Psalm 23:1-6 “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”
You can’t fight the devil. The sheep can stand in its flock and say, ‘Nah, nah!’ because Jesus, the Shepherd, is right there.
John 10:26-27 “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
Little sheep have no business in a lush place. It’s only because of the Shepherd that they can be there.
God has a better life for you than you can live on your own.
The Good Shepherd will take us through tough places, but eventually, I will lie down and have a lush, prosperous, great life that is better and more abundant than you thought you could live.
Our Good Shepherd is a provider and a protector. Our Good Shepherd has the desire to stick around when trouble comes! Our Good Shepherd loves us. He makes sure that we are secure and safe. We have a Shepherd that is willing to fight off enemies whatever it takes. He laid down His life for His sheep. It is His will that an under-shepherd will give his life for the sheep. He will sacrifice and we receive. However, we want to give to our Good Shepherd.
Verse 3 says ‘He restores my soul.’ Sometimes, you just need to pray through, shake ourselves and touch God. We need His rest and restoration. He leads us.
If you follow God, the path you take will not always be easy.
Sometimes, God’s voice comes in different forms. Many times, it’s through His word. He also speaks through other means, other people, a literal sign beside the road, a small child, through preaching. He can use a donkey to talk to you. It’s not how He does it. It’s that we will listen. Mark 4:9 “And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Jesus knows His sheep and they hear His voice.
The way you’ll recognize a preacher that has the Word of God, is to have a walk with God. It’s an echo of heaven and in agreement with God and His Word.
John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”
You have to recognize when God is talking to you. It’s not a man that we follow; it’s Jesus. The path isn’t always the easy path. Sometimes, the right path isn’t the easy one, but it’s right. Why? For His name’s sake. A Shepherd is judged by the condition of His sheep. Are they well-cared for? Are they healthy? It’s not God’s will for us to be miserable. It makes Him look good when we are blessed.
The will of the Good Shepherd is healing and miracles and deliverance. Jesus healed the lame, making a body part that didn’t work, work. Jesus healed the maim, giving a new body part that wasn’t there before! Jesus healed everyone who came to Him.
Jesus does want to take care of His people. We need to start believing. This is the nature of God. Walk with Him, everything will work out! Follow that voice.
‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…’ That’s not a pretty, fun place. It’s dark and scary. ‘I won’t fear the evil that’s here with me.’ Sometimes, He will lead you to places that don’t look too good, but He leads us through, not to those valleys. He has a rod and a staff to comfort you. He will not keep you from having trouble. He will deliver you from the troubles. The rain will fall, but you won’t if you listen and hear the Voice that is speaking to you. Trust Him to lead you THROUGH!
‘Thou art with me.’ David starts off with talking to us about the Lord. Then, he starts talking to the Lord. It is intimate. ‘You are with me.’ He entered the presence of God. Only the presence of God comforts in times of trouble. Jesus is always there! Walk in that knowing, in that victory. He is with you! When I am broke as a joke, I will not fear. Don’t worry, Keep following the Shepherd!
‘Thy rod and thy staff comfort me.’ The rod is used for correction or punishment, ‘a rod for the back of a servant or whatever’. A rod is to inflict pain. The staff is to guide. Our Shepherd comforts and disciplines. He guides and comforts. Right after you correct, you comfort. God looks like a parent correcting His children.
Many times a stubborn sheep who will not follow, they will take the child of that sheep to the other side and let it bleat and low begging for momma waiting for that rebellious sheep to come. What do you do when bad things happen? You follow the Shepherd. Sometimes disaster comes to help you follow.
‘In the presence of my enemies, a door is open for me to have a meal.’ In the midst of trouble all around, I’m invited to have a meal. In certain places, hospitality is very important. It’s the culture.
You are significant to the Lord. We’re nomads going through this world. All of a sudden we stumble upon a place where God is and He prepares us a table.
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio
If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm.