Summary: God does not abandon us during out times of trial.

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God is Near

January 13, 2008 Morning Service

Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK

Rick Boyne

Message Point: God does not abandon us during out times of trial.

Focus Passage: Psalm 23

Introduction: Furlough 2002-3, took kids to Bell’s. Had lots of fun, tried to keep them from running off. Rode Phantasmagoria and couldn’t pry them loose from my arm.

I. Valley times get you to a better place

a. The first few verses make sense; it is what a shepherd is supposed to do.

b. When you get to vs 4, it doesn’t seem to fit. “Valley of the Shadow of Death”

doesn’t sound like a place a sheep wants to be. Why would a sheep WANT to be there? He doesn’t. He is there because the Shepherd LEAD him there.

c. Why would a shepherd lead a flock into such a place? To get them to a better place; to the high country where things are better.

d. As Psalm 84:11 says, "No good does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly." Or as Paul put it, “We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom . 8:28). The valley isn’t good, but the Shepherd is. He knows the way.

II. The Shepherd has you covered physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

a. How did David fight fear when the imagination was working overtime?

i. He stayed in God’s presence

1. He speaks of God’s nearness. God says that in the dark valleys, don’t choose drink or drugs; choose Jesus. He is all you need to get through the valley.

ii. He saw God’s power

1. Shepherd’s rod was 2 foot club with rounded head with metal spikes driven in.

2. Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

iii. He sensed God’s leading

1. Shepherd’s staff was long pole with a crook. A tap from the shepherd would guide and the crook could rescue.

Invitation: You cannot avail yourself of God’s leading if you do not know Him.

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