Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
David’s conclusion to this beautiful chapter is most excellent. It really would be hard to find a way to ask for more. It is also important to remember that this verse, along with the rest of the Bible, was inspired by God.
As we consider who is saying this, we realize that it was David – who suffered many things during his life that most people would consider evil. In spite of that, David chalked it up as “goodness and mercy” – when he was confident that God was his Shepherd. Although much of what he went through was certainly painful, he understood that God would never allow anything to happen to him that God did not permit. Yes, David even experienced some chastening, but he confessed it made him a better servant of God.
As a believer learns to stay in the Word of God, he or she learns that God gives faith through it. The Word can enable us to see more of what God is doing than those who don’t spend much time in it. This gives us confidence in His love, even when we can’t see His work on our behalf. As we read, we find verses such as Romans 8:32, which tells us: “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” When He is the Shepherd, and we are closely following Him, He does indeed provide all we need, and He is eternally good.
Perhaps the best part of David’s conclusion is in the last part of the verse: “and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.” Yes, David knew where he was going. There was no doubt in his mind. He had eternal life and he knew it. It was a great source of comfort to him, just as it can be to you, too. I hope and pray that you know that you have eternal life in Christ.
If you are not certain that if you met God today, that you would be in Heaven for sure, I invite you to download my eBook for free: it’s entitled How to Be Saved and Know It(no log-in required). It explains Bible salvation in clear detail.
Psalm 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
The primary theme of the 23rd Psalm is that God takes care of His own. Each daily devotional so far from this chapter has shown that fact. There is no doubt that He will permit some trouble, and sometimes it may even seem like He is not in control. However, if He permits it, and if you are serving Him as you ought, then you can be sure that nothing that comes your way is not without His Divine reason.
Perhaps you may even be wondering where your next meal may come from – I have been there. You may also wonder what steps you should take next. When there was a need, He met that need; although, I must admit it was not always as I had hoped or expected. Yet, He was faithful.
Even when we get into the direst of circumstances, as David sometimes was – “in the presence of mine enemies,” you can be sure that He will still provide. Do not doubt Him, but be certain to go to Him for guidance and wisdom – as well as for provision. He is more than able to give you what you need. He can and He will provide. He has given us more than one promise of this, as in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
While in the trial, things may appear a little dark and uncertain. Remember, though, trials are only temporary, and God will put praise on your lips for Him if you just continue to wait on Him and do His will. David adds that “my cup runneth over.” This means more than enough; it overflows. How good God is to His own!
Psalm 23:2 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”
Once saved, the child of God has promises from God that He will provide the needs of His own. This Psalm continues to use the illustration of God’s people being sheep who are led by a loving Shepherd.
This verse tells us that God leads His sheep to “green pastures,” which simply refers to a place of sufficiency. Plenty of grass for them to eat. Our shepherd is concerned that we get enough to eat. It may not mean steak everyday, but we will have what we need.
This Bible verse also tells us that He will lead us beside “still waters.” This is a reference to the fact that literal sheep are afraid of rapidly moving water. They need to be able to drink out of still water, where they will have calmness of mind and heart. Christ the Shepherd does the leading to the things we need, we just need to be sure that we are following closely.
I Peter 2:2,3 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”
Parents enjoy watching their little children become bigger, stronger, healthy, and more mature. They naturally want to see their child grow to eventually become a mature adult who is able to take care of themselves and learn to think responsibly.
The Apostle Peter also loved to see Christians grow and become strong in the Lord. In the above verse, he recognizes that just like a human infant must have food to grow, a young Christian must also likewise have a daily diet of spiritual food from the Word of God. Without it, they will only become a big disappointment to their Father. Though saved, they will never be a mature child of God. Their spiritual growth will be stunted.
It is God’s will that every true Christian grow strong in Christ. This means growing in their understanding of the Bible, knowledgeable of how to apply and use the Word in daily life, and eventually become able to teach others. It also is a key to receiving God’s blessings on your life and home.
The first century Christians, even right after they were saved, had a strong hunger for the Word, according to Acts 2. They listened to the teaching and preaching of the Word every day and grew fast spiritually. The church grew fast, too, and God blessed them for it.
Christ and the Word really does have a lot to offer believers. If you are saved, then you have already “tasted that the Lord is gracious.” This means you already know He is good and that He has shown you it is worth learning more about Him. He is willing to guide you and help you grow. As much as possible, I also am willing to help you grow and be a blessing to you.
If you are reading this blog post and are not sure of your salvation, I encourage you to download my free eBook entitled How to Be Saved and Know It(no log-in required). It explains the plan of salvation through Christ, and helps you to know how to be saved and have eternal life.
If you are a Christian and want to grow in your knowledge of the Word, I want to encourage you to sign up for my email newsletter. When you do, I will send a printable Bible Reading schedule (a checklist) to help you read the Bible through in a year. I will also send daily devotionals from the Word via email, and will include announcements of new blog posts and new materials as they come out. I am getting ready to release some new materials.
In order to sign up, you will need to go here. This is on a different website.
Mike Valles, Evangelist
If you have come here more than once and find these posts are a blessing to you, I ask that you send a link through your favorite social media. Help this website to get the Word out. Those who come will get a clear presentation of the Gospel, and there are posts and materials designed to enable strong Christian growth. Check out the Christian eBooks page. Thanks.
I have no doubt that some people reading this title are going to be at least a little surprised by it. It is not a gimmick, or a trick. It is just plain Bible truth, and it is a truth that is repeated throughout the Bible.
Before I get to those reasons, I ask that you think for a moment why Jesus needed to die at all. You see, if Heaven could be gained by being or doing enough good, then Jesus did not need to suffer at all. The implication would then be that God made His Son to suffer for nothing. Of course, an all-knowing God did not make that mistake.
Here are five reasons from the Bible why good works cannot save anyone.
Because God’s Law Demands Perfection
Every one of us knows that nobody is perfect. We’ve all said it. With God, though, it is different. If He let sin and sinners into His holy Heaven – it wouldn’t be Heaven anymore. It would become just like earth – not much to look forward to, in that case.
To let us know what He wanted, He gave us the Ten Commandments. They are the gatekeeper, and they reveal what we really are inside. The problem with law is that it knows no mercy. Do the crime – do the time, is its motto.
God’s Law is also merciless. It says, in James 2:10: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” In plain English, it means if you sin, you forfeit Heaven. Now, the Bible also tells us that: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This means everyone is in serious trouble with a holy God!
Because Sin Is Not Erased by Good Works
Since we all have sinned, it means every human is facing a horrible penalty – Hell. Romans 6:23 tells us that the “wages of sin is death.” Hell is the price for sin – even if there were only one. Even judges on earth operate on a similar principle. Doing good works after a crime does not mean you won’t have to pay for the crime. Plainly, crimes against God will also have to be paid for in full.
Here is what the Bible says about paying for sin: “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood” [death]; “and without shedding of blood is no remission” (“remission” means payment for) (Hebrews 9:22). This Bible verse teaches that no sin is erased – ever – without a sacrifice!
Because Good Works Will Not Change Your Sinful Nature
The Bible makes it plain that we all had a wrong birth. We were born into Adam’s family, and this means we are cursed. Every human needs a new birth and a new nature – one that can please God. The one we are born with loves to sin!
This is why we find that Jesus told one leader in his day: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Once any individual is “born again,” God gives that person a new nature – one that can please Him.
Because God Does Not Accept Good Works for Salvation
God will never corrupt justice. He will punish sin. If He were to let unrepentant sinners remain unpunished for their sins – then that is not just. Good works cannot buy God off so that He will overlook your sin.
Besides, what people consider to be good works, God does not see them that way at all! In Isaiah 64:6, He tells us: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses” (good works) “are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Even the best works are just rags to God, if offered in hopes of being saved by them.
Because Good Works Do Not Glorify God
The reason people try to work their way to Heaven is because they want to try and make themselves look good to God. They want the praise. Unfortunately, it can’t work because God very well knows we are sinners.
Besides that, He sacrificed His Son to buy salvation for you. This means that anyone trying to work their way to Heaven is completely ignoring this great Sacrifice God made for us! They are discounting the very blood of Christ – the only thing that can save their soul!
Notice carefully what God says about works in this verse: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9). Works cannot save the soul. Faith in Christ’s work for you can save.
Notice in these verses also, that works cannot save anyone: “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:27,28).
The single key to getting saved is to trust Christ to save you. He died to take your penalty for sin. Recognize what He did for you. It cost Christ a lot to be able to offer salvation freely to you. Ask Him to forgive you of your sin and to become your Savior today. He is more than willing and able to do it.
Listen to the words of Christ: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
For Salvation and Revival, Evangelist Mike Valles
If you want to read more information about salvation, I encourage you to read the following posts:
Many people believe that God offers salvation to those who work hard for it. This concept is taught by a large number of religious leaders all over the world.
The idea, some think, is that if the good deeds outweigh the bad, then God will overlook the sin and receive them into Heaven. While most people believe this, this way of salvation is not found anywhere in the Bible.
Part of the problem as to why it is believed is because so few people actually care enough about their soul to discover the truth – Bible truth. So, they leave it up to religious leaders to present it to them – and they hope the leader really knows. Unfortunately, when the blind lead the blind…
Now, I am not trying to be overly critical, but I do want you to know the truth that can save your soul. The Bible does make it very plain to those who really want the truth. This is why Jesus said, in John 8:32: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
This freedom that Christ spoke of is not some fleeting feeling or mere religious idea that has no real value in this life. Instead, it is a real knowledge that your sins are forgiven because of a very real transaction that took place between you and God.
What is the truth that sets you free from sin and its eternal penalty? There are several elements to it, but it is not difficult to understand. After all, God has told us that He wants to save all people.
The first essential truth that must be understood is that God tells us we all are sinners. There are no exceptions. The Bible says: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10); and “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Of course, this includes both me and you.
The next thing to be understood is that sin sends the sinner to Hell. A holy God cannot let sin into Heaven. He also is just and the Judge of all. His Word, in Romans 6:23 tells us: “For the wages of sin is death…” The word “death” in this verse is a reference to eternal death, or Hell.
The sin of every human is written in God’s books. There is no sin left out. In Matthew 12:36, Jesus tells His disciples that: “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” Jesus told them that even the “idle words,” the words carelessly spoken are all written down!
The next thing to know is that no good work can erase a single sin! It does not matter what type of work it is – religious works included! It needs to be realized, that if salvation could be obtained by being good, then it would have been totally unnecessary for Christ to die on the cross!
The Bible makes it clear that no one has ever been saved by being good. Sin condemns us all! We are told in Ephesians 2:8,9 that: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Did you see that part where it says “not of works”?
When God sent Christ to die for us, it was because there was no other way to erase our sins and let us go to Heaven! Our sin demanded both physical and spiritual death. The next important truth is to understand that Christ’s blood was the payment for what we owed. The sinless Son of God became our Substitute, and His sacrifice was sufficient to obtain our forgiveness and freedom from such a penalty.
Christ died and rose again to not only pay our debt of sin, but also to reveal that the debt was fully paid! If not, He would not have come out of the grave!
Now, I mentioned a “transaction” earlier in this post. Here it is – don’t miss it. Christ’s payment for sin is not to be taken lightly. God offers forgiveness to those who are sorry for their sin and want to turn from it.
The final truth necessary for salvation, which will make you“free”, or “saved,” is that you need to personally go to God in prayer and admit to Him your sin and sinfulness. Confess that you are worthy of His wrath and damnation, but that you know that Christ paid for your sin. Ask Him to forgive you and to save you right now on the basis of what Christ did for you, and He will save you this very moment!
Consider these verses:
Romans 3:24 “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”
John 3:16,17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
By making salvation so easy to obtain, anyone can get saved. God loves you and He wants to save you. This is, however, the only way.
Have you asked Him to save you today? I hope and pray that you have. The freedom comes because you know your sins are forgiven and that you are on your way to Heaven.
Or, if you already are a believer and would like to learn more about Christ and how to serve Him better, I invite you to look at these Christian eBooks and other materials that will help you grow spiritually.
Have you seen these other posts about Bible salvation?
I have been talking much about revival lately. I have showed how to get it, but have not yet revealed what blessings may be expected from it.
The blessings I want to talk about are those that a nation can enjoy when it, as a whole, is right with God. The Scripture that I will use come mostly from the Old Testament, since God was primarily dealing with Israel as a nation at the time.
If you are wondering what revival is, according to the Bible, let me define it this way: It means to come to a place where you choose to stop serving self and sin and are sorry for it, and start serving God (repent) with all your being and energy, and you do it according to the Bible. Revival is for true believers in Christ.
We have been seeing a lot of trouble in our nation recently. Starting with the shooting of the policemen in Dallas, there have also been a lockdown at the Capitol, robberies, riots, wild fires, drought, drugs, and more problems. There is no doubt that America is in trouble and needs healing.
A great revival verse I mentioned in an earlier post, II Chronicles 7:14, tells us that if we (Christians) will follow the steps mentioned in that verse, that Almighty God can change the nation. This is the blessing America needs now! When Christians are tired of being lackadaisical, sinful, and in general – uncaring – and they repent of those things, God promises: “then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Christian, did you see it – He will heal our land!
Here are some of other promised blessings that can proceed from revival that a believer serving God might expect:
A Long Life
Currently, our nation is seeing more deaths than ever. This is clearly because people are getting away from God. Death is increasing on our highways, because of drugs, disease, guns, and more. But notice the last phrase in this verse:
Deuteronomy 6:2 “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged.”
A Blessed Life
Many people in America are realizing that things just are not as good as they used to be. Most people now have to lock their doors at night (with several locks!), their cars, and even be careful how they use credit cards online and at ATMS, etc. It is more stressful, there are more problems, and many people – including Christians – do not experience much joy anymore. Our current political candidates don’t seem to help us expect better days, either. When there is revival, God said things will be better.
Deut. 6:3 “Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee…”
Grow in Might
Developing into a powerful nation was one of God’s promised blessings if that nation would serve Him. America, though technologically advanced, has actually diminished in strength, in terms of the numbers of soldiers at home and abroad. Other nations mock us because of perceived weakness. Americans used to be able to hold their heads high as they traveled abroad. It isn’t so today. Notice this promised blessing:
Deut. 6:3 “…and that ye may increase mightily, as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee…”
Deut. 6:3 “…in the land that floweth with milk and honey.”
One of the great benefits was that God promised an abundance of crops and goods to the nation that served Him correctly. America certainly once knew of those kinds of blessings. Yes, some of the blessings are still there – for now – but not like they used to be. In the news we read of many people, including school children, going hungry. Of course, some problems are caused by sin and misuse of money, and food prices are high, too. Then there are recalls because food is or may be contaminated. Besides that, much that is called “food” these days isn’t even healthy to eat! Companies just want to make money, so they take shortcuts.
People live in fear today. Fear that they might be harmed when going to work, at work, or when going to the store, such as WalMart nad other large stores. A lot of crazy things have been happening. This kind of fear did not exist in many communities until just recently – but it is there now! When God’s people get right and mean business about serving Him, He can bring the good back into our neighborhoods and places of work, and in our homes! He is able. Read what He promised:
Deuteronomy 6:24 “And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.”
Christian friend, I invite you to get serious with God. Start praying for yourself, for others around you to be saved and get right. Be faithful to a Bible-preaching church, read the Bible, and tell others about Him. The time is short.
Will you be part of those who will help bring revival to America?
Evangelist Mike Valles
Have you seen these other blog posts about revival?