Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June 1, 2011

This Sunday I will begin my "Summer In the Psalms" sermon series. I am really looking forward to it! What a better place to begin a series on the Psalms that Psalm 23. It is perhaps the most beloved chapter in the Bible.

In truth, I could preach an entire Summer series just on Psalm 23! I have before!

But, I will hit the highlights in this message entitled "The Future Is You Friend". I am sure you will understand why I say that by the time I am finished with this message. When the Lord is your shepherd the future is your friend because He is a personal shepherd, and He is a powerful shepherd and He is a promising shepherd.

Let me show you what I mean when I say He is a personal shepherd. A good shepherd developed a strong personal attachment to and affection for his sheep. That is borne out by the fact that there are 17 personal pronouns in these six verses. Count them:

"The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."  Psalm 23

See what I mean?

Let me make it even more personal:

"The LORD is BRAD'S shepherd, BRAD will lack nothing. He makes BRAD to lie down in green pastures, he leads BRAD beside quiet waters, he refreshes BRAD'S soul. He guides BRAD along the right paths for his name’s sake  Even though Brad walks through the darkest valley, BRAD will fear no evil, for you are with BRAD; your rod and your staff, they comfort BRAD. You prepare a table before BRAD in the presence of BRAD'S enemies. You anoint BRAD'S head with oil; BRAD'S cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow BRAD all the days of BRAD'S life and BRAD will dwell in the house of the LORD forever."

You can understand why I say God is a personal shepherd! Try plugging your name in those pronouns and see how that works for you.  I bet you will like it!
The future can be your friend if you know Jesus as your personal Savior. He is a GOOD shpherd! As the Apostle John affirmed:

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10 \:11-15

We need a shepherd! We are hopeless and helpless without a shepherd. But, through the grace of God, you can have a wonderful a personal shepherd Who loves you and cares for you.

Are you unceratin about your future? Are you prone to wander off and become wolf food? There is a Shepherd Who knows your name! There is a shepherd Who laid down His life for your sins! He wants to be your Shepherd! Will you be his sheep? Will you join His flock? Will you follow Him?