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August 17, 2020 8:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gephart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ.
The shepherd's mantra to you and I is about every single thing in your life.
Emily Shepherd, I got this. Did you believe that? You see, do you really believe that?
What am I going to do? What am I going to do? How is this going to work? What is going to happen? I got this.
You see, I got this. The Lord is my shepherd. I don't want. What would I want? Or the economy sagging?
Well, I heard my Schepper say to me, Sydney, first, the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all this will be added to you. That's the shepherd.
Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the World with Pastor Bill Gephart Fellowship and the word is the Radio Ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana.
Let's join Pastor Bill Gephart now as once again he shows us how God's word meets our world.
Over the past few months. I have continually sought the Lord for wisdom, insight, hope and peace.
But mostly. For comfort.
And as time wore on, I kept finding myself back at the exact same place in the Bible.
Looking for comfort.
I spent more time looking and thinking about Psalm twenty three.
Than any time in my life.
I've done a couple of devotionals on just individual versus in the song over these past months. But this morning, what I want to do is I want to look at the entire song and hopefully and be able to impart some comfort to those who are watching.
I believe that the twenty third song has some of the most comforting words ever written for the child of God. David wrote these words three thousand years ago, and they have given comfort to millions and millions of Christians all through history throughout the whole world. So I invite you to turn with me to a psalm.
Twenty three. The Lord. Is my shepherd. It's amazing what's there. The Lord. Is my shepherd.
The word Lord is the word you a. So whenever Jews are Hebrews would quote this. They never said Yerby. They wouldn't speak the word. So they said Adenike, because they had such deep reverence and respect for Yerby. Yerby shows up in Exodus, Chapter three, the burning Bush. And he tells Moses, tell them that I am essent you. Which is Yerby. It's the personal covenant keeping name of God.
Many Hebrew rabbis said their thoughts about the term yerby are so deep and so overwhelming that they're too deep for us to even begin to understand.
But I think thinking of Yerby expands the mind, it humbles your heart and it strengthens your soul. He is yerby the self existant when all life in the universe is derived from somewhere else, but not his.
Paul wrote to Timothy in First Timothy, one 17. He said, Now to the king, eternal, immortal, invisible to God alone is wise. B, honor, glory forever and ever. A man that grv.
He says the Lord is. Not was. Is because your way always is. He never was and never will be. He always is. He said, the Lord is my shepherd. This all inspiring, overwhelming creator of all things. Is my and your shepherd.
What a thought.
That implies, by the way, that we're sheep. And you hear that over and over again and the entire word of God, we're sheep.
The word sheep used six hundred ninety eight times in the Bible. Sheep.
That's what we are. And there are innumerable sheep in the Bible.
The Jews seized six hundred and fifty thousand sheep from the Midianites.
That's a lot of sheep, Solomon, at one sacrifice, offered one hundred and twenty thousand sheep. In fact, the CFA says that the average is about 300 sheep a year were killed in Jerusalem.
Three hundred thousand sheep.
He said, the Lord is my shepherd. He didn't say the Lord is a shepherd. He didn't say the Lord is the shepherd. He didn't even say what Jesus said. The Lord is a good shepherd. He said, the Lord is my shepherd. We can all say that. There are twenty eight personal pronouns in these six verses. It's me and you. That's what he's talking about. It's me and you, Lord. He uses these over and over again. What's interesting is the word in Hebrew for friend is rooted in the Hebrew word for Shepherd. That's what the separate is.
The Lord is my shepherd. Jesus talks about true shepherds and false shepherds.
You see, sheep have a desperate need.
For shepherd, for sheep, everything has to be right. To be right, everything there. There can't be any predators of about. There can't be any tension at all. And the flock, there can't be any bugs in the air.
They can't have any hunger in their belly. Everything has to be just so for sheep to be content. Unfortunately, sheep can't find safe pasture. They can't spray insecticide. They can't deal with their friction's. They can't find food for themselves. They need to help.
They need a shepherd to lead them. And without a shepherd, neither can we.
That's why these words are so poignant. The Lord.
Is my shepherd.
I show not.
Because the Lord Yerby is my shepherd. The conclusion is I show not.
I will not lack peace. Because he he makes me lie down in green pastures. I will not like peace. How many of us do, though?
You see, if you're in turmoil right now and you don't have any peace, I'm telling you, you're not relating to the Lord is your shepherd at all.
That's not really happening.
I will not lack provision. He leads me beside still waters. I will not lack hope or encouragement. This is the song. Going through it. Why? He restores my soul. I will not lack guidance. Why? For he leads me in paths of righteousness for his namesake. I will not lack deliverance in tough times.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Why the Lord is my shepherd.
I will not lack companionship for you or with me.
I will not lack protection. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. And you prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies. I will not lack help and healing in all the events of life because you anoint my head with oil.
I will not lack the abundant life because my cup overflows.
I will not lack anything for goodness and mercy, follow me all the days of my life. I will not lack an eternal heavenly home, for I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. That's what this psalm is telling you.
You will like nothing. Because the Lord is your shepherd. There's nothing that I like.
All of our external needs are met, food, clothing, provision, necessities, all met, all of our internal needs are met. Salvation, Heavenly Home. All met. All of our internal needs to be loved, to have meaning. The purpose in peace in our lives. All Matt.
Because the Lord is. My shepherd. It's an amazingly comforting song.
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters.
A picture, a provision. I don't have to do any of this. Just stay close to the shepherd.
And John, 10, Jesus said, if anyone enters by me, he will be saved.
He said, and we'll go in and out and he'll find pasture next verse. I've come to give you a life and to give it to you abundantly.
Because the Lord is my shepherd.
Don't miss this. He makes me lie down in green pastures. By the way, sheep don't ever eat lying down ever, unless they're sick. She beat on their force. He said, no, no, not this, not us, not with this guy, not with the Lord is our shepherd.
We lie down in green pastures. Now, it's rare for sheep, but here's what happens if the shepherd can provide a good enough pasture in the morning, the sheep will over eat all that they possibly can.
And just like cows, when not after lunch, when it gets hot, they go into the shade. They lay down and they chew the cud.
They read you what the Lord provided for them.
That's why they're lying in a pasture. They had such an abundance that they're able now to chew the cud.
What a great picture that is. To me, it's a picture of what the word of God means to me.
You read the word of God. You study the word of God, but more importantly than that, you meditate on the word of God. In other words, you chew the cud. In the shade, in the green pasture, I can lay down and just let the word of God continually float through me.
He said that's what happens with sheep. When a picture of peace, this is.
You see, God's the shepherds mantra to you and I is about every single thing in your life.
I got this. I mean, Shepherd, I got this.
They do believe that, though. You see, do you really believe that? Oh, what am I going to do? What am I going to do? How is this going to work? What is going to happen?
They got this. You see, I got this. The Lord is my shepherd. I don't want. What would I want? Well, the economy sagging.
Well, either my Schepper say to me, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all this will be added to you.
That's the shepherd.
What do you want? You see, the Lord is my shepherd. He not only says he makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.
Sheep hate fast moving water.
They won't drink from it. It scares them.
So they like it when it's quiet, when it's still. As the King James says, what a picture that is of contentment.
Think of the image sheep are laying in the afternoon in the pasture. They never lay their ritual in the cud.
And there is a perfect spring of water for them. They get a drink when they want. The provision, the peace, the contentment of God. All because of the shepherd. He did all the work and he said, do it all for you. It says, then he restores my soul.
That's a wonderful thing, because our souls often need restoring, don't they?
The reason is.
Sheep need to be restored because there are things called cast seei S.T. sheep.
They're cast sheep. What's that mean?
They fell down and they can't get up.
Especially in the summertime when sheep have a lot of wool. If they fall down on their side and over their back, they can't get up.
They're called cast down. By the way, we still have that in our language. Why are you cast down? That's from sheep. That's cast down as a way they define sheep. And he says, I can't get up. There is nothing I can do.
He says now he says, notice he restores it. My soul. Some 40 I'll come back to this, but look at some 40 with me for just a moment versus one in three. One through three.
David writing again. He's the shepherd. Remember that this guy knows what he's talking about when it comes to shepherd and sheep. He says, I waited patiently for the Lord and he inclined to me. And he heard my cry.
You ever do that? I am.
In this analogy, it sounds like this.
I've fallen and I can't get up.
I can't. That's OK.
You said he brought me up out of the pit of destruction. Out of the Murray Clay, and he set my feet upon a rock, making my footstep firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and I would trust in the Lord. He just rolled me over, picked me up and set me on the rock.
He restores our soul. Back to the song.
He says after that, he said he guides me in paths of righteousness for his name sake.
That's the reputation of the shepherd.
How do you know Good Shepherd from a bad shepherd? Where he takes his flock to feed. Where they get water.
He has to know if he doesn't, the sheep are in deep trouble. And expert Shepherd knows this. See, David is talking about something in this song that many of us don't know anything about. He's talking about a force full cycle of a year for a shepherd.
The shepherd starts out in the winter and usually around Bethlehem. Remember, the sheep were in Bethlehem because of winter around Christmas time. We talk about that.
And then they start moving and they stay in southern Juda through the early spring because there's a lot of good pasture. Then it starts wearing out. And so they moved to Samarian Galili. Through the early summer months, and then when summer really hits, they have to move from there up into the elevation.
They have to get into the high country all the way past Hebron. They have to go up and feed them in the high country and new pastures. And then when the summer ends and a fall comes, they start the migration back down and end up back in Bethlehem. That's what David's talking about here. He's talking about that whole migration. The shepherd has to be the expert. You know, God knows this. Think of this. How did God think of men like Abraham, Moses and David?
There were shepherds.
These are these are three of the greatest names in the word of God.
And even Moses trained as an Egyptian prince. God says you're not ready to lead. If you want to learn how to lead ten for ten, the Fox and Midian for 40 years. Now you know how to lead.
That's why David was such a great leader. Because he was such a great shepherd.
A shepherd has to have foresight, the ability to anticipate the weather patterns in the cycle of the seasons as Shepherd has to have advance planning, knowing the routes and destinations and how to access them as Shepherd has to have geographical skills. He has to know have a sense of direction and knowledge of the terrain and awareness of the dangerous areas and a need for the sources of water. As separate as Shepherd has to have stamina to withstand the strain of responsibility and the loneliness and solitude of the job and the dangers in the wilderness. A shepherd has to have quality control. Not all pastors are equally desirable. A shepherd had to monitor, maintain and improve the quality of their annual pasturing grounds. Shepherd has to have hard work. Pastures don't manage themselves. They have to be tended. Rocks had to be removed, go holds field underground and undergrowth cleared. A shepherd has to have motivation. It's not easy to get frightened sheep to follow you through a wild canyon or a dark valley. And a shepherd has to have emergency medical skills to handle all the injuries and illnesses of the sheep.
That's what a shepherd has to have. He said, the Lord is my shepherd. On that one.
It's all through the Bible, just set in different ways. Proverbs three. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your own understanding and all your ways.
Acknowledge him and what he'll direct your path. Why? I'm the shepherd. Stop that.
Don't lean on your own understanding. Listen to my voice. Jesus is my sheep. Hear my voice. But I often wonder in times like this, do we here or not?
He said the Lord directs the steps of the godly in Psalm 37. He delights in every detail of their lives. I say a 48. I am the Lord, your God who teaches you what is good for you and lead you along the paths that you should follow. Psalm 32, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.
That's our shepherd.
Song 48 for this, God is our God forever and ever. He will be our guide even to the end. And Isaiah, 58, the Lord will guide you continually giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength when you need it.
God says that's what I do, that. Why does he do all that? Because he's our shepherd.
It's an amazing thing.
Now, verse four, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you are with me.
You know what that implies, because he uses the term valley of death. Oh, Vali's.
This applies to every valley. The last valley, the most difficult was the scariest for us is that the valley of the shadow of death? That's the scary one. He says all of us go through valleys all the time. In fact, many of us in our country right now are in a valley.
He goes, yeah, this applies in every sense, the pandemic, the economy, broken relationships, it's always the valley. Keyword there, even though I walk and the next word through.
To go through it. Doesn't take a round.
Now, remember, when you're going from the lower plane up to the mountain areas for the pasture.
Understand something about this. They've got to go through these waters or these valleys. It is loaded with predators. And the sheep were an easy target. And when you get something I read that you get something like a pack of wolves and they hitch sheep. They'll kill innumerable sheep and they'll only eat their internal organs and leave them.
They'd rather d eat the best part of the sheep and kill a bunch of them. The G1 kill one sheep beneath all of the sheep are really timid and they're fearful.
So for them, it is a valley of the shadow of death. But I'm not afraid why.
You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship fellowshipping the word. If you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time. Remember that you can go to a great Web site called One Place dot com. That's one place dot com.
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