Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | March 19, 2015

March 19, 2015 “Richie Ashburn’s Autograph”

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)

Jerry”, my dad said to my brother, “Name any one thing that any other kid in town has that you don’t have.”  At the time, my brother was grumbling about something or other that made him feel deprived, and my dad was attempting to convey to him that he had as much in the way of material things as any other kid in town. My brother pondered this for a moment or so, struggling to come up with a response. Finally he blurted out, “Richie Ashburn’s autograph! For you that are uninformed, Richie Ashburn was a hall of fame center fielder for the Philadelphia Phillies in the decade of the 1950’s, when this conversation occurred. That was the best he could do when put on the spot by my dad. In point of fact, we lacked very little as kids growing up in a home where we were loved and nurtured (some might say spoiled, but I would disagree), by wonderful parents.

Psalm 23, perhaps the best known of all the Psalms, provides us with a portrait of a care giving God whose provision for us is so great that we “lack for nothing”. Since the time of Adam and Eve, the Enemy’s ploy has been to portray God as a begrudging giver who only provides when He must.  This is the picture Satan tried to paint in suggesting that God had withheld the fruit of every tree of the garden from Adam and Eve, causing them to think of themselves as being deprived in some fashion. Things haven’t changed much since then. We are still being fed that lie by the Enemy. Pastor Bob Deffinbaugh says it well in his commentary on Psalm 23 when he writes,

“We are constantly being told that we have many needs, all of which can be met by buying some new (or old) product. We need “sex appeal” so we must buy a new toothpaste, a new kind of mouthwash and a new brand of soap. We need self-confidence and a better self-image, therefore we must wear stylish clothing determined by the garment industry. Our whole mode of thinking is “want-centered.”

By contrast, David tells us that to have God as our shepherd is to have everything we want.  He is sufficient. With Him we need nothing else. God, who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-caring, is all we could ever need. Learning to be content in Him and His provision is to “lie down in green pastures”, even greener than those of the center field roamed by Richie Ashburn so many years ago.Don’t be deceived by the lie that God gives grudgingly. “For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness.” (Deuteronomy 2:7) Let’s pray!

“O Gracious God; You are the giver of every good and perfect gift, and the restorer of my soul. May I take such delight in You that You are my heart’s only desire, the One who fills my cup to overflowing with goodness and mercy. Thank You, God, for your provision and protection in this, and in every new day. Amen!

 

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