Summary: A short sermon for our older folks’ service based around the Good Shepherd.
The good shepherd and abundant life. Psalm 23, Jn 10:1-11 Silver Service 7 July 2005
Jesus says that He has come that we might have life. Life in all its fullness. Abundant life.
- and that¡¦s because he is the good shepherd
- the one who leads His sheep to good pasture
o I just love this picture of the 23rd psalm
o Love the water of the Itchen river!
To which you might say- ¡§that 23rd psalm is all well and good, but my situation isn¡¦t that pleasant! My body gives me trouble, my mind gives me no peace and it¡¦s tough!¡¨
But I think we forget when the 23rd psalm was written! And where!
- it¡¦s not in England¡¦s green & pleasant land
- with a fat white fluffy sheep, with Beethoven¡¦s pastoral symphony playing¡K or Pachabel¡¦s canon in D (like a wool add)
This is in the desert of Palestine, with scraggy sheep (have you seen them?) in the valley of the shadow with wolves baying and in the presence of enemies
Yet- their situation seems good to them! Because of the good shepherd!
In his book, I Shall Not Want, Robert Ketchum tells about a Sunday school teacher who asked her group of children if any of them could quote the entire twenty-third psalm. A little four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands. A bit sceptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm. The little girl came to the podium, faced the class, made a little bow, and said: "The Lord is my shepherd, that¡¦s all I want." She then bowed again and sat down.
She may have overlooked a few verses, but I think that little girl captured David¡¦s heart in Psalm 23. The idea throughout the psalm is that we are utterly contented in the shepherd¡¦s care and there is nothing else that we desire.
SOURCE: Alan Smith in "The Lord is My Shepherd" on www.sermoncentral.com.
The good shepherd is able to lead you beside STILL waters and restore your soul--- and give you abundant life whatever your situation
- that¡¦s what He has for you. Wants for you.
Can you picture yourself, now, with the Shepherd¡K besides a beautiful river. Being restored by Him
- there is His rod and staff to guide you
- He anoints your head with oil
o Good news! Keeps off the flies if a sheep
o But if a human-
„X oil of joy
„X 1M BC shiny hair gel
„X = a king
„X = a priest!
- And your cup overflows
o This is what the host would do for a favoured guest. Keep their cup full and overflowing
That is your actual situation! Can you picture it, now?
It¡¦s true there can be a shadow over us at times
- the shadow of death. For us¡Kothers
- wolves baying in the shadows
But, because the Christian sheep knows the shepherd- they have no fear. They fear no evil
- why? ¡§For you are with me¡¨
- rod and staff beat off the wolves- but also this sense that they guide the sheep as well
o that the good shepherd is in control. Guiding.
¡Kand that a feast is being prepared for you!
¡§But I don¡¦t understand¡K. There¡¦s so much I don¡¦t understand¡¨
- well, sheep don¡¦t understand much! That¡¦s why this is such incredible imagery!
- All they can do is trust the shepherd. The master, And know that He will provide and has their very best at heart
o This good shepherd laid down His life for us- and He will not fail us or forsake us
And there is something else in here that speaks of this: the table being prepared.. the feast¡Kt he future¡K. Salvation and heaven
- it¡¦s not there in our shepherding!
It¡¦s this final line that is a promise to you: ¡§I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever¡¨
- sheep weren¡¦t so often eaten in the middle East. Milk and cheese was what mattered
- when the sheep got old they were
o too stringy
o too precious
o ¡K.. to eat
What would happen was that when the sheep got old they would be taken by the shepherd into their house to dwell, forever. Into the shepherd¡¦s house
- this is how David, who sees God the Lord as a shepherd, feels He will be treated!
- He won¡¦t be left abandoned. Out in the cold. TO fend for himself.
o In fact- as you get older it gets better!
„X It¡¦s not just ¡¥by the river¡¦
„X It¡¦s comfy pillows by the fire! In the house
Do you believe and trust in Jesus for your future? Salvation?
- then you will be taken into His house to be with Him forever!