1.    Realization – of Who “the LORD” is. The word speaks of the Self-Existent, Unchanging, Sovereign, Covenant-Keeping, Creator, the One True God! “The Great I Am.” Realization of who we are before Him. Spiritually dead in our sin, without hope and God. Spiritually dead, lost, helpless, ungodly, sinners, enemies through our rebellion to God.” But God…” Jesus looked on the multitude and felt compassion for they were like sheep without a Shepherd. {Matt 9}. In the New Testament there are two categories, “sheep” and “goat’s.”  The nature of a sheep and goat are vastly different! We are not “born” sheep. The LORD separates them eternally. “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;  and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…  “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;”-{Matt 25:31-41}.

2. Resignation to Him as “LORD.” “my”… it’s personal. Personal resignation to His authority, entrusting yourself to Him. To follow Him in “paths of righteousness.” The “paths” of righteousness,”  is the way of the SHEPHERD. Isaiah wrote, “All we like sheep, have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way…” Elsewhere we read, “everyone was doing what was Right in their own eyes…” Sin! We do what is right on our own eyes, we have gone astray and we need rescuing and the LORD Shepherd alone can do this. We need to repent, to change our mind and see ourselves in light of Him and realize, He is Creator and Redeemer and has right to rule His creation and so we hand in our resignation to Him  Resignation of self- rule. Resignation from living a self-righteous life, a Life of rebellion to the Creator and walking in our own paths of unrighteousness.  We need not only to change our thinking, but the direction of our will, from self-will to submission to the will of the Shepherd. We resign the control of our life to the Creator, to Shepherd us and LORD to rule over us and guide us in the paths of righteousness, for His Name’s sake! It’s not my opinion but His declaration, and a u turn is required, “repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus.”

3.  Relationship- The call is to a personal relationship as a result. “The LORD is my Shepherd,” to David and countless others he is “my Shepherd.” Personal trust in a Person, the LORD, to Shepherd them.

4. Reputation -He guides, not just the few, but all His sheep, and it is in the orbit of righteousness. “The Good Shepherd always leads His sheep in the right way. Whether His path leads us through the glen, as in verse 2, or into the gorge as in verse 4, He always leads us in the best path of all: His path! (Note: No one always likes where the path of life leads them, but if they are following the Good Shepherd, they can be assured that He will always lead them in the right path, Psa. 37:23.) (Note: The word “paths,” comes from a word that means “circuit or orbit”. The Lord’s leadership always leads us in a path righteousness is it’s “orbit!” Just as the bodies in Heaven are subject to the gravitational pull of the sun, those who are in His orbit are kept in a right path about Him at all times!)”-{Alan Carr}.   “The Kingdom of God does not consist in eating and drinking but RIGHTEOUSNESS, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit”…. “SEEK AS THE Priority  the Kingdom of God and His RIGHTEOUSNESS…” Phil 4:8-Think right; Phil 4:9 Do right… “ with the mouth confess… unto righteousness.”….. the characteristic of the man of God- 1 Tim 6 he “pursues…. Righteousness…” David said “He leads me in the paths of Righteousness, for His Name’s sake.” Note there are “paths” but all are righteous and He leads, guides for His reputation, “Name’s SAKE.”

5. Consultation “He leads…” The LORD Shepherd, does not consult with the sheep on decision making, it is not a democracy. “He leads,” because He alone is Sovereign King, Maker of Heaven and earth. He does not need the advice of His creation, the sheep. He is all powerful. He is all knowing, the past, present, future are all ways we describe time elements. “But God…” is eternal. He is not confined to time or change, He never learns anything knew or diminishes but is unchanging. “I the LORD do not change.” –{Malachi 3:6}.  Sheep need a Shepherd, the LORD needs no Shepherd to lead, guide Him. Sheep follow. There are other types of “shepherds”- “hirelings”… “false shepherds”  who have a message of peace, peace,” when there is no peace, apart from the true peace the Shepherd imparts to all who submit to Him! Who is leading you? Who are you following? Only the LORD is trustworthy to “lead in paths of righteousness,” and this He does for HIS Name’s sake! Sheep follow, The Shepherd leads.

6. Congregation – of sheep. He has given us a family, others who are His, we are not or need not be alone. Though we must be mndful and choose not to be one of those who turn on each other.Sometimes ‘sheep’ bite! We have Him, His companionship with us for the journey, and He has given us others.

7. Destination – We are heading somewhere to meet and be with SOME ONE! We are heading to the “House of the LORD to dwell there…”forever and ever, to be with the Good, Shepherd! {v6}.Whatever valley you are going through now, it is not eternal, but you are passing “through.”

8. Summation –  “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want! HE makes me… leads me,… HE restores me… HE guides me… HE prepares…HIS goodness… HIS House… ”  He is the “Good Shepherd,” who gave His life for you, to die for your sin, so that you would not die in your Sin.- {John 10:11}; He is the Great Shepherd. He was raised from the dead, His sacrifice sufficient for you, to be tight with God-{Heb 13:20;}. He is the “Chief Shepherd.” Who will come again for you -{1 Pet 5:4}. The LORD is, “my Shepherd, I shall not want!” He is a Personal Shepherd who has the responsibility for your life, your soul, your destination.

8. CELEBRATION-“The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” Confident rest in the Shepherd, who is the LORD, God!