Summary: Sermon 3 in a series of 5 based on the 23rd Psalm
No Need to Fear, For He is With Me
November 5, 2006 AM
Over the past two weeks, I have seen tremendous things happen within our church family. First, I have seen a renewed vision in the mindset of our congregation – the vision is to reach out to our community, no matter what obstacles are in our way. Second, I have seen a renewed commitment in lives – that helped facilitate our renewed vision. Finally, I have seen your eyes the past few weeks, especially after Ryan’s illustration about the rope. It was a wake up call.
Jehovah-Roi – The Lord, My Shepherd
Jehovah-Jireh – The Lord, My Provider
Jehovah-Shalom – The Lord, My Peace
Jehovah-Ravah – The Lord, My Emotional/Spiritual Caretaker
Jehovah-Tsidkenu – The Lord, My Righteousness
Once we have realized through this most familiar passage that God: is our shepherd, our provider, our peace, our caretaker, our righteousness – if we are not renewed in our Spirit and our Actions for God, we need to see if we’ve been Saved to begin with!
This morning, we look at the 4th verse of the 23rd Psalm. Today’s focus is simply – “No need to fear.” There’s a simple reason for that – He is with me always. Is He with you today.
I. The Valley
*Basic Knowledge about Valleys
1. Surrounded by high mountains. There are cliffs that will keep you in shadows or in the dark.
2. There are mountain barriers to keep you from reaching your goal, but a valley goes through them.
3. There are wrong paths through the mountain that end up in box canyons or a wrong trail just evaporates.
4. Only a shepherd can get sheep through dark valleys.
a. We all have valleys in our lives. The valleys or the rough times, help us to realize the greatness of the good times.
b. When we’re in the valley, if we depend on ourselves, we’ll dig a deeper hole. If we depend on God, He will lead us through.
*Yea, though I walk
Sheep ignorantly make unwise choices. It is our choice to go through dark valleys. The shepherd does not choose for us to go this way.
“All we like sheep have gone astray”
It has been said of sheep that they are:
• Directionally challenged
o If left alone, are in trouble
o Man, if left alone is in trouble
• Intellectually challenged
o Not very smart
o They do not see danger
o They follow their food
o They are defenseless
o Very selfish
“And have turned to their own way”
In life, we as sheep, make blunders! We make mistakes that lead us into troubled times!
II. The Shadow
*The Valley of the Shadow of Death
A deep valley is dark!
Why Darkness Scares Us:
• Afraid of the Unknown
• Darkness covers the evil of people (John 3:19)
• We stumble or fall
• We remember
• Darkness is Satan’s kingdom
Notice – “Shadow”
Barrier to the light or a distortion of the light.
• Shadows are illusions, what we imagine is not there
• Shadows cannot hurt us, but they can make us hurt ourselves
• Shadows scare us – greatest shadow – Death.
What causes shadows? – Light
Since shadows are caused by Light, what should be our response?
1. Come to the Light
a. “I am the light of the world” – John 8:12
2. Walk in the Light
a. “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness” – John 8:12
3. Trust the Lord”
a. “Shall have the light of life” – John 8:12
Shadow of Death – doesn’t scare the Lord. He was born with a death shadow!
“He became obedient to death, even the death of the cross”
Death to believers is nothing but a shadow.
Elmer Towns, professor at Liberty University says this about believers and death
Why does Death scare even believers?
1. We cannot see what is there
2. We do not want physical pain
3. We do not want to give up anything
4. Because of sin, we have doubts
5. We have not finished everything.
When our time is up on this earth – remember – if you’ve been faithful to God, Jesus will say “ I am alive forever more and I have the keys of death.”
Death to unbelievers is absolutely real – that’s their last chance.
a. Since you and I are sheep –
b. Sheep that are directionally challenged, intellectually challenged, and motivated by our own selfish needs – we need to realize something this morning.
• What does the shepherd NOT do
o Lead us into the valley and leave us there
o Watch us from outside the valley