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Summary: In this sermon series, we discover some truths that we've taken fort granted concerning this wonderful and familiar Psalm. In this one, we learn that God's supply for his sheep is unlimited!

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TEXT: Psalm 23

TITLE: PAUSE TO APPRECIATE Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I Shall not want. . .”

SERIES: Pause

TOPIC: God’s provision / self control

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, March 7, 2010

PROP.: God’s abundant provision leaves us not wanting!

INTRODUCTION: Good morning!

We are in a sermon series called: PAUSE.

Today we start a sermon series within a sermon series. For the next 4 weeks, we are going to PAUSE TO APPRECIATE Psalm 23. Because I believe that Psalm 23 is taken for granted!

You see, Psalm 23 is the refrigerator light of the Bible. It gets so taken for granted that the only time we notice it, is when it doesn’t seem to be working! The only time we may think about Psalm 23 is at funerals.

In fact, your reaction when I just gave to you our text for our sermon today was like: “Psalm 23. Really? I mean, what can you possibly teach us about Psalm 23 that we don’t all ready know?”

Well the truth is, I was tempted to preach through Psalms and skip over Psalm 23 because I thought it would be so regular, so typical, so predictable that I was hesitant to launch into this mini-series.

But as I studied this passage, I have come to realize and appreciate why this passage is a source of comfort for so many Christians throughout the years. I mean this Psalm is read at just about so many funerals that we associate David’s Psalm with death. But listen, This Psalm was intended to bring comfort to the living!!!

So if you are mentally rolling your eyes at Psalm 23 thinking that you know everything there is to know about Psalm 23...sit up, take notice and remember that the word of God is LIVING and ACTIVE. And so I hope that you’ll pause to appreciate that which is familiar…that which we tend to take for granted.

So let’s begin this morning by asking a question. Imagine for a moment that a non-Christian…a non-believer…someone who doesn’t follow Jesus asks you this question:

What are the benefits of living the Christian Life?

What would you say? Think about that. Have you ever had someone press you about what you’re so fired up about? Did you have a good answer? The sad thing is that so many times Christians are pressed about something like this, and they don’t know how to answer. Or what’s worse yet, they know the answers but they are not experiencing it.

They could tell you about JOY, but not experiencing it.

They could tell you about PEACE, know that I’m supposed to have it…but I don’t have it.

They know the answers but not really experiencing the answers. And listen to me Christians…that’s really sad.

Well, you know almost 3,000 years ago, there was a shepherd boy who wrote a psalm. It’s the 23rd psalm. It has brought phenomenal comfort, peace and fulfillment to the people of God throughout the ages than almost any other passage of scripture.

And Psalm 23 is David’s answer to the question I asked of you. “What exactly are the benefits of the Christian life?” That’s what the 23 Psalm is all about. So we are going to be going over, the LAVISH BENEFITS of life experienced in the 23rd Psalm.

Psalm 23. Turn there.

No portion of scripture, old or new testament is so universally celebrated by believers and non-believers alike.

David, the great Psalmist and King of Israel, reflects on his personal experiences with God. And in the 23rd Psalm he compacts it down into some incredible statements. In fact, in this mini-sermon series, we are going to be looking at 4 phrases of Psalm 23 so that we will be able to gain a better APPRECIATION for God and his work in the lives of those who believe in His son Jesus Christ.

Let’s read the entire Psalm 23 this morning:

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness

for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk

through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]

I will fear no evil,

for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

forever.

T.S.: So today we are just going to focus on verse one of Psalm 23.

“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.”

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