Horizon Church

11
Jun

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 12

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

 

  • The presence and guidance of the Lord go together. 
  • If you have His presence you have His guidance.
  • If you lack His guidance seek His presence.
  • We cannot have what the shepherd produces without having the shepherd.

The Rod & Staff - 'they comfort me'

  • What is the shepherd’s rod? It is the symbol of his defending power. It is the weapon by which our Shepherd strikes down our adversaries. 
  • What is the staff? a.k.a. the shepherd’s crook, which is often bent or hooked at one end. Beneath it the sheep pass one by one to be numbered. By it the shepherd restrains them from wandering, or hooks them out of holes into which they may fall.

We could say - the rod for defence, the staff for help.

 

"The scriptures were not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives" - D.L Moody

 

Consider: Does the Word still penetrate your inner most being? Does the Word correct, sharpen and strengthen you?

 

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

10
Jun

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 11

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

Though I walk THROUGH the valley…

It does not say ‘IF’, it says though. They do come! Dark valleys are UNAVOIDABLE, UNPREDICTABLE & IMPARTIAL.

The greatest, the only real, preservative from fear is the realisation of His presence.

"I will fear no evil: for You are with me"

  • ‘Presence’ in the Old Testament was "GOD FOR US." 
  • In the Gospels it is "GOD WITH US." 
  • In the Acts of the Apostles and in the Epistles it is "GOD IN US."

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

9
Jun

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 10

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 4 Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

How old was David when he composed this Psalm?

  • No one knows for sure...
  • Some think he wrote it when he was young; whilst on the run; when he bring the Ark of the Covenant; after an illicit affair or; during the rebellion of Absalom

 

God is faithful and provides for every need, giving enough to share with others.

 

What would a wise man of God who has lived a full life say to us about a dark valley?

  • He offers us a vantage point - a strong position from which you can see something

v4 ""THOUGH I walk through the valley..."

 

If we look at this verse from the vantage point of David’s life experience, we’ve been given a position that affords us a wide, experienced & expansive view.

 

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

28
May

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 9

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

 

Verse 3 ends with a promise... FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE

  • Means that He guides us according to all that His name represents. His guidance then is in keeping with all that He has revealed Himself to be.
  • When God leads us in the paths of righteousness “for His name’s sake,” it is implied that the reason for the leading is not in us, but in Himself; He is true to His shepherd-name. It is a name that He has taken to Himself; and He will not falsify, He will not dishonour it. In all His dealings with me He will show forth that He is my Shepherd. And this is why He leads me in the paths of righteousness: it is “for His name’s sake.”
  • The shepherd guides the sheep with an overarching view to the credit and glory of the shepherd’s own name. 

God's name is at stake in your destiny

 

THE LORD SAYS: He will lead us in a way that is congruent, in accord, harmonious, in sync with all that His name represents.

His NAME is CONNECTED with blessing, favour, grace, dependability, peace, freedom, prosperity, joy, growth, life, health, victory & breakthrough

THE LORD SAYS: I cannot lead you in a way that is different to who I am. There is constancy to the good shepherd. He is established and changeless.

 

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

For full episode notes head to hz.church/podcast

27
May

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 8

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

This scripture is clear and intentional - HE LEADS!

We have surrendered to His Divine Leadership - HE LEADS ME

 

We also saw the word 'lead' in v2, However they are different Hebrew words -

  • Hebrew word in v2 - to lead, give rest, lead with care, guide to a watering place or station, cause to rest, bring to a station or place of rest, guide, refresh.
  • Hebrew word in v3 - to bring, to govern, to guide.

Wisdom is to trust in God:

  • God denounces this spirit: “Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isa. 5:21), because such a spirit leads to self-dependence, and is inconsistent with His leadership in our lives!
  • The great hindrance to all true wisdom is the thought that we have already attained it

 

"He Leads me"

There is nothing that comes out more clearly in Scripture than the individual care granted to all who trust in God, exactly adapted to the various conditions and circumstances of each.

 

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

For full episode notes head to hz.church/podcast

26
May

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 7

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

Father God reaches out his hand to immediately restore, to lift up, to comfort and to re-establish

  • God is the God of Restoration
  • He has the ability to revive and reinvigorate even when your soul is exhausted and weary 

We can become reliant on the wrong things: holidays, a nice walk, time at the beach. But it is God who restores us.

  • These things can help and in essence, are good for us and God by His grace can use them. However, they are not our source!

Since God is the one who made us, only He can restore us, because only He knows what we truly need to restore our souls.

  • The Lord Himself has PROMISED to refresh, rebuild, raise-up, repair, and restore.
  • He has the POWER to rejuvenate our mind, emotions & body.
  • The psalm is very PERSONAL. There is no “we” or “us” or “they,” but only “my” and “me” and “I” and “he” and “you.” 

God restores and renews you in the quiet, intimate places

It is in the intimate places with Him that you will find true rest and peace.

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

For full episode notes head to hz.church/podcast

21
May

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 6

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 2 He makes me lie down in green pasturesHe leads me beside the still waters.

Notice that the Shepherd DID NOT LEAD THEM TO still waters. Instead, He leads them BESIDE the still waters.

If it said to there would be a starting point and an arrival 

  • The Old Testament law gives us a point to start from and if I do as I am instructed I may arrive.
  • The Old Testament law is based upon condition. That is; approval, acceptance is based upon my efforts.

 

We are seeing a comparison between the Old Testament and the New Testament.

  • In the Old Testament we are under law
  • In the New Testament we are under grace.

Under the grace & the goodness of God - healing, refreshment, encouragement & joy is with me. It’s not a search, start and finish point – it is figuratively ‘by my side'

 

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

For full episode notes head to hz.church/podcast

20
May

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 5

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 2 He makes me lie down in green pasturesHe leads me beside the still waters.

So why do the Psalm 23 sheep appear relaxed and satisfied?

  • The Shepherd frees the sheep from fear simply because of His relational and calming presence.
  • He walks amongst the sheep
  • He knows every sheep by name and they know His voice.
  • He is compassionate, He gives tender care, giving the sheep confidence and assurance of His permanent and personal protection.

As the people of God, we can have confidence in His active, lively and energetic presence. There are no conditions for us to meet, or even to believe; for Jesus Christ is with us.

It's ok to stop. It's ok to breathe. Stop worrying and fretting. The Lord is on Your side!

 

What are the "green pastures?" | They are symbolic of the Scriptures - always fresh, always rich and never exhausted.

What position are we to take?  | We are to lie down (v2a) - Lying down represents time. If we are going to draw life and nourishment from the Word of God we must give time to our Bibles. He is calling the sheep to REST!

Who prepared the "green pastures?" | The Shepherd chooses the pasture for us. We choose how much, and what to eat - God has revelation & nourishment for you!!!

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

For full episode notes head to hz.church/podcast

19
May

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 4

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 1 - The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

  • Psalm 23:1b (NCV) I have everything I need.
  • Psalm 23:1b (Paraphrase) In what I am going through, I shall not lack the expert management and tender care of my master.
  • In other words; I am utterly contented in the Good Shepard's care and I am not craving or desiring anything more.

We say "I shall not want" or "I want nothing' because God is fulfilling every void in our life with himself

 

What is David communicating to us?

1. In this shepherd-sheep relationship with God, I am Satisfied.

2. When He is leading and guiding us, we are not lacking.

3. He will fulfil us in ways that we simply can't on our own.

4. A sheep cannot lead itself. We cannot be truly fulfilled without God. But with Him, we shall not want.

5. Psalm 23 is telling us it doesn't matter what you've done or accomplished - God is enough.

 

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

 

For full episode notes head to hz.church/podcast

14
May

A Journey Through Psalm 23 Pt 3

Psalm 23

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 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 runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Verse 1 - The Lord IS my shepherd; I shall not want.

 

The Lord IS - written in the present tense.

 

Present tense definition: The present tense signals an action that is currently going on or habitually performed. These actions are happening NOW!

 

We see the active, dynamic, lively and energetic involvement of Christ the Shepherd. I am under His diligent care in my workplace, in my family and in my relationships.

 

The Good Shepherd is:

1. Willing to give His life
2. My Protector
3. Alert

 

I can boldly say, I am under the expert management, and compassionate, tender care of the Good Shepherd!

 

For full episode notes head to hz.church/podcast