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Summary: It is an issue of surrender.

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Is the Lord truly your shepherd?

INTRODUCTION:

Psalm 23 contains a short yet beautiful portrait of our relationship with God. It promises comfort and protection to those who remain close to the Shepherd and demonstrates how our spiritual needs are met in the Lord.

Joel Preston originally wrote this message and I thought it was great. I tweaked it a little to fit my mentality, though, but I want to give him credit.

-This is one of the most familiar passages of Scripture in the Word of God and it’s familiarity is only rivaled by John 3:16.

- The Psalm was written by the would-be king of Israel, David the son of Jesse, who spent much of his early life tending to the sheep of his father.

- Interestingly, it is written not from the perspective of David as the shepherd, but from the perspective of a sheep and his relationship with the shepherd.

- The idea of the sheep and shepherd relationship is taught in the Word of God to describe the relationship between believers and their heavenly Father.

*Psalm 95:7 “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”

-Let me remind you what sheep are like.

* First, sheep are stubborn

- Sheep can get easily lost because they tend to go their own way. Like sheep, believers have a tendency to go their own direction rather than follow the divine Shepherds plan.

- Psalm 119:176 “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments.”

*. Second, sheep are smelly

- Sheep do nothing to cleanse themselves. They do not bathe, roll, scrape, or lick. They remain filthy until the shepherd finds a way to clean them. The same is true with Christians; we cannot cleanse ourselves without the help of the Lord Jesus Christ.

- Psalm 119:9 “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

*Third, sheep are stupid

-Sheep need the guidance of the shepherd for food and protection from harmful and poisonous weeds. They will eat anything. Similarly, believers have a propensity for eating up the latest trends and Christian “cures”, when what we really need is to find our guidance for life in the Word of God.

* Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

- In the first verse of Psalm 23 we learn that it is possible to live free from wants. Most people in our society are consumed with the idea of getting more and bigger stuff. People strap themselves with huge mortgages, heavy car payments, high credit card bills and still they are constantly looking for more.

- You will never find true satisfaction until you learn to accept what God wants you to have and you become content with Him!

* Hebrews 13:5 “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Often times, we read this passage as a simple comforting Psalm. We say it in monotone, no feeling, no emotion, no passion. I believe David had passion about the Lord when he wrote this Psalm.


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