I look forward to seeing you tonight as we meet for our time of study and discussion.
Remember that starting this Sunday our new service time will begin at 10:30. We will have a breakfast fellowship at 9:30 to kick off our new time. This is going to be a good time of food and fellowship with our FaithPoint family.
Here are the notes from Sunday’s sermon:
The text for this sermon is: Psalm 23. The title of this sermon is: Sheep and Their Shepherd. This is week 9 in our DNA series.
When we had cable, I used to watch a show called The Dog Whisperer. Dogs are a pack animal. They need a pack leader to lead them. If there is no leader, they go crazy. They become angry, fearful, and insecure. If there is no leader, the dogs will fight – sometimes until the death until a new leader emerges.
Sheep are similar. They live in a flock. They are a little different than dogs. Sheep will not fight each other if there is no leader. They will wander. They will leave the safety and protection of the flock until they get hurt or they are eaten by a wolf.
Jesus called his followers sheep. It makes sense. We are prone to wander. We are prone to chase after what is easy instead of what is lasting. When we are not following closely to the Shepherd, we will chase what is easy – where our flesh leads us instead of where the Holy Spirit leads us. It doesn’t matter how many cliffs we have to fall over, nor does it matter how close to the mouth of the wolf our prize is.
So, we need to be reminded why we need our Shepherd.
vs 1 Because we have a Shepherd in Jesus, we will never want for anything that is good. He takes us into his fold and He gives us what is good because He knows exactly what we need. He gives us grace and mercy and his gifts are wrapped in His kindness. There is a confidence here. He is confident in His Shepherd and he believes that the Shepherd will never hurt him or lead him astray. The Shepherd walks with His sheep. He does not lead them from a distance. How would that be beneficial? The Shepherd smells like His sheep because He is that close to them.
vs 2 The Shepherd never runs out of food for the sheep. The sheep have no need to fear. The Shepherd has lush fields. There is no dry and barren place for the sheep. The sheep never have to thirst again. He leads them beside still waters. The water is not rough or angry. The water is life giving. The Shepherd only lets them drink from living water. When the sheep are hungry or thirsty, they have to look no further than the Shepherd. Because the sheep, trust the Shepherd and they feel safe in His protection, they are able to rest.
vs 3 He restores what the enemy has tried to kill, steal and destroy. Where there was once death, there is now life. Where there was pain, there is now joy. Where there was a dry and barren wasteland, there is now fields of green. The fields are watered by the same water that the sheep drink. The living water. Where the Shepherd is, the sheep thrive. They don’t have to be anxious, stressed, doubtful. The Shepherd takes care of them.
He leads us in paths of righteousness. He is leading us to follow Him. The sheep hear His voice and they follow Him. Everything that the sheep need, can be found in their Shepherd. He has to lead us in righteousness. He has to lead us to follow Him, if he didn’t He would be going against His very character.
vs 4 The valley is not our favorite place to be. The valley of the shadow of death. We don’t want to go there. We don’t want to walk through the valley because we know what the valley holds. There are too many dark things that hang out in the valley.
- Robbers and Thieves
The problem is that you need the valley. You have to go through the valley to get to the mountain. The valley is preparation for the mountain. This is not prosperity gospel crap. This is truth. Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Your trials are not wasted.
You have no reason to fear. Because the Shepherd is leading you, He is always with you. He is with you in the valley. He will never leave you or forsake you.
Discipline. The Shepherd’s staff is not just for leading but also for discipline. The hook and the straight part. How is discipline comforting? vs 3 is the answer – He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
The Shepherd has equipped you. You are not just a sheep. You are a sheep with body armor.
vs 5 What the Shepherd gives His sheep, no enemy can ever take away.
Like Samuel anointed David, you are anointed – set apart for His purposes. He chose you and gave you a work to accomplish before the foundations of the world.
vs 6 Goodness and mercy will chase you. The Shepherd pours out His goodness and mercy on you.
You will never want to leave the Shepherd. You will want to be with Him forever. No matter where your flesh wants to take you, you know that life is better with your Shepherd. There is nothing that is worth walking away from everything that you have in the Shepherd.
Where the Shepherd is, there is peace.
Where the Shepherd is, there is freedom.
Where the Shepherd is, there is life.
I LOVE OUR CHURCH!
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