Summary: Learning to want what we have in the Lord is important to our spiritual health.

INTRODUCTION : Turn with me to the 23rd Psalm, probably the most recognized verse in all Christendom. Recite Psalm 23 from memory.

TEXTUAL IDEA: It is a Psalm of David. The song of a king, the song of a shepherd, a song of desire and a song of trust.

SERMON IDEA: I have labeled tonight’s Sermon "Wanting, Needing and Having". My grandfather often said the secret to life isn’t having what you want but wanting what you have.

So tonight, through this Psalm of David, we seek to learn a little more about what it is that we have as children of God, what it is we need and what it is that our hearts should desire.

v. 1 Satisfaction in an age of discontent

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want"

vv. 2 - 4 Security in

Green Pastures / Still Waters

Paths of righteousness / Valley of Shadow of Death

vv. 5 - 6 Sustenance for eternity

table prepared

anointed guest

pursued by goodness and mercy

DIVISION 1: Having

Text: v. 1 "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want"

Reasoning: We must learn to achieve satisfaction in this age of discontent.

"Necessity is the mother of invention" v. progress for the sake of progress

Technological Advancements - focus on man’s ability to provide

Defining Success - Hughes. Liberating Ministry from the Success Syndrome

Illustration: Words of Jason Lehman

Spring / Summer - warm days, great outdoors

Summer / Fall - colorful leaves, cool dry air

Fall / Winter - beautiful snow, joy of the holiday season

Winter / Spring - warmth, the blossoming of nature

child / adulthood - freedom, respect

20 / 30 - be mature, sophisticated

middle aged - 20, youth and free spirit

retired - middle aged, presence of mind w/o limitations

"Then My life was over and I never got what I wanted"

Application: Yet Paul tells us in Philippians 4:11-12

"I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" NKJV

Why was it Paul could attain such contentment?

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil 4:13 NKJV

W/O a relationship with the Good Shepherd your hope for contentment in this world is dim. Yet by daily working on that relationship you can truly say "I shall not want".

Keys to Paul’s contentment:

Desire for God’s presence

Desire for God’s pleasure

Desire for God’s purposes

Point: No matter the circumstances Paul faced he focused on the eternal things he had as a child of God to see him through.

DIVISION 2 : Needing

Reasoning: One of the most basic needs of man is for security.

Text: vv. 2 - 4 Security in:

Green Pastures / Still Waters

Paths of righteousness / Valley of Shadow of Death

Illustration: Let’s change our tone to a more corporate nature, after all we are speaking of the flock. Sheep like most herd animals develop a communal disposition. Unless all feel secure none will. Tell story of watching Big Horn Sheep from Martin Peak.

Sheep will not lie down unless four needs are met:

1.Hunger -

2.Fear- It is here that I would point out to you the Psalmist switches from 3rd person to 1st person in verse 4. For it is in times of trouble not triumph that we learn the most about God. It is through the valleys that we learn to lean on Him most. We learn to trust Him. We come to know Him. I submit to you that even, nay especially at the point of your salvation you began to know Him. There is no deeper valley than the Hell you looked upon the day you chose to follow Jesus.

3.Content -


Application: Connect Paths of Righteousness and Valley of the shadow of death.

God’s pastures aren’t all close to the big house, or close to each other. Often they are separated by vast areas of dangerous terrain. You will notice the Psalmist here switches to 1st person, speaking directly to God instead of about Him. It is when God is guiding us through those dark valleys to the next pasture that we learn the most about Him, and His care for us. The more you experience His personal care the more you realize that is all you need. Plus, your desire for that increases.

DIVISION 3: Desiring

Text: vv. 5 - 6 Sustenance for eternity

table prepared

anointed guest

pursued by goodness and mercy

Reasoning: David is not only describing what he has experienced, he is describing what his heart has come to long for. He is also giving us a great picture of what waits for us at the Lamb’s Wedding Feast.

Illustration: The Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt 22; Luke 24) (Rev 19)

by invitation

prepared by the King

those invited didn’t earn it

you can’t attend unprepared