- The Source
- The Sovereign By Definition
- The Sovereign By Decree
- The Sovereign By Design: Part I
- The Sovereign By Design: Part II
- The Sovereign By Design: Part III
- The Sovereign By Design: Part IV
- The Sovereign By Design: Part V
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VI
- The Sovereign By Design: Part VII
- The Supply: My Giver: Introduction
- The Supply My Giver: Part I
- The Supply My Giver: Part II
- The Supply My Giver: Part III
- The Supply My Giver: Part IV
- The Supply My Giver: Part V
- The Supply My Giver: Part VI
- The Supply My Giver: Part VII
- The Supply My Giver: Part VIII
- The Supply My Giver: Part IX
- The Supply My Giver: Part X
- The Security; My Guard
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life…” (Psalms 23:6a)
The definition of “good” is supplied by Jesus Himself in Matthew 19:17, “And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God…”
Therefore, Jesus answered the man in Matthew 19:16:
“And, behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” (Matthew 19:16)
The answer is simple, (1) none are good but one, God. (2) Therefore, your good must come from God, who is good. Then, you as a man can’t do anything to inherit eternal life, except through God. (3) Jesus was God in the Flesh; and until you come to know that only in Christ can you inherit eternal life, then you have no eternal life (1 John 5:20; John 14:6).
Therefore, David used the word “goodness,” or God.
Secondly, David used the word “mercy.” There is no mercy outside of Christ, for Christ is the Mercy of God.
Mercy is defined as the Channel by which God’s Grace flows to His Sheep. The Grace of God is His Salvation in Christ. Christ and His Incarnation and His Work in Life and on the Cross – this is the Foundation, or Channel, of Mercy flowing to the Sheep. Jesus said in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (See John 10:14, 27-30.)
Therefore, Mercy is the How (apart from any merit or work of man) that the Grace (the unmerited favor) of God is applied to His Sheep. This application comes experientially to the Sheep through the process of Regeneration/Conversion by the Spirit of God. (See John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5; John 6:63; John 1:12-18; Ephesians 2:8-9.)
Christ alone has the power to raise the dead to life both physically and spiritually. For He, in His Resurrection, has proven that He alone has the power of life and death in His hands; He alone has “all power” in heaven and in earth (Romans 1:4; Matthew 28:18). He alone is the Life, the Way, and the Truth (John 14:6). He alone is the Creator, Controller, and Consummator of His Creation.
Therefore, David said, God – His Goodness and His Mercy – shall follow me (that is, shall be in me and with me) all the days of my life. Here is the Security of the Love of God to us and in us and for us; for nothing shall be able to separate the Sheep from the Love of God. (See Romans 8:29-39.)
What are some of the ways God’s Goodness and Mercy follow the Sheep during life’s pilgrimage?
- His Abiding Presence in the Believer. This means that Christ will not share His Temple (the body of the Believer) with another. Christ, the Strong Man, has come into the house, and has routed the devil out. The Stronger-than-the-strong-man has overcome; and has cast out the devil, the old man; and has broken his power.
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God…” (Romans 7:25)
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
Hold firm, Christ is not leaving you (Hebrews 13:5c). Therefore, be still and wait on the Lord, and He shall deliver you; for He ever abides in His Temple, the body of the Believer.
- His Internal Witness that you are a Child of God. Romans 8:16 makes this abundantly clear:
“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” (Romans 8:16)
This witness shall follow you all the days of the Sheep’s life. That is, you will know – not maybe, I wonder if I am; no, no, a thousand times no – that the witness, whereby you cry “Abba, Father,” will not fade away.
The Spirit of God is not bashful; is not hidden – but is bold in making you aware that you are His Sheep and in His Fold:
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)
“And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.” (1 John 3:24)
“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.” (1 John 5:20)
“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, (10) But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:” (2 Timothy 1:9-10)
“For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Timothy 1:12)
- The Fruit that is borne in the Believer’s life and its sustainment.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
The Believer will admit freely that the fruit is of the Spirit; the Spirit is the Cause, the Origin, and the Producer – the Believer is the branch on which the fruit appears and comes to maturity. But it is the nature of the tree, the life in the sap that flows to the fruit – that is the reason of the kind of fruit it is and of the life of the fruit.
Only God can make a tree; and only God can make a Sheep. Only God can give life and bring forth fruit to maturity.
This being said and proven, only God can sustain the Fruit of Himself in the Believer. Only God can bring Perfection to His Fruit and allow that Fruit to remain.
Every believer will acknowledge that goodness and mercy flow from Christ, the Seed, in his spirit. Only God has the Power to create the seed, the life in the seed, and bring it to perfection.
- The Knowledge that the Believer (the Sheep) is secure, never to be separated from the Love of God. That is, he will never lose his position of Righteousness in Christ, either in this life, or in the life to come.
Some call this ‘the security of the believer.’ But really it is the Security of God based upon the Eternal Purpose of God in Christ Jesus.
The knowledge of this truth comes from:
- An internal witness of Christ in you, the Hope of Glory (Colossians 1:27; Romans 8:15-16).
- God’s Word states this fact (Romans 8:29-39).
- God has proven His Word to be true; for He has never failed to fulfill His Promises to the Sheep. God cannot fail:
“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30)
For Christ, our Forerunner, is within the veil (Hebrews 6:16-20). He is on His Throne, ruling and reigning; and He has put all enemies under His Footstool, even death (Hebrews 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:52-56).
So, by experience, the Sheep knows Goodness and Mercy shall follow him (or Surround him; Support him; Sustain him) all the days of his life.
- Because He is God and there is none else. His Word is true and unchangeable. His Performance of His Word is solely based on who He is; and who the Sheep are in Him
Once the Sheep is Regenerated/Converted and starts to walk by Faith; then, who God is, is confirmed to him over and over and over again by experience. (See Genesis 1:1; Isaiah 44, 45, 46; Proverbs 19:21.)
Therefore, “I shall not want”; for my Shepherd is The LORD (Jehovah, God), the Creator, the Controller, and the Consummator of all things.