhaps you know that Psalm 23 is identified as a Messianic Psalm, picturing Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  These thoughts are all reasonable when considering Psalm 23.  But here are my thoughts when the words “The 23rd Psalm” are said to me. 

I remember a little 4-year-old girl attending the Church of God Illinois State Conference Bible School in Oregon, Illinois in the summer of 1956.  During our lessons that week, the children in attendance were challenged to memorize Psalm 23.  The little girl thought she could memorize it just as well as her older brother, and she was determined to do so.  At the end of the week, each child was asked if he/she wanted to go in front of the gathered students, and recite this beautiful Psalm.  The little girl was shy, but went up in front, by her teacher, and proudly recited the Psalm.  There were a few missed words, but she finished well, and was applauded for her efforts.  She was so proud to receive a ribbon with a “Shepherd and sheep” seal upon it, as an acknowledgement of her accomplishment.  She kept that ribbon for years!

As I (the little girl, as you probably guessed) grew older, I would occasionally recite the psalm to myself.  Years later as an adult, I realized I couldn’t recite it anymore.  I was disappointed in myself.  I made an effort to re-memorize the Psalm, and now it is a part of me.

If you are sad, recite the 23rd Psalm.  Are you stressed, weary, needing direction?  Quote Psalm 23.  Is everything swirling about you, are the burdens weighing too heavily on your shoulders, is hope fast disappearing before you?  Say the 23rd Psalm to yourself.  It offers comfort, strength, and encouragement every time. 

As you say the words, picture yourself as a sheep, lovingly cared for by Jesus, our Good Shepherd.  He leads you to green pastures for grazing, quiet waters for a refreshing drink, and guides you THROUGH dangerous territory, “the valley of the shadow of death.”  He draws you close with his staff, and he rubs oil in any wounds you might have.  What reassurance and love the Shepherd gives his sheep.

As Jesus states in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

The 23rd Psalm’s words are a treasure to all who read or recite them, providing immeasurable solace in the midst of life’s challenges and troubles. 

The opening sentence actually sums it up.  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.”

-Paula Kirkpatrick

Questions for Reflection

  1.  When you hear the words, “The 23rd Psalm”, what comes to your mind?
  2. What scriptures provide comfort and peace to you?

What are You Looking For?

Seek the Lord!

Psalm 6, 8-10, 14, 16, 19 & 21

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Today’s reading contains my absolute favorite Bible Verse, Psalm 16:8, “I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand I will not be shaken.” I love this verse because of its beautiful reminder to seek the Lord daily. Growing up as a Christian my whole life, there is an added need to make my faith my own. And with that comes the importance of having a relationship with our Creator. But no matter what walk of life we are on, we all need to be striving to seek the Lord in all that we do. 

If you make God your main priority in life, He will see you through the rest. Although this doesn’t mean you won’t have any more problems, you can be reassured that God will be by your side the whole way. Continually seeking the Lord.  It’s so simple, and we have all heard it a million times yet its significance is still so important. So how do we continually seek the Lord?


Worship- As great as worshiping with other believers can be and is, spending time alone with God in worship can be just as beneficial, if not more. Whether it’s turning on worship music or meditating and praying Psalms, take the time to unplug from the world and plug into God. 

Psalm 95:1-2  “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.”


Reading the Bible – Dedicating time each day to read His word will realign your focus on God over and over again and is the best way to learn more and grow closer to God. God has given His word to you! Don’t leave him unread! 


Memorizing and meditating on scriptures-   Keep your focus in alignment with what is important. One way to do this could be to place a couple of your favorite Bible verses around your house to encourage you to continually seek the Lord throughout your day. Soon you will be thinking of Bible verses from memory. 

Joshua 1:8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.


Pray- Just like any relationship between two people, there needs to be communication. Consistent communication. Turns out, the same is true for a relationship with God. When was the last time you talked to God, and I mean really talked, like spilled your heart out to Him? We have an amazing opportunity to talk with the Creator of the universe. And the most amazing part, he hears you. He’s waiting for you to open up your heart to him. 

Deuteronomy 4:7 “What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him.” 

Psalm 27:8 “My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me’ And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming’


Call on Him- The outcome of seeking God- he will uphold you. When you seek the Lord wholeheartedly, you invite Him into your life, and He will touch every angle of it. That is how our lives can be transformed into  living for Him and His glory. God’s plan for you starts with you looking to the Lord as your strength and foundation every day. .  

Jeremiah 29:”Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

James 4:8 “Come near to God and he will come near to you…”

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” 

Psalm 91:14-15 “He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.”

Lastly, another verse from today’s reading, Psalm 10:4 “ In his pride the wicked man does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. 


Let’s learn from this wicked man and not make the same mistakes he did. Make room for God in your lives, He can be found when we seek Him wholeheartedly. It’s our job today, tomorrow, and forever.


Makayla Railton


Today’s Bible reading can be found at

Tomorrow’s reading will be 1 Chronicles 1-2 as we continue seeking God in His Word on our journey through the 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan





The Beginning of Jesus’ Ministry

Luke Chapter Four

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In Luke chapter four, we finally get to see the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  However, before we get there, Jesus spent forty days and forty nights in the wilderness by himself with no food.  He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit.  We are never told the purpose of the Spirit leading Jesus to the wilderness, but I imagine it served as a great time for Jesus to focus in on God all by himself before he began his earthly ministry.


While Jesus was in the wilderness for forty days, the devil came to tempt Jesus.  Three times the devil tempted Jesus, but he had zero success.  To combat the temptation, Jesus responded each time with scripture (verses 4, 8 and 12).  Scripture offers us a great way to combat temptation, as Jesus demonstrated here.  Psalm 119:11 supports this notion, as it states, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”


Whenever we are confronted with temptation, as we all are, a great way to resist and combat that temptation is by quoting scripture.  Now, this is only possible if you have scripture memorized in the first place.  This is a big reason why it is important to store God’s Word in our hearts.


After Jesus withstood the temptation of the devil in the wilderness, Jesus officially began his earthly ministry in his hometown of Nazareth.  He did not have quite the warm welcoming, as the Jews tried to throw him off of a cliff (Luke 4:29).  This was just the beginning of the Jews seeking to end and kill Jesus.  They were constantly taken back by Jesus’ bold claims that he makes.  In the end, the Jews send him to the Roman government to have him killed because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God (Matthew 26:54).  The Jews seldom got along with Jesus because they did not believe that he was the Christ, the Son of God.


Luke chapter four ends with Jesus telling us his purpose, as Jesus states, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent,” (Luke 4:43).  Jesus himself stated that his purpose was to preach the good news of the kingdom of God.  From the very beginning of his ministry, he preached all about the Kingdom.  The message of the kingdom was at the heart of Jesus’ ministry, and it should be at the heart of our ministry as well.


Kyle McClain


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