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"The LORD is my shepherd... He restores."

The American penny has changed several times. An indian head was at one time the top of the coin, then Lincoln's profile replaced it. The back of the coin has changed even more. Unlike coins, though, the face and the flip-side of truth does not change.

What is the opposite of love? In Scripture, the opposite of love is fear: "Perfect love casts out fear"(1John 4:18). The counterpart to hate is compassion. The opposite of faith is unbelief. And the 23rd Psalm shows us that poverty is the flip-side to a healthy soul.

Outside of Christ, we're told that we have poverty, because people don't work. You can't succeed without work, however, many work very hard and are paid very little. Yes, we must work hard, but profitable work requires something to harvest that will pay off at the end! Production increases wealth.

The world says education is the way to wealth. Get a degree and get money. Often people do make more money with a college education. But actually stewarding and profiting from the cash is another matter entirely. Education could open a door to wealth, but keeping it requires a healthy soul.

Hard work and education are important, but consider the case of the well trained forester. He worked just as hard every day, but produced less and less each day. Finally, His boss asked him this one question: "Have you sharpened your ax lately?" to which the forester said, "I do not have the time."

Christ's mission reintroduces you to your Heavenly Father and restores to you all the wealth of Heaven, the riches of the Kingdom of God. We lack because our souls are dull. The Lord our Shepherd restores to us His image, and therefore His blessing. Christ "sharpens our ax" by reviving, guiding, and providing for us. If your soul prospers, so does everything else about you!

Scriptural Context

Psalms 23:1-3 NKJV A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. (2) He makes me to lie down in green pastures;He leads me beside the still waters. (3) He restores my soul.

3 John 1:2 NKJV Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.