Summary: You can walk in the correct path for your life when you follow the Shepherd.
Psalm 23 Series
Lesson 4 (23rd Psalm): Paths of Righteousness
1. The shepherd’s main task is leadership.
2. What type of leader was Jesus?
a. Not dictatorial. He let Judas betray, and Peter deny.
b. Not democratic. He never took a vote.
c. Not Laissez Faire. He doesn’t let sheep do what they want to do.
B. WHY MUST THE SHEPHERD LEAD ME?
1. Sheep have no sense of direction. “All we like sheep have gone astray” (Isa. 53:6).
2. Sheep don’t know where to go. “We have turned everyone to his own way” (Isa. 53:6).
3. There are necessary places sheep don’t want to go. “When he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them” (John 10:4).
4. Sheep are not sure-footed.
5. The shepherd wants to encounter our dangers first.
6. The shepherd knows where to go, (direction). How to get there (method), why we are going, (purpose) and when to move (timing).
C. WHAT THE SHEPHERD DOES NOT DO
1. Call to us from the destination.
2. Drive us to the right paths.
3. Paces us to walk faster.
4. Measures us to see how far we walk.
5. Challenges us to walk further each day.
It’s not how fast or how far
We walk with Him.
He wants us to follow right paths
And arrive at the destination with Him.
D. WHAT ARE RIGHTEOUS PATHS?
1. The word righteous scares us or doesn’t have any meaning. The original suggests right paths.
2. Since “he leads in right paths,” then there are wrong paths.
How to find wrong paths?
a. Ignore God’s Word.
b. Violate your conscience.
c. Go against good advice.
d. Disobey God’s commandments.
e. Feed on the wrong food.
f. Search for the wrong goals.
g. Follow ungodly friends.
3. How does the shepherd lead?
a. Slowly. The shepherd does not lead too fast for lambs to keep up.
b. Straight. The shepherd would not lead astray.
c. Purposefully. The shepherd does not waste time or energy.
4. How can you find God’s choice of “right paths?”
a. Follow. “Come after Me” (Mark 1:17).
b. Get close to the shepherd. “Come unto Me” (Matt. 11:28).
c. Remain. “Abide in me” (John 15:4).
5. What does “right paths” mean? God’s choice is best.
FINDING THE RIGHT PATH
a. There is a “right path” for you.
Someone else’s “right path” is probably a wrong path.
b. There is a “right path” today.
Yesterday’s “right path” may be today’s wrong path.
c. There is a “right path” tomorrow.
It’s hard to find tomorrow’s “right path” if you are on the wrong path today.
d. Are you on the right path now?
E. FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE
1. The name of God represents the reputation of God. Therefore, you can depend on God to do what He promises.
2. Put your name of your workmanship, i.e., Stradivarius, Baldwin, etc. God puts His name on us. “I will write upon him, the name of my God” (Rev. 3:12).
3. How dependable are the promises of Psalm 23? As dependable as God Himself. “Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it” (I Thess. 5:24).
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.
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.
If you prayed that prayer, God heard you and saved you. I personally want to welcome you to the family of God. Please contact me at email@example.com and tell us about your salvation experience so that we can rejoice with you.
*Taken from: Praying the 23rd Psalm, Elmer L. Towns, Regal Books, Ventura, CA, 2001.