Psalm 23: The Divine Shepherd, 3of6, Evans Olang

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Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake”

The-Shepherd-sermon

A believer has three stages of life, Justification, Sanctification and Glorification. Justification and Glorification are God does for us, Sanctification is what God does in us. Justification means being saved from the Penalty of sin, from the demands of the law (God’s wrath). While sanctification is being saved from the Power of sin. Glorification is being saved from the Presence of sin.
Believers are currently in the stage of sanctification (purification), where God is working in us. It’s the pruning process and the Jeremiah 18 experience in the potter’s house.

Sanctification level sometimes calls for restoration. The bible says, whom the Lord loves, He corrects, Proverbs 3:12, Hebrews 12:6. He corrects the one who goes astray because He loves Him. If you are a parent and you discipline your children for what they have done wrong, it is not an indication that you hate them. You love them to want to restore value, dignity, respect etc., that is what restores is all about. Psalm 23:3, “He restores my soul; …Restoration is to bring back to a former, original, or normal condition. Sometimes you will go through dry periods, change of things, if you belong to Him, He will restore you because He loves you. Restoration may be painful but vital. Isaiah 40:29-31, “29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint”.

No creature will lose itself sooner than a sheep, easy for it to go astray and loose its way back. The best saints are sensible of their proneness to go astray like lost sheep (Psalm 119:176); they miss their way, and turn aside into by-paths; but when God shows them their error, gives them repentance, and brings them back to their duty again, He restores their soul. If He does not do so, they would wander endlessly and be undone. In Jeremiah 18:4, says, “And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.” We sometimes get marred in the hands of the Potter, broken, we lose direction, focus, and effectiveness. The potter cannot be blamed for the injury. Here is the part I love, “…so he made it again another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.” The Potter did not throw away the marred clay, He restored the clay to what He had in mind; a vessel. And no one makes a vessel if he has nothing to put in it. This is the reason none of us are in this world by accident regardless of how we may have been conceived. The Lord is not intimidated with the scars of the clay. He knows that the difference between what it is and what it shall be is His hands. Only He can bring it back. He recovers you when you are sick, and revives you when you faint, and restores your soul which is ready to depart. Many are the times we should have fainted but we did not because we believed; and it was the good Shepherd that kept us from fainting.

“…He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake”, what is the purpose of restoration? To keep us walking the sanctified life for His glory. It is more than feel good; it is about living to honor His name, the desire and strength to live that life all comes from Him. Our prayer ought to be, “Lord we want to be vessels of honor, living and representing You as Your ambassadors in this world. Lead us in the path of righteousness, the righteousness we desperately need and the righteousness the world desperately needs for Your glory and honor”. “For His name’s sake. Seeing He hath taken upon Him the name of a “Good Shepherd”, He will discharge His part, whatever His sheep be. It is not their being bad sheep that can make Him leave being a “Good Shepherd”, but He will be “good”, and maintain the credit of “His name” in spite of all their badness; and though no benefit come to them of it, yet there shall glory accrue to Him by it, and “His name” shall nevertheless be magnified and extolled.” Sir Richard Baker. blessings Ev

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