There is one other thing that ought to be true of me if the Lord is my Shepherd, and that is, I ought to recognize his rights over me, and his property in me.

The Eastern shepherd is usually the owner of his sheep. He may sell it, or kill it, or do what he likes with it; and no one can dispute his right to do so. And a genuine Christian feels that Christ has an absolute right in him.

Whether he is to live or to die, to sorrow or to rejoice, should be no matter of choice to a Christian; he should feel that whatever is his Master’s will is also his will.

The seal of an American Missionary Society is an ox standing between an altar and a plough, with the motto, “Ready for either,”—ready to work in God’s field yoked to the plough, or ready to fall beneath God’s sacrificial axe, and to smoke upon God’s altar,—ready, with Paul, to be offered up when the time of our departure is at hand.

We have not a true idea of the rights of God over us, or even of our own condition before him unless we feel that we are the sheep of his pasture, and that he may do with us exactly as he wills.

C. H. Spurgeon, “‘The Lord Is My Shepherd,’”

About the author

Austin Gardner is pastor of Vision Baptist Church in Alpharetta, GA. Previously he was church planting missionary in Peru for 20 years.

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