Summary: Protection, Provision, Peace
FAITH OVER FEAR - Trust the Shepherd
Psalm 23:1-6 (p. 382) November 26, 2017
About 2 weeks ago a very famous New Zealander died…He was only 17 years old but considering he was a sheep and the fact that sheep usually only live about 6 years before they are sent to slaughter…this sheep named Shrek had a pretty good run.
Shrek became famous because he lived on a sheep ranch with 17,000 of his closest buddies…but he was found hiding out in a cave for 6 years. The whole time his fleece kept growing since no one shaved it (shorn)…when he was finally found and carried down off the mountain and shaved
SHOW PICTURES OF SHREK THE SHEEP
His fleece weighed an amazing 60 pounds…most sheep have a fleece that weighs about 10 pounds.
For 6 years Shrek carried around 6 times the normal weight of his fleece…simply because he was away from his shepherd.
When Shrek was found, a professional sheep shearer (yes, they do exist!) took care of Shrek’s fleece in 28 minutes…all it took was being rescued by the Shepherd and the Shepherd took care of the rest.
The 23rd Psalm is one of the most beautiful things ever written…It’s been shared at more funerals and in more hospital rooms than possibly any other scripture…The reason…It’s a message of comfort and hope in our times of fear.
That first verse grabs your heart.
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
But Shrek is just like most of us…we’re prone to wander, we try to hide out on our own…we begin to accumulate extra weight…wool that should have been shorn…and pretty soon it’s almost too heavy, a burden to carry on our own.
Jesus, the Lord, calls Himself “The Good Shepherd” in John Chapter 10…in verse 14 He says, “I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”
He also calls Satan, “a butcher, a thief and a destroyer” of sheep in verse 10.
He says: “He came to steal, kill and destroy…I came that you may have life…a really full life.”
There are two voices that call sheep to follow them…one is a butcher and one is a shepherd.
[“Satan knows your name but he calls you by your sin…Jesus knows your sin, but He calls you by your name.”]
The butcher fattens us for slaughter…the Shepherd promises something much different…
I. A LIFE WHICH LACKS NO GOOD THING
[I think I’ve shared this with you before, but when my youngest son Tyler was 8 or 9 he told me he wanted a machete…(A giant swordlike knife) and I said, “Tyler what do you want the machete for? And he said, “To cut things.”
I know it will come to a shock to most of you, but Tyler did not receive the machete :) (on a side note…I did give my 30 year old Army veteran son Tyler one last year for Christmas…It made us both smile.]
We don’t always give our children what they want because it wouldn’t be a good thing…and sometimes timing has a lot to do with when the gift is given.
Not everything we want is a good thing…and sometimes Dad has to make that call.
But when we trust the Lord as our shepherd, we lack no good thing…EVER!!!
We live in a culture of immediate gratification…“We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”
Dad tells us no…or wait, and we figure out a way to get the machete anyway…and then we wonder why we’re not happy with what we wanted…so we try something else.
It’s not something that will make us content…it’s someone.
Paul would write to the Philippians and say:
PHILIPPIANS 4:12-13 (p. 820)
King David knew about shepherd’s and sheep…As the youngest son of Jesse this job fell on him…caring for and protecting the flock was his life before the throne…He knew the most important thing in a sheep’s life is the shepherd.
And when we have a good shepherd…we never have to be afraid, because:
II. HE’S WITH ME
Some days are green pasture and quiet water days, some days are easy paths filled with bright sunshine.
But some days are journeys through the darkest valley you’ve ever encountered.
Some days you have plenty and you’re well fed…some days your hungry and in want.
But both the Apostle Paul and King David share why they fear no evil no matter what the circumstances… “Lord, you are with me.” “I can do all thing through Him who gives me strength.”
If the Lord is with you…you don’t have to be afraid…He’s strong enough to handle any situation.
Remember his promise from a few weeks ago…Hebrews 13:5-6. “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you…the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid…what can mere mortals do to me?”