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Safe and Sound

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
February 7, 2022 2:00 am

Safe and Sound

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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February 7, 2022 2:00 am

Life is full of peaks and valleys. At times, it feels like you don't know where you'll go. In the message "Safe and Sound" from the series Playlist, Skip shares how God guides you and how you can find security in Him.

This teaching is from the series Pastor Skip's Top 40.




This week's DevoMail:

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We have a shepherd takes care of us to see if you know this or not, you probably do but sheep do not take care of themselves very well die unless they have a shepherd who will take care of.

They require more meticulous care and attention than any other form of livestock, so it's no surprise that the Bible over 200 times refers to us as she assumed 23 has been quoted in countless movies and TV shows, songs and speeches offer comfort and solace. Today we continue our countdown escapes top 40 messages to connect with Skip I took you to check number 15 is the message safe and sound, which Skip shares why this moving so speak so powerfully to our coding so and what it says to you today, for we begin to let you know about an amazing opportunity you have visited the sites with the prophets and kings in the Bible heard from God. Take a trip to experience Israel, not just the historic landscape delicious. David the spiritual significance in 20 2010 you have the opportunity to join to Skip in his right leg act of worship and study God's word in the theory places Jesus taught pretesting.

Find out more inspiration. Q okay.

Let's dive into today's teaching will be in Psalm 23 Skip Heitzig begins the study. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake yay 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. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

All of the 150 expressions we call the Psalms.

There is no song that is more crowded recited, memorized, inscribed on cards than the 23rd Psalm. It is without question. All of the Old Testament passages of Scripture the most famous Old Testament passage, everybody knows even unbelievers know this passage, Augustine called it the martyrs him because so many Christian martyrs recited Psalm 23 when they went to their deaths as they were tortured for Christ. Abraham Lincoln often referred to this Psalm during his deep days of depression during the Civil War. George W. Bush recited it to a nation that was weary and wondering after September 11, 2001 43 at this 3000 years that's how long ago it was written. This Psalm is brought comfort to millions of God's people. It is a song that a child can grasp. It's that simple. But it's the kind of a song that a theologian could drown in its that deep was Alexander McLaren, the great Scottish expositor who said the world would spare many a book better than this sunny little song.

It is dried many tears and supplied the mold into which many hearts have poured their peaceful fate, but it is my belief that Psalm 23 is misunderstood at least misapplied because when do you typically hear Psalm 23. What funerals and it's it's inscribed in crematorium's and cemeteries and funeral homes. The Lord is my shepherd. It's on sympathy cards and that that is because there's a little phrase in verse four that says, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. So it is included at times of physical death, but this is a song that has a way more to do with life than it does with death. It's the psalmist relationship to the living God in his own life. That's why he says, surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life Miami doctor said and I agree with him. The 23rd Psalm has been enshrined on a marble pedestal for far too long we need to take it down and break it up and use it naturally want to do today as we have this little devotional.

This meditation on Psalm 23. It's time for us to take these truths off of sympathy cards and inscribed them in our own hearts about Psalm 23 has been called the shepherds the Psalm for obvious reasons.

But if you look a little more closely at the Psalm you will discover that it's not just about sheep and a shepherd. It covers much more.

Allow me to explain. When you open up in verse one it speaks about the Lord in the third person he is. This and he is that when you come to verse four there's a change to the first person. David now speaks directly to God. Not as much as a shepherd as to a friend. It's personal.

Then in verse five. There is another change we go from outside, outdoors, the valet, the field to inside the tent or if you will the home so the first part of the Psalm is in the field.

The second part of the Psalm is in the valley in the third part is in the tent so I want to look at this Psalm in three parts, as a shepherd. God gives us direction as a friend.

God gives us protection and as a host. God gives this provision must begin with the first shepherd the Lord is my shepherd, writes David, I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his namesake as a shepherd. God gives us direction, not an amateur high school was like, but you guys remember FFA FFA Future farmers of America was anybody in FFA. If you of you unless you were in FFA Psalm 23. Makes no sense to us. In fact, most of us don't even know a shepherd and it's not like one of the normal occupations that we have in our society is not your ordinary occupation but David himself was a shepherd in Bethlehem.

He came from a family of shepherds and we know that David was out keeping his sheep as he was selected to be the next king of Israel. The idea of God being our shepherd is one of the most without a doubt beautiful and comforting metaphors in all of the Bible. One of my favorite verses of Scripture that speaks to this is Isaiah chapter 40 that declares, he shall feed his flock like a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs in his arms and carry them in his bosom and gently lead those who are with young so the picture is that the care that a shepherd gives to his sheep, and certainly Psalm 23 implies care. We have a shepherd who takes care of us. His sheep if you know this or not, you probably do but sheep do not take care of themselves very well. Sheep will die unless they have a shepherd who will take care of them. They require more meticulous care and attention than any other form of livestock and so it's no surprise that the Bible over 200 times refers to us as she because of the tendency that sheep have, for example, Isaiah 53 all we like sheep of what we've gone astray.

We've all gone our own way.

That's what sheep do back in 2005 in eastern Turkey. There were 1500 sheep gathered together in one spot. There were several flocks with several shepherds who all got together put their flocks in one place while the shepherds went off any breakfast together.

Apparently nobody was watching the sheep. Suddenly one little sheep had an idea and it is time to jump over that cliff and he did, and apparently all the other sheep thought that she knew where he was going so 400 of them followed him before they finally found out the 400 sheep had died, going over a cliff. The estimated loss was $74,000 really mean I'm not trying to pull the wool over your eyes at they lost that much money. In fact, get this, the only time in the Bible that sheep are ever seen in a favorable light is when they are under the care of a good shepherd that David was a shepherd and so he writes this. He's not doing this as an insult to himself or to those of us who are his readers, but in elation that God is a shepherd. It's like a kid bragging about his father, look at who my dad is theirs David Zink look at who my shepherd is look at who my owner, my manager is the Lord is my shepherd how many of you own pets may see a show of hands. On pets. Some of you need on pets if that's all. So have you ever known a dog owner that you may not say it to them, but you think these thoughts, they should not own that dog that poor little dog never gets out never gets taken for a walk never gets groomed to sort of runs around the backyard bar charts barks all day long think they should not own that dog. But then there's the other end of the spectrum where you have the obsessive dog owner they get little sweaters for their dogs and little shoes for their dogs and their prim and proper, and they like Paris Hilton carries her dog everywhere she goes, and you got all that is like so crazy that is so overboard right.

However, if you were a dog and you could choose which owner to have the first one of the second one you know you would take number two will take Paris Hilton in the day or the dog would never gets out and here is David say hey my manager my owner is the Lord himself. These are bragging rights for David the other day I read an article the National Science Foundation has committed to spending $10 million to build robots for children.

They call them personal trainers for children and their words to influence their behavior and their eating habits. These are technological shepherds there invented they plan to introduce them into homes deploy them in the schools to teach children English and to encourage kids to exercise last time I checked those recallable parents and those recallable teachers, and I want a robot as a shepherd for my children or for me or for my grandchildren. I want parents and teachers who are pointing their way to the Lord like David did sing the Lord is my shepherd that implies care. God will care for you. It also implies guidance, you know, sheep on they do not navigate very well.

All of us like sheep have gone astray. They do that very easily finding their way back home. Not a chance. I have a pretty smart little dog approach about a brag about my little dog and we took our dog out, not even at our house. We put the dog in the car, drove her to a different neighborhood got out, walked around by the river and the dog ran away and got lost. An hour later our dog was waiting back in our car in a foreign neighborhood but had enough sense to navigate all the way back to where he got out of the car. One smart dog. A sheep will never do that. There are birds that can make navigate around the world. Sheep will never do that. Salmonella how to go upstream to spawn the sheep will never do that I saw in Israel one time a flock of sheep, gathered by a well I thought they were just drinking out of the well and I got closer to photograph it and I noticed that all the sheep had their little heads smashed into the for the bodies of other sheep, sort of like hiding in their little tales were sticking out in a circle and the poor shepherd had to break them up with his staff just to be able to lead them. That's the nature sheep at the nature of shepherd is to guide so you'll notice twice in our Psalm once in verse two and the other in verse three it says he leads me beside the still waters. He leads me in paths of righteousness. If there's one thing in this song that to set your mind at ease. It's this you have a personal guide you know I speak to a lot of Christians and have for a lot of years and one of the common questions that we have is how do I find the Lord's will for my life. How do I get direction for my life. I want my dense for my life and what they expect. I think to hear from me is sort of a 123 ABC formula for how to determine God's will. If you memorize this scripture and take this step and counselors person bingo you'll find God's will. Every time I think work were so hung up with guidance that we forget we have the guide living in us. We want direction when God is saying, hey, I direct door will live inside of you. Now if you are traveling to a foreign city like New York City would you rather have a complicated set of instructions to get you around town or how about this one of the local resident said no will begin the quality of also you might down you go yeah I want that guy you've got that guy you have the Holy Spirit.

Jesus said when the spirit of truth is, he will guide you into all truth. I know sometimes we wonder will house I can work as you can give me an impression of my heart. I might have to memorize Scripture is to be to the Council of others.

Answer yes all of the above. Relax a little bit here. Just as she leave that to the guy. The director he leads.

He guides his second phrase, I shall not want.

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want not discovered that not everyone who says the first part can actually say with honesty. The second part, the Lord is my shepherd and not everybody can say I shall not want. We live in a society filled with discontentment were always looking at what other sheep or Eden guy has greater pressures than I have.

Lord I trust you like they do, I serve you, like they do in their pastor looks so much better than my pastor. It's greener over there. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want is a great little book called a shepherd looks at Psalm 23 by Philip Keller. Some of you have seen.

It's an old book. It's the musings of an actual shepherd who was raised in East Africa later on became a shepherd by occupation in Canada who raise sheep for a living. Before he became a lay pastor and heat, he said. I remember in my flock there was one particular little you lamb a female sheep who was beautiful, beautiful Constitution, beautifully formed body, but always discontented. He called the sheep offense crawler because no matter what pasture he led his sheep into and he said my bashers were the greenest pastors in the area. I had this one little sheep who would always move to the edge and sort of look out to see what's over there. He eventually called her Miss gadabout because she was always gabbing about looking for other pastors. I wonder if God doesn't have some sheep like that who are disgruntled who are always complaining, and it may be quick to add that a complaining sheep is a disgrace to the shepherd because a complaining sheep reflects the kind of care that that sheep thinks the shepherd is giving him or her or not giving him or her and imagine how unbelievers feel when they look at complaining sheep's lives you're trying to win people to Christ and always complaining and moaning and other think I want to follow your shepherd didn't take very good care of you.

Or so it seems as you don't ever seem happy with him. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Contentment does not come from what we have. Contentment comes from whom we have and if the Lord is your shepherd you want to be able to declare firmly and confidently. I shall not want. As a shepherd. He gives us direction as the second principle I want to discuss with you and that is as a friend. He gives us protection. Now you'll notice the pronoun change in verse four from speaking about he and his in the third person he speaks now directly to the Lord. Yay 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 immediately.

This tells me that life is not always going to be about green pastures and still waters. There's going to be some valleys that I walk through and I know we don't like that we hate valleys. I don't mean many people go all good.

I'm in a valley right now.

It's dark down here, praise the Lord.

I think knowing the shepherd we should be able to say that, but typically we go. Lord, please get me out of this valley just get me out of this valley just deliver me from this valleys just carry me from mountain peak to mountain peak to mountain in Jesus name hallelujah but there are going to be some valleys. Shepherd will lead sheep down in the valleys over in the Middle East where this scene takes place when it gets really really hot outside like it is these days shepherds will move their sheep down into the ravines. They call them the why these and she paid it sheep don't have great eyesight and they hate walking downwards into a shadow dark ravine. But the reason that the shepherd brings his sheep down there is because it's cooler down there and that's where the streams of water are running at the bottom of the ravine.

In other words, sometimes the darkest valleys are pathways to the greenest pastors she don't know that all this is Garrett is valleys just wait and be cool down there and it's going to be beautiful and refreshing. I met many a believer who has testified to the fact that though there going through a difficult time in their life and it's that the trial of a lifetime, so to speak.

That's where they meet the Lord. They have direct contact with God's comfort in a way they've never experienced so you will have some valleys. Verse four also tells me that you have some dark valleys. When David calls the valley of the shadow of death. Now this is why it's recited at funerals because of that phrase, but it doesn't necessarily refer to physical dying.

The Hebrew word is figurative of gloom or calamity is a guy who isn't dying.

Here's a guy who's living but experiencing a dark valley the valley what he calls the shadow of death, let me say this, even when you do come to an end of your life and you do die, it's going to be okay.

Death is sort of like going into a valley when you approach that time to die feels dark and feels like you're going down your movement is limited. Your your breathing is course. It seems so dark but not to stay there.

You're going to come out of the valley. Though I go through the valley of the shadow of death, not live forever in the valley and then he will wake you with the risen, on the other side your life that Skip Heitzig to 15 message on our top 40 messages counting from the series plate full message and more Scripture teaches you can watch a new big screen TV from the comfort of your couch. ABQ want to share about her special resource that will help you grow stronger in your faith.

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