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The Lord Is My Shepherd, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt
The Truth Network Radio
December 28, 2020 7:00 am

The Lord Is My Shepherd, Part 1

Fellowship in the Word / Bil Gebhardt

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December 28, 2020 7:00 am

The Lord is my shepherd.

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Today on Fellowship in the Word, Pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Now, you wonder what is he talking about there? Wanting stuff, wanting things?

No, I don't think that's it at all. I think what David means is this, what I have in the shepherd is greater than what I don't have in life. Because the Lord is my shepherd, I'm content. I don't need anything else in life. The Lord is my shepherd. That's what he is saying. He's not talking about stuff. Even Jesus said in Luke 12, he said not even, he said when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.

It's not the way it works at all. Thank you for joining us today on this edition of Fellowship in the Word with Pastor Bill Gebhardt. Fellowship in the Word is the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible Church located in Metairie, Louisiana. Let's join Pastor Bill Gebhardt now, as once again, he shows us how God's Word meets our world. One of the most famous verses ever written was written by Isaiah the prophet. In Isaiah chapter 53, Isaiah said all of us like sheep have gone astray.

Each of us has turned to his own way. But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him. The real question when you read that verse for the first time is the identification of him. Our iniquity fell on him.

Earlier in the chapter, Isaiah said that he not only had our iniquity fall on him, but he bore our griefs, he carried our sorrows, he was smitten of God, he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, he was chastened for our well-being, and he was scourged for our healing. Who would do that? For wayward sheep. Only one would, the shepherd. Let's move ahead 700 years and meet him. Go with me now to John chapter 10. John chapter 10.

Beginning in verse seven, the Lord Jesus Christ is speaking. And Jesus says in verse seven, Jesus said to them again, truly, truly, I say to you that I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

Jesus starts this discourse by saying, I am the door. Now, you have to understand that whenever sheep were put in a pen each night, there was one little opening where you could go through to get in or out of the pen that opening belonged to the shepherd. In fact, each night, the shepherd would take his staff and he would lay it across the opening. One sheep at a time would come by and he would examine the sheep. He would see if there's anything wrong with the sheep, anything that needs his attention. And one by one, he would lift his staff, let a sheep in, lift another, let it in till they're all in there. And then he would sleep across the opening. And then in the morning, he would call them by their names with his voice and they would respond and come out of the pen and go to be with him.

That's where Jesus picks it up again. And he says something here that's quite interesting. He says, as he goes on, he says, the thief comes only to steal and destroy.

I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life, he says, for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. One of the great I am statements of John. I am the good shepherd, but it doesn't say that. In the Greek, it says, I am shepherd, the good one. What a great statement. I'm a shepherd, but I'm the good one.

That's what Jesus is saying here. And that word good is interesting. There's two Greek words for good. This is the word Agathos.

This is the word we get the name Agatha from. And Agathos means morally good. He said, I am the good shepherd.

He goes on. He said he was a hired hand and not a shepherd who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, leaves the sheep and flees and the wolf snatches them and catches them. He flees because he's a hired hand and not concerned about the sheep. But I am the good shepherd. And I know my own good shepherd. I am the good shepherd. And I know my own and my own know me. Even as the father knows me, I know the father, he says, and I lay down my life for the sheep. And then he speaks of us. He said, I have other sheep which are not of this fold.

I must bring them also and they will hear my voice and they will become one flock with one shepherd. Here I am as one of the sheep. And so are you and all of us have gone astray.

I've turned to my own way. But the Lord caused the iniquity that I have brought to fall onto that shepherd. And as Jesus said, he laid down his life for me. The Jews of Jesus' day really understood this analogy. Abraham, the great father, was a shepherd. Jacob was a shepherd.

Moses spent 40 years in the land of Midian as a shepherd. And from the Jewish point of view, the greatest shepherd of them all is David, the great king of Israel. But that reverence for David is misplaced. David is not the greatest shepherd of them all. And David knew that.

And that's why he wrote a particular song. I want to go now to the 23rd Psalm and look at this together. The 23rd Psalm.

Let me ask this. Are there more beloved words in the entire Bible than this psalm? I want you to think about that. The words of this psalm are hung on hospital walls. The words of this psalm are scratched on prison cells.

The words of this psalm are whispered by the dying. It's been said to music hundreds of times. It's been translated into a thousand languages. It's touched millions of hearts. I hope it touches yours. Oh, I hope it touches yours.

I'm going to look at this song. He starts out and he says, The Lord is my shepherd. The Lord is my shepherd.

What's so wonderful about what's the inference of that phrase? I'm a sheep. You see, that's what David is saying. This king, he said, The Lord is my shepherd. And if you notice in the English, what he is saying here is he says, Yahweh. Yahweh is my shepherd.

What great name. Yahweh. The name never uttered by the Jews, never spoken by the Jews. It's the covenant keeping name. It's the holy name of God. Yahweh is my shepherd.

Just imagine that. In Psalm 90, this almost says before the mountains were born or brought forth, he says, and the earth of the earth or the world from everlasting to everlasting, you are God. This great God, this creator God, he goes, He's my shepherd. He's my shepherd. And I'm his sheep.

It's hard to imagine if you think about that. Because of what he did as my shepherd, this lump of clay is now forever linked to the divine. Because of the work of the shepherd.

The quality of my life. The quality of the sheep's life is totally dependent on the shepherd. He says, The Lord is my shepherd.

I shall not want. Now you wonder, what is he talking about there? That wanting stuff, wanting things?

No, I don't think that's it at all. I think what David means is this. What I have in the shepherd, what I have in the shepherd is greater than what I don't have in life. Because the Lord is my shepherd. I'm content. I don't need anything else from life.

The Lord is my shepherd. That's what he is saying. He's not talking about stuff. Even Jesus said in Luke 12, he said, not even. He said, when one has an abundance, does his life consist of his possessions? It's not the way it works at all. Just two thoughts about that. Your stuff isn't yours.

Ask any corner. It's not yours. More importantly, your stuff is not you. It's never been you. When God thinks of you, he never thinks of your stuff. Not ever.

That's what he says. I shall not want. I am content. He then goes on and he says, he makes me lie down in green pastures. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Sheep don't sleep well. Now you might not sleep well either. Sheep don't sleep well at all. Everything has to be just right for sheep to sleep. There has to be no predators about. There has to be no biting insects with sheep. There has to be no hunger in their stomach.

And there has to be no tension in the flock. And see, that's hard for sheep. The other thing about sheep is they can't find safe pasture. They can't defend themselves.

They can't spray insecticide. They need help. That's why we're called sheep. Without the shepherd, they really can't rest and neither can we. Notice he said, he makes me lie down in green pastures. And then he again, the he is doing all the work here. He makes me lie down in green pastures.

What's our job then? Just follow the shepherd. That's what sheep do. They hear the voice of their shepherd and they follow it. Jesus said it differently. He used a different metaphor. But Jesus said, I'm the vine and you're the branches. He said, you just abide in me and you'll bear much fruit. Your life will be good.

Apart from me, there's nothing you can do. What a great analogy when you think of sheep. Isaiah 26 says, you will keep him in perfect peace whose mind has stayed on you.

But there's something here you might have missed. He makes me lie down in green pastures. Green pastures. Now, you know what you're thinking of? You're not thinking of Judea. You're thinking of Ireland.

You see, that's what you start thinking. I'm thinking of Ireland or New Zealand, really green pastures. There aren't green pastures in Judea unless you make it. Once in a while, what the shepherd would do is he'd create a green pasture. He'd go in and clear the land. He'd cut down all the bushes and trees.

He'd pull the stumps. He'd take out all the underbrush and he'd seed it for a sheep. That's the only time you could find a green pasture in Judea is if the shepherd prepared everything for the sheep. Our shepherd has us lie down in his finished work. He does it all, and then we lie down. Have you ever thought about this as God's pasture is his gift to you because he is the good shepherd?

He says, he leads me beside quiet waters. You've probably heard me say this before. Sheep are afraid of moving water. They don't like it. They don't like to see water moving. It scares them.

They're so easily frightened. Notice what he says too. He leads me. God is never behind you saying, go, go, go.

He's always in front. He said, I'll lead you. He said, I will lead you. My job is to follow. I don't really need to see too far ahead.

This is a great lesson for us as people. I don't need to see too far ahead. You see, all I need to do is stay close to the shepherd. His word is a lamp unto my feet, right? Not a crystal ball into the future.

Jesus said it differently. He said, don't worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Just follow me today as I lead you beside quiet waters.

He then goes on. He says, he restores my soul. And even though we have the good shepherd with us, as you know, we need restoration.

David did on more than one occasion and so do we. Hold your place here and go to Psalm 42 with me for just a moment. And here, the choir director for the Sons of Korah wrote this, but it's so much like our lives. Psalm 42. The Psalmist says this, as the deer pants for the water's brooks. So my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When shall I come and appear before God? My tears have been my food day and night. And while they say to me all day long, where is your God? These things I remember and I pour out on my soul within me.

For I used to go along, he says, with a throng and to lead them in the procession into the house of God, the temple, with a voice of joy and thanksgiving and a multitude keeping festival. Why are you in despair? Oh, my soul. And why have you become disturbed within me? That's the life of a sheep. There are times when you and I just get really, really down. We have different words we use now.

You know, you're either moody or sullen or you have depression or whatever it is. And what we keep thinking within our culture, the only way you can come out of that is through chemistry. You see, if you can find the right chemical, then you can come out. I think if you find and stay close to the right shepherd, you can come out. He restores your soul. Now back to the Psalm 23. See, that's what the Lord does. He restores the soul.

I was thinking of a New Testament example of that. How do you think Peter felt after his denials? If you would have been the Lord, let me ask you this. Would you have been disappointed? I would have been. Wasn't Peter one of the three that said, you know, I'm not going to do this? I'm not going to do this.

I'm not going to do this. I would have been. Wasn't Peter one of the three that Jesus spent extra time with? Wasn't he the spokesman for the whole group?

Wasn't he the one guy you want to count on? And he denies the Lord three times, not to the Sanhedrin, not a Roman centurion, but the servant girls. How disappointing is that? And how the Lord handled that? He told Peter what a disappointment he was. Now he restored him. Remember, he met with them and he restored them. And three times, he's kept asking Peter, do you love me? That's all I want to know.

Do you love me? Feed my sheep. He just gently restored him exactly what a good shepherd does and what the Lord does in our lives. He restores our soul. He then goes on and said, He guides me in paths of righteousness. He guides me in paths of righteousness. We need to be guided. It's the perfect analogy of a human being.

Philip Keller in his great book on the 23rd Psalm says this. Sheep are notorious creatures of habit. He said, If left to themselves, they will follow the same trails until they become ruts. They will graze on the same hills until they turn it into a desert wasteland.

They pollute their own ground until it's corrupt with disease and parasites. Many of the world's finest sheep rangers have been ruined beyond repair by the overgrazing of sheep. He says, No, I don't do that. The shepherd says, Here, I lead you in paths of righteousness.

I won't let that happen to my sheep. We stubbornly repeat the same behaviors over and over and over again. Remember the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 12 said that as we run the race, we have the sin that so easily entangles us. Over and over again, redundancy. One of the most difficult things for me in my own conscience is how many times I go to the Lord to confess and acknowledge my sin to Him.

I basically say it this way every time. Lord, it's Bill again, and it's the same sin again. See the redundancy in this, but he restores our soul because he is the good shepherd. He's patient. And boy, I'm grateful.

I sure hope you are, too. He leads and I follow. You see, we don't need a cowboy to hurt us. We need a shepherd to lead us. He then says, For his name's sake. For his name's sake.

As Matt had said earlier, it's all about his glory. For his name's sake. The name of God or the names of God. Yahweh, this great covenant name. Do you know how many times it occurs in the Bible?

7,000. Yahweh. He has all kinds of names.

All of them trying to tell us something else. When you're anxious about provision, he is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides. When you find challenges too big in your life and you're overwhelmed with stress and worry, he is Jehovah Salome, the Lord of peace. When you're weak, find yourself sick, he is Jehovah Rafi, the God who heals. When you feel like you're a soldier and you're stranded behind enemy lines and the world is getting the best of you, he is Jehovah Nissi. The Lord is my banner. I fight under him. He said, It's my name. That's why I've got so many of them. It's such an important thing. It's all about his name, him's reputation and his glory. And then he says, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we all walk that valley. Every one of you will.

For as long as I've been here, you don't know how many empty seats there are because of so many people that have already gone before you. Even though I walk through the valley, the shadow of death. This has got a shepherd's idea to it.

David is addressing something here that they would understand. As the summer season started, they always pastored down the lowlands. As the summer began to heat up, they always went into the mountains, always changing pastures and always going higher and higher. And they had to move the sheep up to the mountain till the end of the summer or into the fall. That was an extremely dangerous time for sheep. The mountains are loaded with predators.

They're everywhere. But the shepherd, he's there to protect the sheep. You see, that's the idea that he's given here. The shadow of this is this apprehension time for the sheep. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you see, we all do that. And I've said even in the past, one of the things that Lord's very specific here is he calls it for you and I, the shadow of death. Because nowhere in the Bible does say believers in Jesus Christ ever really die.

We sleep but never die. And the reason isn't because of us, it's because of the shepherd and what he has done for us. You've been listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the Radio Ministry of Fellowship in the Word. If you ever miss one of our broadcasts or maybe you would just like to listen to the message one more time, remember that you can go to a great website called oneplace.com. That's oneplace.com and you can listen to Fellowship in the Word online.

At that website, you will find not only today's broadcast but also many of our previous audio programs as well. At Fellowship in the Word, we are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help this radio ministry continue its broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly or with just a one-time gift. Support for our ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word 4600 Clearview Parkway, Metairie, Louisiana 7006. If you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format, that is as a sermon that Pastor Bill delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible Church, then you should visit our website, fbcnola.org.

That's fbcnola.org. At our website, you will find hundreds of Pastor Bill's sermons. You can browse through our sermon archives to find the sermon series you are looking for or you can search by title. Once you find the message you are looking for, you can listen online or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listen at your own convenience. And remember, you can do all this absolutely free of charge. Once again, our website is fbcnola.org. For Pastor Bill Gebhardt, I'm Jason Gebhardt, thanking you for listening to Fellowship in the Word.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-10 21:05:50 / 2024-01-10 21:14:48 / 9

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