Summary: God’s perfect table ofgood things

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THE NEXT STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION: I was reading recently about Cal Ripken’s record. You know which one I’m talking about: He played 2632 consecutive baseball games. This is a record that may stay in the books forever; he will certainly be remembered forever as a legend in the game. Most sports records are set when a player gets on a hot Streak, he has a good game or a good month or even a good season. Ripken’s record is the result of a ’hot streak’ that lasted more than 16 years. Day after day he simply took the next step in the right direction, one game at a time. Something many people don’t know about Ripken is that during his first year as a pro, while playing minor league ball in West Virginia, he made his mark in a different way: he committed a league-leading 33 errors at short-stop. It wasn’t a good start, and since his dad was already well-known in the world of baseball, critics said he was just an over-rated kid, not good enough for life in the big leagues. But Cal kept taking one more step in the right direction, one game at a time. Later in his career he went 95 consecutive games without making an error, and committed only three in an entire season, another record he holds. Ripken’s habit of taking one more step took him on a journey from worst to first. It’s a journey you can take, too. God wants to pour out his grace in your life. He wants to change you through and through. He wants to give you victory over sin, and the power to live the life of your dreams. Today, if you feel like you’re the worst, he wants to help you move in the direction of becoming first. Paul said, "For I am the least of the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church. But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me -- and not without results." (1 Corinthians 15:9-10)

Psalm 23: “God gives us perfect coverage.

The Lord is my Shepherd: Perfect Savior.

I shall not want; Perfect Salvation.

He makes me to lie down: perfect Rest.

He leads me besides the still waters: perfect Refreshment.

He restores my soul: Perfect restoration.

He leads me: Perfect guidance.

I will fear no evil: Perfect protection.

You are with me: Perfect Company.

Your rod and staff: Perfect Comfort.

You prepare a table: perfect Provision.

You anoint my head: Perfect Perseverance.

My cup over runs: Perfect Joy.

Goodness and Mercy follow mw: Perfect Care. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever: Perfect Future.

Ann Foster wrote “We live one day at a time. Being joyful for just being alive. I believe being joyful improve longevity. Live one day at a time just being joyful for being alive. When you arise in the morning say, ‘This is a special day and I am going to be happy in it.”

Today we are talking about a banquet He prepares for us. A thought on a banquet might be because it is beautiful and sweet or large and elaborate but the reason for this banquet is the goodness of the love behind it. We have already heard the blessings of this Psalm and now we want to look at the tables that God gives to us.

1. There is the table of God’s Daily Provisions.

The Shepherd that takes care of his sheep makes sure that all are fed. As he looks over his flock he may see sheep that is inferior to the rest and so does not get the good grass. At a resting time he will go to that sheep and give special attention to so that he will know he is loved. Our Good Shepherd is always looking out for us and when we feel down He is there with His love. He never forsakes His own. There is story of Bishop Li in China who as one of God’s children was very poor. His friends would often bring him food and various needs. He would often lift his head and give thanks to God even before he would thank his donors. Some became offended with this and stated, “We, not God, are bringing you these good things.” He told them that it was God who prompted them to bring them to him. They became mean and said we will stop bringing you things and see if God will really take care of you. One day one these so called friends stopped by to see how he was doing. When he arrived he smelled the aroma of meat cooking. He asked if someone had provided him this meal. His reply, “Oh, no! No one brought me any thing to eat since you folks decided no to. God sent me that. Praise the Lord! This morning while I was outside my hut, I heard a noise overhead and as I looked up I saw a large bird that had some thing in its claws. A number of birds were trying to take it away. Just as it came above me the birds got so close that the big bird let loose of it and it dropped right her in front of me. It was a piece of freshly butchered meat.” From that day forward his friends started bringing him food again. A prayer we know says “Give us this day our daily bread.”

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