It Is Well With My Soul Psalm 23

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1 Bethany Bible Church August 13, 2017 Guest Teacher Tom Shrader It Is Well With My Soul Psalm 23 The Lord is my Shepherd -- that s relationship! I shall not want -- that s supply! He maketh me to lie down in green pastures -- that s rest! He leadeth me beside the still waters -- that s refreshment! He restoreth my soul -- that s healing! He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness -- that s guidance! For His name s sake -- that s purpose! Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death -- that s testing! I will fear no evil -- that s protection! For thou art with me -- that s faithfulness! Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me -- that s discipline! Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies -- that s hope! Thou anointest my head with oil -- that s consecration! My cup runneth over -- that s abundance! Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life -- that s blessing! And I will dwell in the house of the Lord -- that s security! Forever -- that s eternity!

2 Questions for Discussion and Further Reflection 1. Many Christians know most or all of Psalm 23. But do you really know it in your own life? Are you being personally led by the Lord as the Great Shepherd that He is? 2. Christians are described metaphorically in Scripture as sheep. Tom gives six very unflattering aspects of sheep. Do you consistently see yourself as a sheep and the Lord as your Shepherd? 3. Is it hard or easier for you to accept Tom s statement that your present discomfort is God s doing - that God either causes or allows everything that happens to you? 4. In all of life s circumstances, Jesus proves Himself a worthy Shepherd. How can you depend more deeply on the One who always does what is right? 5. Tom quoted this from Augustine: In a crowd it s difficult to see God. What regular practice do you or can you engage in to be still and know that I am God?

3 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. Psalm 23:1 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. Psalm 23:4 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. Psalm 23:2 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name s sake. Psalm 23:3 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 1

4 It s one thing to say, The Lord is a shepherd; it s another to say The Lord is MY shepherd. and he marveled at how frequently he had to rescue them from harm. Yet not one of his sheep was aware of how well it was watched. Yes, he mused, God is very much like a good shepherd. One day as David was watching his sheep the idea came to him that God is like a shepherd. He thought of the incessant care that sheep require their helplessness and defenselessness. He recalled their foolish straying from safe paths, their constant need for a guide. He thought of the time and the patience it took for them to trust him before they would follow. Our discomfort is God s doing: He hounds us; He hems us in; He thwarts our dreams; He foils our best-laid plans; He frustrates our hopes; He waits until we know that nothing will ease our pain, nothing will make life worth living except His presence. He remembered the times when he led them through danger and they huddled close at his heels. He pondered the fact that he must think for his sheep, fight for them, guard them, and find them pasture and quiet pools. He remembered their bruises and scratches that he bound up And when we turn to Him, He is there to greet us. He has been there all along. The Lord is near to all who call on him (Psalm145:18). 2

5 4. Sheep are stubborn. 4. Sheep are stubborn. 5. Sheep always get lost. 4. Sheep are stubborn. 5. Sheep always get lost. 6. Sheep have a mob mentality. 3

6 1. The Shepherd is greater than what you don t have. Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 1. The Shepherd is greater than what you don t have. 2. The Shepherd is also greater than what you have. Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 In a crowd it s difficult to see God. - St. Augustine The key is this: Meet todays problems with today s strength. Don t start tackling tomorrow s problems until tomorrow. You do not have tomorrow s strength yet. You simply have enough for today. 4

7 God is never wrong. He has never rendered a wrong decision, experienced the wrong attitude, taken the wrong path, said the wrong thing, or acted the wrong way. He is never too late or too early, too loud or too soft, too fast or too slow. He has always been and always will be right. He is righteous. Pain, when properly handled, can shape a life for greatness. History is replete with stories of those whose struggles and scars formed the foundation for remarkable achievements. In fact, it was because of their hardship they gained what they needed to achieve greatness. It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply. - A. W. Tozer 5

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