Summary: Just like a good shepherd who leads his sheep to rest, God will give us rest and provide for us.
• What picture comes to mind when you think of rest?
• Maybe it's a beach, a hammock by a cabin in the woods, or lying in a meadow next to a bubbling brook.
• No matter the scene, we have pictures and images that help us imagine what rest looks like.
• People are desperate to find peace and rest.
• Guru's, meditation apps, and meditative mantras are sought out to help us find rest and peace in the craziness of life.
• Google "relaxation," and you will find a myriad of images, YouTube links, and apps that help people find rest.
• This striving should show us the need for rest in our lives—just as God told us.
• Through this series, we have been examining the issue of redeeming rest.
• God did not design us to run 24/7 for our mental, physical and spiritual health; we need to learn to take time to focus on God and to rest!
• In our Wednesday Evening Bible Study, we finished a study on anxiety and how it affects us.
• Anxiety will rob us of peace and rest.
• I believe that anxiety is a tool that the enemy uses to keep us from experiencing the joy, peace, and rest God desires.
• Today, we will examine part of a Psalm that even those who have not read a Bible are most likely familiar with, the 23rd Psalm.
• We will examine the first four verses of this Psalm.
• In these four verses, we will see three keys that will help us to unlock the rest and peace that God desires for you!
› Big Idea of the Message: Just like a good shepherd who leads his sheep to rest, God will give us rest and provide for us.
• Let's begin with verse 1.
Psalm 23:1 (CSB)
1 The LORD is my shepherd; I have what I need.
We can experience God's rest and peace if we are:
I. Content with God.
• One of the ways we can experience peace and rest is to be content with God.
Psalms, Volume 1 (B. Yahweh's Gracious Care (23:1–6))
It is not without significance that Psalm 22 and 23 are placed in juxtaposition.
In the former, there is the agony and distress of one who feels abandoned by the Lord; in the latter, the joy and confidence of one who lives daily in God's fellowship.
• If we do not know the sufferings of the Shepherd, we cannot fully appreciate the Shepherd's care for the flock!
• For those in Christ, the 22nd and 23rd Psalm find their meaning in Jesus!
• David wrote the 23rd Psalm as one who experienced God's love and care.
• Here is something we need to understand.
• Finding peace and rest will not happen for us through philosophical or theological speculations,
• David is not writing this Psalm for those purposes.
• David makes a simple affirmation of the truth he realized and experienced in his life.
• You will not experience peace by JUST reading your Bible; you experience peace by KNOWING Jesus Christ, or in David's case at the time, God the Father!
• From this Psalm from David concerning God, we sense that David was content with God; he was at peace with God.
• David begins the Psalm with; The Lord is MY Shepherd!
• God was not just some thought in the mind, words on a page, some mysterious, unknowable, unreachable force; God was DAVID'S SHEPHERD!
• One thing about a good shepherd is the fact that a good shepherd cannot shepherd from afar!
• The Shepherd needs to be close to the sheep.
› David speaks with artless simplicity, without equivocation, and no inhibitions, making a statement that some might consider presumptuous.
› And yet, David's words are altogether devoid of any spirit of boasting.
› Instead, they are the spontaneous outcry of one who himself is overjoyed by the truth he utters.
• THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD!
• Sheep are kind of dumb and defenseless.
• One smart thing they do is hang out in herds, making them look larger than they are.
• That fact is one smart thing. The larger the herd you are in, the less likely the chance YOU will be someone's dinner!
• David does not draw his peace from an idol formed by the hands of man, nor is the almighty dollar, nor is his position his source of peace.
• God, the creator of heavens and earth, HE is David's Shepherd!
• Can you think of a more outstanding shepherd than that?