Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: 4 keys to living in the overflow of the Lord

Advance to the Abundant Life (Part 2 of 4)

Living in the Overflow of the Lord

Psalm 23:1-6

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - August 12, 2007

*We live in a day of discontent. Jason Lehman put it this way:

-It was spring. But it was summer I wanted -- The warm days, and the great outdoors.

-It was summer. But it was fall I wanted -- The colorful leaves, and the cool, dry air.

-It was fall. But it was winter I wanted -- The beautiful snow, and the joy of the holiday season.

-It was winter. But it was spring I wanted -- The warmth, and the blossoming of nature.

-I was a child. But it was adulthood I wanted -- The freedom, and the respect.

-I was 20. But it was 30 I wanted -- To be mature, and sophisticated.

-I was middle-aged. But it was 20 I wanted -- The youth, and the free spirit.

-I was retired. But it was middle-age I wanted -- The presence of mind, without limitations.

-Then my life was over, and I never got what I wanted. (1)

*Many people today are living out that frustration. But in John 10:10, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

*Here in the 23rd Psalm, David said, “My cup runs over.”

-You can live in the overflow of the Lord! Here’s how:

1. First, belong. You must belong to the Lord.

*As David said in vs. 1, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” (I belong to Him, and He belongs to me.) David didn’t just know about the Lord -- He knew the Good Shepherd in a personal way. And what a Shepherd He is!

*Unfortunately, it’s hard for us to understand, because there aren’t a lot of shepherds living in West Monroe. But author Philip Keller can help us. Philip grew up in East Africa, surrounded by sheep herders similar to those in David’s day. Then Phillip spent 8 years as a sheep rancher. He wrote about it in his book, “A Shepherd Looks at the Twenty-third Psalm.”

*Pastor Alan Smith gives this insight from Philip’s book:

Let me tell you what a good shepherd is like. He loves his sheep. For him there is no greater reward, no deeper satisfaction, than that of seeing his sheep contented, well fed, safe and flourishing in his care. That’s what his life is all about, and he gives everything he has to it.

He goes to a great deal of trouble to provide them with the finest grazing, ample winter feed and clean water. He provides shelter from the storms, protection from the enemies and the diseases and parasites to which sheep are susceptible.

From early dawn till late at night the good shepherd is alert to the welfare of his flock. He gets up early in the morning and goes out first thing to look over his flock. He examines the sheep to see if they are fit and content and able to be on their feet. He can tell if they have been molested during the night, whether they are ill or require some special attention.

Throughout the day he looks over his flock to make sure everything is all right. Even at night, he sleeps with "one eye and both ears open", ready at the least sign of trouble to get up and protect his sheep. (2)

*That’s the kind of shepherd you can have in Jesus! And what a Shepherd He is! In vs. 2, David said: “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.”

*Philip Keller says that in order for sheep to lie down 4 things are required:

1-First, they must be free from all fear. Sheep are very easily frightened. A stray jackrabbit jumping out from behind a bush can stampede a whole flock. When one startled sheep runs in fright, all of the others will follow behind it in blind fear, not waiting to see what frightened them. But nothing quiets a flock like seeing their shepherd in the field with them.

2-And sheep will not lie down unless there is harmony in the flock. When there is this tension between rivals, the sheep can’t lie down and rest. They must always stand up and be ready to fight. But when the shepherd is around, they forget their rivalries and stop fighting.

3-And sheep will not lie down unless they are content. If flies or fleas are bothering them they will not lie down. The shepherd must provide them with relief.

4-And sheep will not lie down unless they are full. A hungry sheep is always on its feet, searching for another mouth of food, trying to satisfy its gnawing hunger. Shepherds had to search hard for green areas to feed their sheep. (2)

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