Summary: This past year has been some challenging and yet some very rewarding times as we have walked with the Great Shepherd.
Walking With the Shepherd
By Pastor Jim May
Hasn’t God been good to us! To sit back and just see the hand of God as He has so graciously moved on our behalf has been such a blessing. Who can doubt that the windows of Heaven have been opened and the blessings of God have been poured out on this church and upon this small body of Believers? Surely we are a blessed people this morning.
The church has been blessed, but then so has each of us individually. Though some may be going through some hard times physically, we must still confess that God is a good God.
Every one of us can identify with King David as he sings this song of praise in the 23rd Psalms. Is there any doubt that you are one of God’s sheep? Is there any doubt that He is your Great Shepherd?
Psalms 23:1, "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."
A little over a year ago, God began to make some real changes on behalf of our church. I am convinced that if change is to happen to the church then it must begin with the Pastor and that’s exactly what happened.
It never ceases to amaze me how we pray and seek God for certain things and then when God begins to bring those things to pass, we tend to wonder just what God is doing and why things happen the way that they do.
For several years I had felt that God wanted to bring Victory Temple into a greater walk with Him. We were a bunch of sheep that had fallen into a rut that we couldn’t seem to break out of. We had gotten into some really green pastures where God’s Spirit was with us, the waters of life were still, we were being fed and all of our needs were met, so we just decided to stay right there for a while.
Meanwhile, the Great Shepherd is calling us to move on. You see, we are sheep and God loves us very much. He gives us everything we could want for. But, as sheep, we aren’t here just to receive the blessings of God and sit and enjoy them. We have a purpose in the plan of God.
Are you in want for anything this morning? I know that we live in a world of discontentment. People always “want” something. Jason Lehman wrote a poem that says it this way:
It was spring. But it was summer I wanted - The warm days, & the great outdoors.
It was summer. But it was fall I wanted - The colorful leaves, & the cool, dry air.
It was fall. But it was winter I wanted - The beautiful snow, & the joy of the holiday season.
It was winter. But it was spring I wanted - The warmth, & the blossoming of nature.
I was a child. But it was adulthood I wanted - The freedom, & the respect.
I was 20. But it was 30 I wanted - To be mature, & sophisticated.
I was middle-aged. But it was 20 I wanted - The youth, & the free spirit.
I was retired. But it was middle-age I wanted - The presence of mind, without limitations.
Then my life was over, & I never got what I wanted.
People always want what they don’t have, and then they don’t really want what they get when they get it. We are never satisfied with anything for very long.
But this isn’t the “want” that David wasn’t talking about. David was the King of Israel, and as king he could have anything that he wanted of this world’s goods. But the things that he is talking about in the 23rd Psalms aren’t what he could go out and get for himself but those things that he needs that can only come from God.
You can work hard, earn your money and then go out and buy possessions. You can buy food, clothing, cars, and homes or just about anything you need. It may not be the top of the line or the king of the crop, but it’s sufficient to meet your need.
But what can’t money buy? It can’t buy health – the physical ability to work and earn your wages. It can’t buy life itself – all the money in the world can’t purchase one breath when life is over. It can’t buy peace – America has tried that for centuries now and still there is no peace. It can’t buy satisfaction – the more we have, the more we want, and the more we worry about what we have. It can’t buy true love because true love isn’t for sale. It can’t buy the things we want most.