Ezekiel 34:31(NLT) You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”
Because he is good and merciful we can expect goodness and mercy to be active in our life!
vs 6 Surely Goodness & Mercy
Goodness- good (as an adjective, a noun and an adverb) in the widest & extreme sense.
Mercy- Unfailing love, loving kindness, Steadfast in Love.
Human mercy- “I wont punish you for doing bad.”
Heavens mercy - “Even though you have done bad, I offer you my best.”
Mercy is a Man.
Our tendency is to follow goodness & loving kindness.
“Ambition that is not driven to benefit others is driven in the wrong direction.”
Matthew 6:33 (NIV) But seek first His Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
…Will Follow Me
Goodness and mercy follow those who follow him.
As believers we don’t chase blessing blessing chases us.
Those of the golden hooves
They groom lawns on which they feed upon.
The bring health to the pastures that they frequent.
They fertilize the ground.
They Nurture the place that nurtures them.
…All the days of my life
We don’t live from season to season, we live from Glory to Glory!
Psalm 1:3 (NLT) They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Mark 11:12-14 (NLT) Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.
…I will Dwell
Meno(greek). Remain, Live in.
John 15:4-5 (NLT) Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
…in the house of the LORD forever.
Ezekiel 47:12 (NLT) Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”
v 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Preparing a table
Prepares: to arrange & set in order(ordain) paying fine attention to detail
“ God doesn't feed us according to earthly need but by heavenly provisions.”
Psalm 34:10(NLT) Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will lack no good thing.
Song of Songs 2:4(NLT) He escorts me to the banquet hall; it’s obvious how much he loves me.
“Just because you don’t prefer the flavor, doesn’t mean it’s not his provision.”
In the presence of my enemies
“Because we have such a capable shepherd we are able to FEAST WHEN OUR ENEMIES ARE PRESENT.
“We are dying to our flesh, Jesus defeated the enemy, and we are overcoming the world.”
Romans 8:17(NLT) Since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
2 Timothy 3:12(NLT) Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Freedom is eating while the battle is raging.
You anoint my head with oil….
1. The Oil is for healing
Acts 10:38 (NLT) God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
1 Peter 2:24 (NIV) …By his wounds you have been healed.
2. The Oil is for De-bugging(Part 2)
3. The Oil establishes purpose
Luke 4:18(NLT) “The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the LORD’s favor has come.”
1 John 2:27 (NIV) As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you.
4. The Oil is fragrant
2 Corinthians 2:15 (NKJV) For we are to God the fragrance of Christ.
My cup overflows….
“Oil don’t fall it flows.”
“When we start letting the oil flow the mundane becomes ministry.”
“The anointing is not simply to enhance our experience but to maximize our effectiveness!”
Verse 4: Even 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 VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH
YOUR ROD & STAFF COMFORT ME
Because he is with us we can find confident safety under the protection & leadership of the good shepherd.
The Rod: Authority
The Word of God.
1- Examination & Identification
Ezekiel 20:37(NIV) I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.
Matthew 7:15-20 (NLT) 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.
Hebrews 12: 8 & 11 (NLT) 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all…11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Correction is affirmation not rejection!
1 Samuel 17:32-37 (NKJV) Then David said to Saul, "Let no man's heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine." And Saul said to David, "You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth." But David said to Saul, "Your servant used to keep his father's sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God." Moreover David said, "The LORD, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”
“We are comforted by the fact not that just that God is all powerful but that we share enemies!”
The Leadership of the Holy Spirit
Leadership & authority don't always come together.
1 Samuel 17:40 (NLT) He(David) picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them into his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across the valley to fight the Philistine.
His Staff Provides….
John 14:26 (NIV) The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 6:44 (NIV) "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him…
John 16:13 (NLT) When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
Isaiah 43:1-3 (NLT) Listen to the LORD who created you. O Israel, the one who formed you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. 2 When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. 3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Psalm 43:5(NIV) Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
“There is a difference between being discouraged, a season of discouragement and a spirit of discouragement.”
The Down Cast Soul
Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick...
Deferred:…Drawn out or scattered....
Discourage v. dis·cour·age To deprive of courage, hope, or confidence; dishearten; dispirit.
9.5% of Americans struggle with clinical depression.
He Restores My Soul…
…He guides me in paths of righteousness
“Righteousness is not a behavior. Righteousness is a position.”
2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Paths of Righteousness: Its the fruitful, perfect pathway.
…For His names sake.
Psalm 16:7-11 I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For You will not leave my soul in the grave, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
1- Live close to the good Shepherd.
Matthew 11:28-29 (TPT) 28 “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Then come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29 Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me.
Allow him to groom you.
John 15:2 He prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
We were meant to yield something.
2- Lead your soul
1 Samuel 30:6 David encouraged himself in the Lord.
-Dig into the word
-Speak to your soul.
Psalm 43:5 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Isaiah 53:3-4 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.... Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.
What reasoning will you live by?
“Don’t own your condition, Own your position!”
3- Stay close to the flock.
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NIV) 24 Let et us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
David understood Shepherding
David Understood sheep.
Sheep are productive and valuable.
Sheep cant provide for themselves.
Sheep cannot protect for themselves.
Sheep are feebleminded.
Sheep need Shepherds!
“The destiny and well being of a sheep is contingent upon the care of his shepherd. It's the only context in which they are useful.”
Verse 1: “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”
1. THE LORD: Yahweh the self-existent eternal uncreated one!The creator of the universe.
Colossians 1:16-17,21(NLT) Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together…21 This includes you who were once far away from God.
1 Peter 2:25 (NIV) For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Jesus the Good Shepherd/ The Gate
John 10:1-9(NIV) "I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
Is Jesus the Gate or the Shepherd or the Gate? Yes
-Pen & Gate////
Everything has to go through him.
We have a strong and very capable shepherd.
John 10:14-15 (NIV) 14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.
When The Lord is My Shepherd…
John 15:15 I call you friends.
John 10:27 (NIV) My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Leadership requires follow-ship.
“The livelihood of a sheep is contingent upon his ability to follow his shepherd.”
He will not always lead us to where we want to Go but where we need to Go."
The result ….
I shall not be in want.
John 10:9,10 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Matthew 9:35-38(NIV) Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.…
Verse 2 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.
Exodus 14:10-16 (NIV) 10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD. 11 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" 13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
Moses was speaking to their posture not their progress.
15 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
Lie down in green pastures.
Ezekiel 34:14-15 (NLT) 14 Yes, I will give them good pastureland on the high hills of Israel. There they will lie down in pleasant places and feed in the lush pastures of the hills. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and give them a place to lie down in peace, says the Sovereign LORD.
Certain conditions must be met in order for sheep to rest:
1. Free from Fear.
Good shepherds are always aware of the sheep.
2. Free from Friction(of other sheep)
Only lost sheep travel alone.
3. Free from Pests
“You don't need a diagnosis, you need Resolve.”
Psalms 23:5 You anoint my head with oil.
4. Free from Hunger
We eat and rest from the same place.
“The table is set, the meal is ready….Jesus paid a high price so that we can have fellowship with God and nourish our soul.”
When a sheep realizes he is in the plush green pasture is is easy for him to have confidence and rest.
He leads me beside quiet waters….
Isaiah 43:18-19 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
John 4:14(NIV) Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
John 7:38 (NIV) Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him
“Jesus doesn't simply give drinks….he gives wells!”
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”