Pastor’s Corner: Knowing the Shepherd
The story is told of a famous orator who was the guest at a special gathering where he received many requests to recite favorite excerpts from various literary works. An old preacher who happened to be there asked the orator to recite the Twenty-third Psalm. (The Lord is my Shepherd) The orator agreed on the condition that the preacher would also recite it after he had. The orator’s recitation was beautifully intoned with great dramatic emphasis for which he received lengthy applause. In turn, the old preacher stood to recite the Psalm; his voice was not smooth and polished like the orator’s, but rough and broken from many years of preaching. However, when the old preacher was finished, there was not a dry eye in the room. When someone asked the famous orator what made the difference, he replied, “I know the Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd!”
How true! There is a difference between knowing the Psalm and knowing the Shepherd. There is a difference between knowing about God, knowing about Jesus, and knowing about the Bible compared to knowing God personally. The great wonder and awesome truth of God is that we are invited to truly know Him and have a personal relationship with Him. A personal relationship with Jesus the Shepherd far surpasses a mere knowledge about Him. Notice in the Twenty-third Psalm, the connection that is so very personal.
The Lord is my shepherd I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
How does a person begin to really know the Shepherd? James 4:8 says it so well, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” We draw near in faith even if it’s shaky faith, and we begin to call on Him! To truly know someone, you need to be close to them! May we all get closer to the Shepherd so we will truly know Him more and more!
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