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Scripture Reading:  Ezekiel 34:23-31

Psalm 23:  The Lord is My Shepherd

Intro.
1.  23rd Psalm is probably the most quoted & read chapter of the Bible.

2.  I received this outline (minus scriptures) along with this comment:  ďThis is an eye opener; some probably never thought nor looked at this Psalm in this way, even though they say it over and over again.Ē

3.  Do we understand its meaning & encouragement?  Do we live in the divine blessings it honors?  Is the Lord truly our Shepherd?

 

The Lord is my Shepherd:  Thatís Relationship!

1.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd, Jno. 10:1-14, 27-29.

   -His sheep hear & know his voice & follow him; do not follow stranger.

2.  Who is your shepherd?  Do you hear, know & follow word of Jesus?

I shall not want:  Thatís Supply!

1.  The Lord has great abundance, Eph. 1:3; Phil. 4:19.

2.  He supplies our needsÖa matter of faith, Matt. 6:33-34.
 

He makes me to lie down in green pastures: Thatís Rest!  Ezek.34:11-16,23-25

1.  Rest for the soul from sin, guilt, shame, Matt. 11:28-30.

2.  Rest from the trouble of persecution, 2 Ths. 1:6-7.

He leads me beside the still waters:  Thatís Refreshment!

1.  Still (calm) waters (cf. Mk. 4:37-41).

2.  Living water (everlasting life), Jno. 4:10-14 (Isa. 12:3; 55:1-2); 7:37-38.

3.  Water of life, Rev. 21:6 (22:1):  ďlet him who thirsts comeÖwhoever desires, let him take the water of life freelyĒ (22:17).

He restores my soul:  Thatís Healing!

1.  Forgiveness & fellowship, Lk. 15:17-18, 20.

2.  Restores of repentance & conversion, cf. Lk. 22:32 (Acts 3:19; 26:18).

He leads me in the paths of righteousness:  Thatís Guidance!

1.  By the Shepherdís voice, Jno. 10:3-4.

2.  Word of truth, Psa. 119:105; Jno. 6:68; 14:6.


For His nameís sake:  Thatís Purpose!

1.  God has prepared our path, Eph. 2:10 (1 Jno. 1:7).

2.  We are His & accomplish His purposes when we are faithful to Him, Rom. 12:1-2; 14:7-8.


Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death:  Thatís Testing!
1.  Trials of life & death are common to all, 1 Cor. 10:13.

2.  Trials of life can mature & strengthen us in faith, Jas. 1:2-3.

3.  In Christ, the terror of death gives way to joyful hope, 1 Co. 15:54-57.


I will fear no evil:  Thatís Protection!

1.  Protected from sin (a way of escape), 1 Cor. 10:13.

2.  Protected through watchful vigilance, 1 Pet. 5:8-9.

3.  Fear no evil:  Protected by the God of all grace & power, 1 Pet. 5:10 (Psa. 27:1-3; Isa. 41:8-10).

For You are with me:  Thatís Faithfulness!
1.  God is our faithful companion, Heb. 13:5-6.

2.  Cast your burden on the Lord, Psa. 55:22 (1 Pet. 5:6-7).

3.  Fellowship for the faithful with the Faithful One!


Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me:  Thatís Discipline!
1.  Allusion is to the shepherdís crook or staff; Used to reclaim the weak & straying & used to number & direct his flock (Mic. 7:14).

2.  The Lordís discipline affirms His love for use & His presence with us as it trains us in righteous living, Heb. 12:6, 10-11.

3.  His discipline is applied through His word (2 Tim. 3:16-17).


You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies:  Thatís Hope!
1.  Our God is greater than the enemy, 1 Jno. 4:4.

2.  Christ rules in midst of enemies; offer willing service (Psa. 110:2-3).

3.  Hope doesnít disappoint, Rom. 5:4-5 (1 Pet. 1:3; Heb. 6:19).


You anoint my head with oil:  Thatís Consecration!
1.  Fullness of blessings refresh the soul of those dedicated to God.

2.  Christians are dedicated to Christ & set apart from the world to be holy (saints), 1 Cor. 1:2; cf. Jno. 17:17.


My cup runs over:  Thatís Abundance!   

1.  God exceeds & excels our requests & thoughts!  Eph. 3:20

2.  The blessings of God to the faithful are limitless, Mal. 3:10.

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:  Thatís Blessing!
1.  The certainty of faith, cf. Matt. 6:31-34.

2.  Godís goodness & mercy is with us always!


And I will dwell in the house of the Lord:  Thatís Security!
1.  Only children (of God) dwell in the house (of God), Gal. 4:5-7.

2.  Hold fast to the end, Heb. 3:6.


Forever:  Thatís Eternity!

-Godís sheep enter the eternal kingdom, Matt. 25:32-40, 46.

 

Conclusion

1.  Ezek. 34:23-31:  Christ, the Good Shepherd, has broken the bonds of sin & feeds His sheep in the pastures of spiritual safety & the peace of heavenly blessings.

2.  The Lord is your shepherd when you listen & follow His word.