He Restores My Soul

(Psalm 23:3)

(Go To Meeting)

Steve Durham—December 30, 2022

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio | [Up]

Track 1 or Download

Psalm 23 is an amazing Psalm and today I want to talk about the third verse and the very first phrase:

Psalm 23:3: "He restores my soul…"

Let's talk a little about the background of Psa. 23; this is a very powerful Psalm and widely memorized by Christianity today and they can spit it back from memory. But there's a lot more to it than that. It has much meaning for us personally. It can do wonderful things for us when we focus on it, and can help us through our difficulties in life. It's very

  • cathargic
  • healing
  • encouraging
  • inspirational
  • positive
  • hopeful

It represents a way of thinking that if we read it and meditate on it regularly can enhance our personal and individual relationship with Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, the Great Shepherd.

If we read it and meditate on it, and do that daily—make it part of our daily thinking—it enhances our personal involvement and relationship with Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. He's our Creator, Designer, Caregiver, our loving Shepherd! All the things that a shepherd is; He's much more than that. Those are the thing that we focus on and think about daily.

It's powerful and has strength for us. It's not in just memorizing, but it's in the words. Rather thinking the thoughts that are in those 118 words. Thinking about them; the thoughts.

It says that a man is what he thinks about all day long. A man's life is what his thoughts make it. Change your thoughts and you change your mind, your life and your direction. Thoughts are powerful.

What does God tell us about our thoughts; He wants us to have the Good Shepherd's mind:

Philippians 2:5: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."

  • we're to have that
  • we're to take that on

To do that, we have to understand:

  • What does He think?
  • Who is He?
  • What is His character?
  • How does He operate?
  • How does work with us?
  • What is that relationship?

Isaiah 55:8: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,' says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts'" (vs 8-9).

We're going to attain to those thoughts; we want to be about to think that way. Not with our own thoughts, but with God's thoughts, and the Good Shepherd's thoughts.

Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things."

Psa. 23 is full of these things. We want to focus on that and make that a part of our daily routine and thinking with the thoughts of Christ, especially with this very important Psalm that Christ inspired. Psa. 23 is all these things, and much, much more!

Even though we don't see shepherding today. I haven't been around sheep and shepherding and I live in the country. But we don't have a whole lot of sheep. There is a flock down the road from us, but I don't see them out in the field a whole lot. So, I don't have personal, hands on understanding of sheep, but I've done a lot of study on it getting ready for this. It's intriguing and amazing what the connection between sheep and the shepherd and our relationship with God.

So, it's appropriate that David who wrote Psa. 23 was inspired by Christ that both were shepherds and both were sheep. We'll see that.

1-Samuel 17:33[transcriber's correction]: "And Saul said to David, 'You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, for you are but a youth, and he [Goliath] …is a man of war from his youth.'

Verse 34: "And David said to Saul, 'Your servant kept his father's sheep, and there came a lion and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock. And I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb out of its mouth. And when it rose against me, I caught it by the beard, and struck it and killed it. Your servant killed both the lion and the bear. And this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living God.' And David said, 'The LORD who has delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.' And Saul said to David, 'Go, and may the LORD be with you'" (vs 34-37). Very, very convincing!

Ezekiel 34:22: "Therefore, I will save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey. And I will judge between lamb and lamb."

The shepherd's were not doing their job, and sheep were at the mercy of the predators,

Verse 23: "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, My servant David. He shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the LORD will be their God, and My servant David will be a prince among them. I the LORD have spoken it" (vs 23-24).

Christ was also called the Lamb of God:

John 1:29: "On the next day, John [the Baptist] sees Jesus coming to him, and he says, 'Behold the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world."

Verse 36: "And as he gazed upon Jesus walking, he said, 'Behold the Lamb of God!'

A young and tender sheep! Later Christ says that He's 'tender and lowly.'

1-Peter 1:16: "For it is written, 'You be Holy because I am Holy.' And if you call upon the Father, Who judges according to each man's work without respect of persons, pass the time of your life's journey in the fear of God" (vs 16-17).

Think about that! Psa. 23 is not a static Psalm. It's not about sheep in a field that never go anywhere. It's an active, daily movement, a journey. It talks about the journey of the sheep through the season, through the mountains and valleys, all the way from Jericho on the east side all the way to Jerusalem through the mountains and 'the valley of the shadow of death,' which was a real valley.

So, think about it in a different term; it's a movement. He's talking about the journey of your life in the fear of God!

Verse 18: "Knowing that you were not redeemed by corruptible things, by silver or gold, from your futile way of living, inherited by tradition from your forefathers."

Here's what you were redeemed by and why it's so important:

  • What redeems us?
  • What gives us salvation?
  • What brings us to God?

It's the Shepherd!

Verse 19: "But by the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot."

Through that life's journey the redeeming value, the thing that restores our soul is Jesus Christ and that blood, and the process that we go through to come out the other end and be redeemed, be restored. It's very important.

That one little phrase in Psa. 23:3, I got started on it and it blew into this amazing, amazing piece of Scripture. We are the sheep, as well. There's David the shepherd, Christ the Chief Shepherd and the Good Shepherd and Christ was the Lamb and David what a sheep.

Psa. 100 is a Psalm of thanksgiving, gratitude and praise. David was full of that,

Psalm 100:1: "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God. He has made us, and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; give thanks unto Him and bless His name, for the LORD is good; His steadfast love is everlasting; and His faithfulness endures to all generations" (vs 1-5).

That's the Good Shepherd that leads us and guides us, Who we belong to. God the Father is the Owner of the sheep and Christ is the Shepherd.

David was inspired by God to write Psa. 23, and most of the other Psalms, as well.

Sidebar: Psa. 23 is set between Psalms 22 & 24, obviously, and it's not just by accident. The Psalms are amazing. There are five books, five section and they mirror the first five books of the Bible.

  • Psa. 22—The Shepherd inspired that and it was prophetic of His death. He said those words, the Lamb being slain.
  • Psa. 23 is a Psalm of the present day, our life, our journey and relationship with the Shepherd.
  • Psa. 24 pictures entering into the House of God, into the future.

See how Psa. 23 is sandwiched between past and

It really is interesting how God inspired that, and the entire Book of God's Word is that way. It's very insightful, educational, encouraging and inspiring both in good times and bad times. We have good times in our lives, and we have bad times. It's a rose garden, it's promised that we will have difficult times, whether they're of our own making or of just life itself. Life happens and we face them from time-to-time.

Looking at Psa. 23 gives us encouragement and restores our soul. It's a source of the healing of the mind, the thoughts, the heart, the spirit and the soul. We find ourselves in distress at times of trouble, whether we do it or if it just happens. Psa. 23 can give us that hope and reassurance.

As we go through those times, and as we come out, know there's always an end, it's a direction, it's not stagnant. We go in and out of these. I can attest that that.

You go into sorrow or grief, or you go into difficulties and trials, and this too will pass if you stay close to God, He will restore your soul!

John 10 mirrors Psa. 23 in so many ways. Christ talking:

John 10:27: "My sheep hear My voice…"

Think about this, here's the relationship that the Good Shepherd has with you. It's personal, individual; this is your song and He's the Good Shepherd and He hears your voice.

"…and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish… [He doesn't want anyone to perish forever] …and no one shall take them out of My hand. My Father, Who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one has the power to seize them from My Father's hand. I and the Father are one" (vs 27-30).

Later on in John 17 He says, 'I and the Father are one and you are one with Us, and We will come and live with you and you will be one.' What a relationship we have with that Good Shepherd!

Hebrews 13:5: "Do not allow the love of money to influence your behavior… [these things in the world, the cares of the world] …but be satisfied with what you have; for He has said, 'In no way will I ever leave you,,, [the Good Shepherd is not going to leave the sheep] …no, I will never forsake you in any way.'"

  • He's going to fight for you
  • He's going to protect you
  • He's going to provide for you

He's going to make sure that you have all the things that you need! That's how a shepherd is, that's how God is.

Verse 6: So then, let us boldly say, 'The Lord is my Helper, and I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" Nothing!

He says that He engraves you on His hand; He reaches down His right hand and cares for you. Look up the word hand or hands and see all the things that God does. Knowing this information is revitalizing, it's invigorating and encouraging to us. It restores us from depression and times when we get down. I guarantee that if you take Psa. 23 and read it several times a day for several weeks, you can't be depressed. Think about it and meditate on it. Psa. 23 also shows us:

  • the Good Shepherd's heart
  • His love for us individually
  • His care and protection
  • His desire for our welfare and prosperity
    • for us to have an abundant life
    • for us to be happy
    • not sad, not down

There's another thing to look at, and I wanted to go over this before we get into He restores my soul! It's not a static Psalm. When I read it before I used to have this mental picture of sheep in pasture and they don't go anywhere. That's not true. They move about, move through the mountains and crevices, the valleys and narrow paths from pasture to pasture.

If sheep stay too long in one place they eat all the grass, so the shepherd has to move them around. They move from the spring to the winter season, and then they go back home. They move around, and it's quite a distance that they go.

It reflects our life's journey with the Good Shepherd leading and guiding us through every aspect of our lives to the ultimate end, to dwell in the House of the Lord forever!

I'm going to read Psa. 23 all the way through, but first I want to point out a couple of things:

  • He restores my soul is personal
  • there are 17 pronouns in 118 words—I, my, me

Think about these!

  • it applies to you personally, as if you wrote it
  • it's an individual Psalm for each one of us; we're personal sheep that belong to Christ

He looks at us and He knows:

  • each of us by name
  • how we are
  • our personality
  • our character
  • our weaknesses and strengths

Psalm 23:1: "The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, 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 for me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (vs 1-6).

Notice that personal relationship with the shepherd!

Isaiah 41:10: "Do not fear… [How can you not fear?] …for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will strengthen you; yea, I will help you; yea, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness."

Have a mental picture of that; He's holding your right hand saying to you, "Do not fear… I will help you…"

David wrote a lot of these and had plenty of reason to do that in His life.

Psalm 78:52: "But He made His own people to go forth like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock." He did that with Israel and does that with us today!

I want to point out some of the thing that Christ says in John 10 about the shepherd and the sheep.

John 10:3—Christ says: "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he brings the sheep out, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him because they know his voice" (vs 3-4).

He doesn't push them, but they follow him because they know his voice. Not only that, they know him and they have confidence in him. They follow him willingly.

Verse 9: "I am the door. If anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and shall find pasture."

You're going to find the good grass, the pasture, the good food, being the Truth. You'll love it and have a love of that because the Good Shepherd leads you there.

Verse 11: "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."

He will stand between predators, the wolf, the bear, just like David said, and the lion. David killed them and protected the sheep.

Verse 17: "On account of this, the Father loves Me: because I lay down My life, that I may receive it back again."

In Matthew He said, 'I am the resurrection to life.' He asked Martha and Mary, 'Do you believe this?'—right before He raised Lazarus.

Verse 18: "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have authority to lay it down and authority to receive it back again. This commandment I received from My Father."

Verse 15: "Just as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep…" (vs 15-16).

This is interesting, because sometimes we think that we're the only ones, that somehow we have an exclusive on this. That's not true. He says:

Verse 16: "And I have other sheep that are not of this fold, I must bring those also… [what a loving Good Shepherd] …and they shall hear My voice; and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd."

Think about that the next time you hear some folks boasting about them being 'the only ones.'

Verse 14: "I am the Good Shepherd, and I know those who are Mine, and am known of those who are Mine."

This is our loving Shepherd. This is the Good Shepherd and we are His sheep. We are personally and individually His sheep.

Ezekiel 34:5—talking about bad shepherds of Israel: "And they were scattered for lack of a shepherd. And they became food to all the beasts of the field when they were scattered."

There was no shepherd to stand in between and give his life for them. They were all hirelings or false shepherds.

Verse 6: "My sheep wandered through all the mountains and upon every high hill. Yea, My flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none searched nor sought for them."

11: For thus says the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.'"

That's what a good shepherd does, he seeks out the sheep and brings them into the fold and cares for them and takes care of them. They will have their souls restored! Revitalized, rejuvenated! Life breathed back into them!

Verse 12: "As a shepherd seeks out his flock in the day that he is among his scattered sheep, so I will seek out My sheep and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day."

  • in times of depression
  • in the dark times in our life

Verse 13: "And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land and feed them on the mountains of Israel by the rivers, and in all the places of the land where people live. I will feed them in a good pasture… [not bad grass; not thistles, thorns and weeds, but the Truth] …and their fold shall be upon the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie in a good fold, and in a fat pasture they shall feed upon the mountains of Israel" (vs 13-14).

He also says in Rev. 17 that not only is there grass there, but the water. We have access to crystal clear living water as Jesus told the woman at the well.

Revelation 7:16: "They shall not hunger any more, nor shall they thirst any more; neither shall the sun nor the heat fall upon them… [Psa. 121 says that He's the shade] …because the Lamb Who is in the midst of the Throne will shepherd them, and will lead them to fountains of living waters; and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" (vs 16-17).

He will spiritual restore them, and physically as well:

  • no more tears
  • no more pain
  • no more sorrow
  • no more death

Ezekiel 34:15: "'I will feed My flock, and I will cause them to lie down,' says the Lord GOD"—by still waters and digesting and eating the grass and resting. He will give them a rest (Heb. 4:5[transcriber's correction]).

Verse 16: "I will seek that which was lost, and bring again those that were driven away, and will bind up the broken, and will strengthen the sick…."

Tie in Isa. 61; that's what's going to happen and is happening now with the Good Shepherd, today with you and me!

This brings us back to He restores my soul! In the heat of the day the sheep are feeding in green pastures, and then they go to the shade. They get up very early in the morning before the sun, the shepherd leads them out to eat and they get that grass but they don't drink. He forces them to lie down and they chew the cud and digest the food. They're traveling to and from the areas where the shepherd leads them. They get very tired and weary and wore out. From time to time sheep will roll over once the shepherd has them lie down. They will get into a depression or in a soft spot somewhere and will roll over and they'll get into a situation called casting.

As they travel from time-to-time, and then come and lie down, eventually every one of the sheep will come over to the shepherd and look for reassurance. The shepherd will rub their ears and pat them and run their nose and whisper to them, and make sure that they feel comfortable and feel reassured. He will do that for each one of the sheep.

He makes sure that if they have cuts, sores, scratches or bruises that he cleans them up and makes them feel better. He reassures them that everything is okay. They need to know that.

We need to know that! We have times when we need to know that.

Sometimes the sheep have this cast down state—called casting. The way that happens is they have full coat of wool and they'll lie on uneven ground and eventually get on their backs. Maybe they get sideways and rolled over on their back and can't get up. They literally are upside down with their feet up in the air. Gas builds in their stomach, blood drains from the extremities and they're unable fend off or run from attack; they're vulnerable. They're unable to eat or drink.

A cast sheep can perish in a matter of hours if the shepherd does not get to him soon. The same with us!

  • we get wore out
  • we get weary
  • we get despondent
  • we get depressed

It's difficult, sometimes, to go on with life's difficulties, and sometimes accidents or loss of job, money problems or sickness. They get us in a situation where we are cast down.

That can happen in a couple ways. It can happen in life, sorrows, grief, hurts and things like that are 'clean cuts.' They can heal more quickly. But when it happens that we do it, when we sin or do something wrong and we need to repent of it, unrepented sins don't heal so quickly. We have a process that we have to go through.

We have to come to ourselves and admit and repent; we have to ask and go to God with a repentant attitude, seek God and ask for His forgiveness and the blood of Christ, the Shepherd. When we go to Him in a repentant attitude He forgives us and made right and justified once again. We are looked at in God's eyes as 'white as wool' as Jesus Christ is perfect and right. That is imputed to us for a short time until we sin again. That's the way that works!

Then there are sins that we fall into by our own doing, missing of the mark. We have to go to the Shepherd and tell Him that we need to be healed of these problems. We need His help and we cry out to Him.

We fall into ditches in life and need strength from the Shepherd to get out. He has a staff and rod and uses those. They give us confidence and help us to be content and know that the Shepherd is always there and will always take care of us.

If we don't, we can perish! Sheep like to wander. They get distracted. They can't see very well, about 15 yards out in front of them. A couple of them will get off and then they're off the path and pretty soon they're gone and lost. They have no direction. They can't get back on their feet and get back with the shepherd, and the shepherd has to go get them, bring them back and put them back on a good foundation with the flock, revitalize them and restore their soul.

Knowing what kind of Good Shepherd we have makes us desire to want to be with Him and love Him more, and want to be in the fold and not somewhere else.

It's amazing to me that actually happens and the people lose sight. They wander and stray off. David felt that way:

Psalm 42:1[transcriber's correction] "As the hart pants after the water brooks, so my soul pants after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day, 'Where is your God?'…. [that's others[ …I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me; for I used to go along with the multitude… [go along with the world] …I led them to the house of God with the voice of joy and praise, a multitude keeping the Feast" (vs 1-4).

Verse 5: "Why are you cast down, O my soul, and moan within me?…. [David had periods of when those happened] …Hope in God, for I shall yet, praise Him for the salvation of His countenance. O my God, my soul is cast down within me; therefore, I will remember You from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermons from Mount Mizar. Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and Your billows have gone over me" (vs 5-7).

Verse 8: The LORD will command His loving kindness in the daytime, and in the night His song shall be with me, even a prayer to the God of my life…. [See how he's restoring his soul?] …I will say to God my Rock, 'Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?' As with a crushing in my bones, my enemies taunt me while they say to me all day long, 'Where is your God?' Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why do you moan within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the salvation of my countenance, and my God" (vs 8-11).

So, he was going through a difficult time, but he knew where to look and what to do. Paul tells us this, too, in the New Testament. He encourages us to lay aside every weight that causes us trouble and guilt. He tells us in Heb. 12, right after the faith chapter and all those faithful patriarchs.

Hebrews 12:1: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great throng of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin that so easily entraps us… [let's get rid of that, get rid of the sin, get rid of the difficulties] …and let us run the race set before us with endurance, having our minds fixed on Jesus, the Beginner and Finisher of our faith… [the Shepherd] …Who for the joy that lay ahead of Him endured the cross… [He was the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world] …although He despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God" (vs 1-2).

Then Paul says to use your mind, your thoughts:

Verse 3: "Now meditate deeply on Him… [that's why Psa. 23 is a good one to have and go over daily] …Who endured such great hostility of sinners against Himself so that you do not become weary and faint in your minds. "

Focus on Him and be restored! Get off of that and you run into trouble! It is the Good Shepherd Who will restore our souls in times like this.

2-Corinthians 7:6: "But God, Who encourages those who are heavy-hearted, encouraged us by the coming of Titus."

So Paul encourages those who are heavy-hearted and down trodden. The KJV says, "Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus."

We all get that way from time-to-time. We don't have to stay that way. Focus back on the Shepherd. When we get upside down in life and are unable to right ourselves… The Hebrew word for restore means vitality, vigor and strength! That's what He gives us. That's that breath of life back into us when we are in despair we get that Spirit back, that energy back. We get it from Christ our Good Shepherd in the things He does to take care of us.

1-John 1:6: "If we proclaim that we have fellowship with Him… [which we do] …but we are walking in the darkness, we are lying to ourselves, and we are not practicing the Truth."

Deceiving yourself, the worst form of deception is self-deception!

Verse 7: "However, if we walk in the Light, as He is in the Light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His own Son, cleanses us from all sin…. [washes us through repentance, forgiveness and justification] …If we say that we do not have sin, we are deceiving ourselves, and the Truth is not in us" (vs 7-8).

This is another thing: come to admit and own the sin. To do that:

Verse 9: "If we confess our own sins…"

You don't have to confess it to people, but acknowledge that you have it and own it. It's yours! This is something that you do that you need to get out of.

"…He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us" (vs 9-10).

Proverbs 28:13: "He who covers his sins… [don't want to admit it or deceive yourself] …shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy."

As sheep we can get off the trail and away from the Shepherd. We can wander and get away, or get sidetracked by the cares of this life and the world. If we're not careful and stay close to the Shepherd and the rest of the sheep. All sin burdens us down. We need our souls restored.

In times of difficulty, which life is full of, we need our soul restored by the Good Shepherd. We need the burden of guilt removed so we can be healed. Sorrow when you do wrong causes cleansing to have to happen before we can heal. Also, forgiving others is another part of that.

David as a shepherd understood this. After the sin with Bathsheba, Nathan came to him and told him:

Psalm 51:1: "Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your loving kindness; according to the greatness of Your compassion, blot out my transgressions." David recognized it, admitted it and went to God!

Verse 2: Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin, for I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (vs 2-3). It weighed him down!

Verse 4: "Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done evil in Your sight, that You might be justified when You speak and be in the right when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, You desire Truth in the inward parts; and in the hidden part You shall make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones, which You have broken, may rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me" (vs 4-10).

That's another synonym of restore! Renew! Revitalize!

Verse 11: "Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and let Your free spirit uphold me" (vs 11-12).

Verse 17: "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise."

He didn't want sacrifices, He wanted the heart! That's what has to happen to be restored. We have a part in that, too. We need to be reassured that all is well. We need to rejuvenated, revitalized and restored in the heart, mind and soul!

  • How do we do that once we've done something wrong? Hopefully we avoid the pitfalls! But:
  • When we find ourselves in them, what do we do about it? We look to God—our Shepherd—for restoration!

Acts 2:37: "Now, after hearing this, they were cut to the heart; and they said to Peter and the other apostles, 'Men and brethren, what shall we do?' Then Peter said to them, 'Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit'" (vs 37-38). There are three things there and that begins the process.

Once you have God's Holy Spirit and He grants that to you, it shows you where the sin is and convicts you to change, to overcome it, to change. You can do that through the Holy Spirit, through the gifts of the Spirit and other things. When we do that we have a whole different marching order, a whole different perspective!

  • we are the begotten sons/daughters of God
  • we have a purpose
  • we have a future
  • we have a journey and path

the Good Shepherd is going to take us on that path

  • we have an inheritance
  • we have the opportunity to be part of the Family of God
  • we will live eternally, forever
  • we will live in the House of God forever

That's our focus, that's our life and journey!

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God! For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2). We will see the Good Shepherd!

Verse 3: "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, even as He is pure."

Jesus says in another place to 'be Holy as I am Holy.' If you have this hope you're going to want to do what is right. You're going to want to not practice sin. You're going to want to stay on the path that leads to righteousness.

Verse 5: "And you know that He appeared in order that He might take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. Everyone who dwells in Him does not practice sin; anyone who practices sin has not seen Him, nor has known Him. Little children, do not allow anyone to deceive you…" (vs 5-7).

  • put your guard up
  • shut the door of your mind
  • don't let false doctrine come in and take you out
  • don't let it get you sidetracked
  • stay close and focus on the True Shepherd, the Good Shepherd

"…the one who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil because the devil has beensinning from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God appeared that He might destroy the works of the devil. Everyone who has been begotten by God does not practice sin, because His seed of begettal is dwelling within him… [God's Holy Spirit, a son of God. He does this for God's namesake to glorify God] …and he is not able to practice sin because he has been begotten by God" (vs 7-9).

Verse 10: "By this standard are manifest the children of God and the children of the devil. Everyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, and neither is the one who does not love his brother."

Look to Christ's sacrifice and through the blood of Christ—the Good Shepherd—comes forgiveness.

Ephesians 1:7: "In Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace."

The study of grace is amazing; what God's grace is to us through His love. Receiving and using the Holy Spirit is the final tool that the Good Shepherd gives us to overcome. We can't do it by ourselves. We can do some, but we can't do it by ourselves. To overcome sin that causes us to be cast down is the receiving of and using the Holy Spirit. Not grieving it, but stirring it up.

We receive it upon baptism (Acts 2:38) and He promises the Holy Spirit to be given to us (John 14:26-27). If Christ didn't leave the Comforter won't come, and along with that comes peace, His peace, not ours. Not the way the world is, but true peace that comes through the Holy Spirit so we can then overcome sin! We're in a state of abundance, good pastures, green grass and plenty of good, clean water.

Ezekiel 36:25: "And I will sprinkle clean waters upon you, and you shall be clean. I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from your idols. And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. And I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers. And you shall be My people, and I will be your God" (vs 25-28).

He will be our Shepherd and we will be His sheep!

John 16:13: "However, when that one has come, even the Spirit of the Truth, it will lead you into all Truth, because it shall not speak from itself, but whatever it shall hear, it shall speak. And it shall disclose to you the things to come."

Our inheritance in the Kingdom of God. The sons and daughters of God—the sheep—are led, not pushed, by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. Now, you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear, but you have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba… [Daddy] …Father'" (vs 14-15).

1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!…."

1-Peter 5:10: "Now, may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus… [tie in Psa. 24, the future, the end of our journey] …after you have suffered a little while… [makes is sound easy] …Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you." Restore you and make you:

  • strong
  • firm
  • steadfast

He's going to restore your soul and heart, giving you a new heart to pump life back into you when we're down.

Matthew 11:28—Christ says: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are overly burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am meek… [that's what we're doing here, learning of the Shepherd] …and lowly in heart… [we should pray that we are all that way, that that is something that we have] …and you shall find rest for your souls….[rejuvenation and a restored soul] …For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (vs 28-30)

Knowing that we belong to God and to the Good Shepherd, and that we are in His hands continually—and no one can take us out—should give us a confidence, joy and peace, and be the beginning of our soul being restored on a daily basis, continually.

David realized that the Good Shepherd was the only One Who could restore his soul and the joy of his salvation. When we need our souls restores, we, too, can look toward the Good Shepherd. We can think of Psa. 23 and it will focus us on the Good Shepherd. David writes:

It may take me a while to go through Psa. 23, but when you think about what God has for us, and what He does for us as the Good Shepherd.

Psalm 71:20: "You Who have shown me many and sore troubles—You will revive me again; You will bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You will increase my greatness and surround and comfort me on every side" (vs 20-21).

Let's be comforted with these words: He restores my soul!

Scriptural References:

  • Psalm 23:3
  • Philippians 2:5
  • Isaiah 55:8-9
  • Philippians 4:8
  • 1 Samuel 17:33-37
  • Ezekiel 34:22-24
  • John 1:29, 36
  • 1 Peter 1:16-19
  • Psalm 100:1-5
  • John 10:27-30
  • Hebrews 13:5-6
  • Psalm 23:1-6
  • Isaiah 41:10
  • Psalm 78:52
  • John 10:3-4, 9, 11, 17-18, 15, 16, 14
  • Ezekiel 34:5-6, 11-14
  • Revelation 7:16-17
  • Ezekiel 34:15-16
  • Psalm 42:1-11
  • Hebrews 12:1-3
  • 2 Corinthians 7:6
  • 1John 1:6-10
  • Proverbs 28:13
  • Psalm 51:1-12, 17
  • Acts 2:37-38
  • 1 John 3:1-3, 5-10
  • Ephesians 1:7
  • Ezekiel 36:25
  • John 16:13
  • Romans 8:14-15
  • 1 John 3:1
  • 1 Peter 5:10
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Psalm 71:20-21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Psalm 22; 24
  • John 17
  • Psalm 121
  • Hebrews 4:5
  • Isaiah 61
  • John 14:26-27
  • Psalm 24

Transcribed: 1/23/23

Copyright 2023—All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes, no part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the copyright owner. This includes electronic and mechanical photocopying or recording, as well as the use of information storage and retrieval systems.