First Christian Church
October 17, 2021 1st Service
      • Bible Trivia
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  • Wonder Of It All (#738)
      • 2 Corinthians 5:17CSB

  • My Jesus I Love Thee (#79)
  • Worthy You Are Worthy (3106)
  • Only Trust Him
  • INTRODUCTION
    What picture comes to mind when you think of rest?
    Maybe it's a beach, a hammock by a cabin in the woods, or lying in a meadow next to a bubbling brook.
    No matter the scene, we have pictures and images that help us imagine what rest looks like.
    People are desperate to find peace and rest.
    Guru’s, meditation apps, and meditative mantras are sought out to help us find rest and peace in the craziness of life.
    Google "relaxation," and you will find a myriad of images, YouTube links, and apps that help people find rest.
    This striving should show us the need for rest in our lives—just as God told us.
    Through this series, we have been examining the issue of redeeming rest.
    God did not design us to run 24/7 for our mental, physical and spiritual health; we need to learn to take time to focus on God and to rest!
    In our Wednesday Evening Bible Study, we finished a study on anxiety and how it affects us.
    Anxiety will rob us of peace and rest.
    I believe that anxiety is a tool that the enemy uses to keep us from experiencing the joy, peace, and rest God desires.
    Today, we will examine part of a Psalm that even those who have not read a Bible are most likely familiar with, the 23rd Psalm.
    We will examine the first four verses of this Psalm.
    In these four verses, we will see three keys that will help us to unlock the rest and peace that God desires for you!
    Big Idea of the Message: Just like a good shepherd who leads his sheep to rest, God will give us rest and provide for us.
    Let's begin with verse 1.
    Psalm 23:1 (CSB)
    1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
    SERMON
    We can experience God's rest and peace if we are:

    I. Content with God.

    One of the ways we can experience peace and rest is to be content with God.
    Psalms, Volume 1 (B. Yahweh’s Gracious Care (23:1–6))
    It is not without significance that Psalm 22 and 23, are placed in juxtaposition.
    In the former, there is the agony and distress of one who feels abandoned by the Lord; in the latter, the joy and confidence of one who lives daily in God’s fellowship.
    In Psalm 22, David laments the woes of the Shepherd, yet in Psalm 23David joyfully rehearses the joys of the flock.
    If we do not know the sufferings of the Shepherd, we cannot fully appreciate the Shepherd's care for the flock!
    For those in Christ, the 22nd and 23rd Psalm find their meaning in Jesus!
    David wrote the 23rd Psalm as one who experienced God's love and care.
    Here is something we need to understand.
    Finding peace and rest will not happen for us through philosophical or theological speculations,
    David is not writing this Psalm for those purposes.
    David makes a simple affirmation of the truth he realized and experienced in his life.
    You will not experience peace by JUST reading your Bible; you experience peace by KNOWING Jesus Christ, or in David's case at the time, God the Father!
    From this Psalm from David concerning God, we sense that David was content with God; he was at peace with God.
    David begins the Psalm with; The Lord is MY Shepherd!
    God was not just some thought in the mind, words on a page, some mysterious, unknowable, unreachable force; God was DAVID'S SHEPHERD!
    One thing about a good shepherd is the fact that a good shepherd cannot shepherd from afar!
    The Shepherd needs to be close to the sheep.
    David speaks with artless simplicity, without equivocation, and no inhibitions, making a statement that some might consider presumptuous.
    And yet, David's words are altogether devoid of any spirit of boasting.
    Instead, they are the spontaneous outcry of one who himself is overjoyed by the truth he utters.
    THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD!
    Sheep are kind of dumb and defenseless.
    One smart thing they do is hang out in herds, making them look larger than they are.
    That fact is one smart thing. The larger the herd you are in, the less likely the chance YOU will be someone's dinner!
    David does not draw his peace from an idol formed by the hands of man, nor is the almighty dollar, nor is his position his source of peace.
    God, the creator of heavens and earth, HE is David's Shepherd!
    Can you think of a more outstanding shepherd than that?
    Also, know that God is not theoretically his Shepherd, nor is God is Shepherd only in times of crisis; but rather, God is David's ever-present companion and guide who will continue to be with David whether in a time of crisis or in a time of joy, God is his Shepherd!
    The Bible paints a picture of our relationship with God, showing us a picture of rest.
    Psalm 23 describes God as a shepherd who cares for his sheep!
    What do we lose sleep over at night?
    What keeps us from enjoying rest and peace?
    We worry about things; we stress about what we need and what we want.
    Since the Lord is his Shepherd, David says, I HAVE WHAT I WANT, or some versions say that I shall not want.
    The phrase "I have what I need" translates into a verb that tells us that David means he does not suffer from a lack of what is needed.
    Because the Lord is his Shepherd, I shall not lack anything because the Lord is the one watching over me and taking care of me.
    Jesus gives us assurance concerning our needs!
    Matthew 6:33 (CSB)
    33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
    Once we are content with God, we have a next step once we know He is our Shepherd.
    Let's look at verses 1-2.X
    Psalm 23:1–2 (CSB)
    1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have what I need.
    2 He lets me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside quiet waters.
    We can experience God's rest and peace if we are:

    II. Content with God's provision.

    The reason David can confidently say that he has what he needs is; because since the Lord is his Shepherd, his Shepherd will lead him to green pastures and beside quiet waters!
    Going back to sheep, I learned long ago that sheep are not the most intelligent animals on the earth; however, I also learned a couple of other things concerning sheep.
    Sheep eat a lot, and they are almost always hungry.
    Sheep are constantly looking for something to eat.
    According to Sheep 101, sheep spend about fifteen percent of their time sleeping but may lie down and rest at other times.
    Sheep will not rest or sleep if they are hungry.
    One of their greatest needs is food.
    What happens to us when our greatest needs are not met?
    We become restless and anxious!
    For sheep, sleep is an indication that their basic needs are taken care of!
    When you are content with God's provision for your life, you too will be able to rest.
    You will not have to work your fingers to the bone trying to take care of yourself.
    A good shepherd will lead the sheep to green pastures; the Shepherd will care for the flock's needs.
    David says that God LETS him lie down in green pastures.
    He LET'S me lie down: the causative form of the verb "to lie down" does not have the sense of "he forces me to lie down,"
    The idea is that the Shepherd finds a place (green pastures) where the sheep can lie down and rest.
    So long as one is not content with God's provision, they will not experience peace or rest because they are in a constant state of worry over taking care of themself.
    As you read this popular piece of Scripture, you can imagine a caring shepherd who leads a small lamb to water to drink and rest.
    "The image of 'shepherd' aroused emotions of care, provisions, and protection. A good shepherd was personally concerned with the welfare of his sheep" (Willem A. VanGemeren, "Psalms," in Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Expositor's" Bible Commentary 5 [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1991], 217).
    To rest, we need to trust our Good Shepherd to take care of us.
    In the context of the ancient world, the Sabbath was unique to Israel.
    On the one hand, this was an incomparable gift to the people of Israel.
    No other ancient people had the privilege of resting one day in seven.
    On the other hand, it required an extraordinary trust in God's provision.
    Six days of work had to be enough to plant crops, gather the harvest, carry water, spin cloth, and draw sustenance from creation.
    While Israel rested one day every week, the encircling nations continued to forge swords, feather arrows, and train soldiers.
    Israel had to trust God not to let a day of rest lead to economic and military catastrophe" ("Exodus," Genesis through Deuteronomy, Theology of Work Bible Commentary 1, ed. William Messenger [Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2015], Logos 8).
    The phrase quiet waters refer to gently flowing water that was easy for the sheep to drink.
    The phrase could be translated "refreshing streams" or "rivers of good water."
    When you are content with God's provision, it will help you to enjoy peace and rest!
    Let's drop down to verses 3-4.
    Psalm 23:3–4 (CSB)
    3 He renews my life; he leads me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
    4 Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for you are with me; your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
    We can experience God's rest and peace if we are:

    III. Content with God's leading.

    Now, we are transitioning to the journey of life.
    When we trust Him and follow His leading, He will restore our souls!
    The meaning is to restore vitality, vigor, strength; to renew, invigorate.
    This statement seems to express the result of God's care, as described in verse 2.
    We are now hitting on the thought of who and what drives us; who will we allow to lead us through life?
    WE have to decide which path we will follow for life, the righteous path or the path that leads to ultimate destruction.
    The path we choose for life is an essential factor as to whether we will enjoy peace and rest.
    When we take the wrong path for life, there will be no peace and no rest because we will spend a great deal of time in turmoil, getting in and out of problems of our own making, and expending energy trying to make things right that we cannot make right on our own.
    When we walk the path that God leads us on, that path will lead to rest and peace.
    We should not be motivated to walk the path of righteousness by nothing more than taking delight in my companion and guide and walking the path in response to His kindness and love.
    The way of the Lord is not one of compulsion but of trust.
    God will not force you on the path; He wants you to want to walk it with Him because you trust and love Him.
    For his name's sake, I know he will lead rightly—his reputation is involved.
    And for his name's sake, I want to follow his guidance, for I bring reproach upon that name when I fail him.
    Even so, he will never compromise His own righteous nature by leading me astray or by striking a bargain with evil.
    He is a true guide to all who will follow him in faithfulness.
    When we face danger, when we are in the darkness, we will lean on and trust God.
    When we walk with the Lord, it will not always be easy.
    We will face difficulties and times when we will be afraid.
    His rod and staff bring comfort and rest.
    Notice that David speaks directly with God, For YOU ARE WITH ME!
    He does not say HE IS with me.
    This is the calm assurance David has concerning the Good Shepherd!
    No matter what the circumstance, I will fear no evil or danger.
    Whatever the circumstance and however trying, the presence of this divine guide would be adequate to dispel all fear.
    CONCLUSION
    As Christians, we must find our rest in God.
    We must slow down and not be caught up in the busyness of the world.
    This goes beyond just better time management skills; it means fully trusting in God with our lives, even as we rest.
    If we take time to worship God and slow down on Sundays while the rest of our competitors stay open, will God provide for us?
    If our children's schedules are not filled to the max with every extracurricular activity, will they become successful adults?
    Will I be okay if I don't finish all the goals that I can become stressed about?
    The answer is yes! When we trust God and find our rest in him, everything that matters remains and is blessed.
    And along the way, the recalibration of our time may also result in the recalibration of our values. (Ministry Pass, Redeeming Rest Series)
    Our challenge for our lives today is: We will take time to rest and trust God for our provision.
    We will trust that God will take care of the things we stress over, and we will let Him be our Shepherd!
      • Psalms 23.1CSB

      • Matthew 6.33CSB

      • Psalms 23.1-2CSB

      • Psalms 23.3-4CSB

  • No Other Name
  • In Christ Alone
  • My Faith Has Found A Resting Place (#528)

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