Summary: The two sides of mercy
A. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?
1. Stopped following. “He leadeth me.”
2. Straying. “Yea though I walk through the valley.”
3. Death shadows. “The valley of the shadow of death.”
4. Protected. “I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me.”
5. Deliverance. “He leadeth me beside still waters.”
6. Feasting. “Thou preparest a table before me.”
7. Testimony. “In the presence of mine enemies.”
8. Abundance. “My cup runneth over.”
B. MOVING ON
You have been feasting in a protected pasture, but now it is time to move on.
WHY MUST WE MOVE ON
1. Growth produces new needs.
2. Food is gone.
3. Weather changes.
4. Challenge of growth.
5. God’s will.
As you move from one pasture to another, you feel something nipping at your heels. Because we are sinful and guilt ridden, we think it is a “death shadow” chasing us again. But it is God’s two sheep dogs, i.e., goodness and mercy.
C. TWO SHEEP DOGS, i.e., GOODNESS AND MERCY.
1. Why does God send sheep dogs after us?
a. Not to scare us.
b. Not to hurt us.
c. To keep us in the fold.
d. To guide us to the next pasture.
e. To scare off predators.
f. Because He loves us.
2. When you begin to stray, what God doesn’t do or say?
a. He does not yell at you.
b. He does not throw a rock at you.
c. He does not send a pit bull after you.
d. He does not say, “serves you right if you get lost.”
e. He does not leave you.
3. The sheep dog named goodness. “The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Rom. 2:4). What good things has God done for you?
4. The sheep dog named mercy. Where do the sheep dogs get their names? From God. When Moses asked to know God, this was the answer, “The Lord God merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness” (Ex. 34:6).
THE TWO SIDES OF MERCY
1. Forgiveness, The Lord will restore you.
2. Grace, The Lord gives you the opposite
of what you deserve.
5. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief . . . for this cause I obtained mercy” (1 Tim. 1:15-16).
6. When the two sheep dogs lay at your feet and wag their tails, what are they saying? Pay attention to us.
7. Can you shake the sheep dogs? No! They will follow: all the days of your life.
8. When you tried to ride a bicycle that was too big for you, and you fell, what did your mother do? Did she yell and punish you? With mercy, she patched you up and in goodness, she gave you a hot biscuit and milk.
WHERE DO THE SHEEP DOGS PURSUE YOU?
1. Only to church?
2. Only when you do right?
3. No, they follow you everywhere all the time.
D. DWELLING IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER
1. Where do shepherds usually sleep?
a. On the ground.
b. Under the open sky.
c. In all kinds of weather.
d. Away from their loved ones.
2. Where did David want to dwell?
a. In God’s house.
b. Enjoying God’s presence.
c. Protected from the elements.
d. In peace and security.
PRAYING THE 23rd PSALM
Because Thou art my Shepherd,
I commit my needs to Thee.
Provide green pastures for me to lie in,
Lead me beside still waters.
Restore my soul when I’m empty,
Lead me in right paths for Your name’s sake.
Be with me in danger when I walk,
Through the valley of the shadow of death.
Deliver me from evil,
And protect me with Your rod and staff.
Prepare a table to feed me,
So my enemies can see Your provision.
Anoint me with the oil of Your healing,
Let me drink from the full cup of Your provision.
Surely goodness and mercy will always follow me,
And I will live with You forever. Amen.
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.