Saturday, October 07, 2006

October 1 and 8, 2006--Psalm 23 Perfects

Note: Post taken from loose outline notes of pastor. Actual sermon may have varied. This sermon based on something the pastor's sister gave that came from her Church's study.

Text: Psalm 23

IT is amazing how things we have looked at time and again can reveal new things to us. Well, I think we knew these things were there, but we couldn't see the forest for the trees. My ssister gave me this info, and I am going to pass it on. Hidden inside this famous piece of Scripture are 14 perfects God provides for us and we can get in a relationship with Him.

The Lord is my Shepard--Perfect Salvation
We have seen the imagery before. Christ as the perfect shepard. A shepard loves his sheep, he cars for them like they are family. Christ loves us so much he is willing to risk all and did so. Shepards care so much for one sheep that they will leave the rest of the flock to go and find the lost sheep. Glad Christ is like that because we are the lost sheep, he found us and led us to salvation. A perfect salvation, where he is always watching out for us.

I shall not want--Perfect Satisfaction
We have so many needs and wants in our lives. WE need food and shelter, clothing, water. However, we have so much desire for other things, when really all we desire is to have a full relationship with God, to fillup that missing part in our hearts. A relationship with God satisfies us, because when we are with Him we know that He will care for us, we know that He will provide, and we can take satisfaction in knowing He will give according to our needs.
He makes me to lie Down in Green Pastures-Perfect Rest
Remember when we were kids? Remember running in the yard and then getting tired? We just flopped down on the nice cool grass and looked up at the sky and had a nce little rest. That is the metaphor here. When we have a relationship with God, he gives us rest like that. That pure, childlike rest where we don't worry about germs or stains or anything else, we are just at peace outside, taking a moment to soak in His creation. God provides that for us. He gives us the chance to lay down our labors and just lie in the grass with Him, then to give Him our labor and we can rest while he does the heavey lifting.
He leadeth me beside still waters-Perfect Refreshment
Remember in the westerns? The Lone Ranger and Tonto would ride all day, tracking bad guys, and would need a rest. They would come to a stream when they and hte horses were tired. There they would take a drink from the pure clean water. Yes, htis was back before toxic waste and the mess of our waters. Some of you may remember when you could drink by the stil water. God leads us to the still waters to provide us with refreshment. Often, our tanks run dry. WE don't feel like being joyful or doing service. WE come to God and he gives us something which refereshes us, which allows the water of the Holy Spirit to wash us and refresh us, to give us a drink of the water of Life that then we can go out and ride the trails again. That is the perfect refreshment God can provide us.
He restoreth my soul-Perfect Restoration
Sometimes we are battered by the world. Our spirits get bruised, we get hurt by others, we are worn down by the world. God promieses to restore us, and this shows it in the Psalm. WE get worn down by the world, and God gives us the energy to go on, even in sorrow, even in pain. He gives us the ability to have our full being and soul restored. Sometimes we get in a position where we feel our souls are tattered, and God restores us to like pure infants.

He leadeth me in paths of righteousness-Perfect Guidance
God can lead us in a relationship with Him. He will lead us along paths we may not initially want to go down. However, if we trust Him, we will always be led on the right path. It might take unexpected turns, but it is the right path.
I will fear no evil-Perfect Protection
Along our paths, there are temptations, slings and arrows, hidden forces wanting us to go off the path, like the tempting grass of a new meadow for a sheep. God, if we trust him and call upon him, will protect us from these. God protects us so we don't have to fear evil, we can then confront evil and claim his protection.
Thou art with Me-Perfect Company
We all want the perfect friend. We spend our lives meeting people we call friend, and everyone, even those we call our best friends, fall short. Sometimes we are lucky to have a few great friends, whether outsidres, spouses, brothers or sisters, etc. However, if we trust in the Lord and abide in Him, we get the perfect friend. Someone who knows us completely, inside and out, and loves us anyway, without condition. someone willing to sacrifice for us, willing to die for us. We get in our corner the creator of the universe, for goodness sake! What an awesome friend. The best company to have, one who protects and guides us.
Thy Rod and thy Staff, they comfort me--Perfect Comfort
When God is in our company, God provides us with Comfort. He provides us with the comfort of His direction. when we fall off the path, he reaches out with his Rod and tells us to grab hold and be pulled out of the abyss. The comfort is like when we are learning to bowl, when they put the bumpers up to keep us from making a gutter ball. The bumpers allow us to know that no matter if our aim wavers, we still will not fall into the abyss of the gutter. God will reach out to us until there is no time left. He will continue to reach out with that staff to keep us from going into the gutter, or to grab us when we are falling.

Thou preparest a table before me--Perfect Provision
God sets us up with all we need, even when our enemies are around. He gives us all we need, provides us with all the tools we need. Like soldiers, we need to have the right tools and things for our mission. Different missions and journeys require different provisions. God provides it all to us.
You Annoint my Head with Oil--Perfect Consecration
Oil is very important. it is very valuable, as we all know about by going to the gas pumps. If you have oil, you have a precious resource. Oil was used to consecrate a king or important person. You poured that precious resource over their head to show how important they were, more important than the resource of the oil. God does that for us. He annoints us with the Holy spirit, he annoints us with Christ's blood, He annoints us with forgiveness and consecrates us to be His people in this world.
My Cup Runneth Over--Perfect Joy
Imagine being a kid and having a neverending supply of ice cream. Wooeee! That would be awesome. A neverending flow of the stuff, overflwing from the cone. That is how our joy should be, especially when we step back and count our blessings. when we take stock of all God has given to us and all He does for us, we find how blessed we are. We find new joy. By counting our blessings, we get that joy, and by realizing how wonderful it is to be with Him, and what a relationship with Him means, ie, eternal life in the glorious New Heaven with Him, then we realize how joyful we should be, despite our present sufferings. AFter all, waht is in store is a place where there are no more tears, fears, or sorrows. How amazingly joyful is that? Why, its better than a neverending supply of ice cream!
Goodness and Mercy shall follow me all the days of my Life--Perfect Care
When we have a relationship with God, he watches out for us. He takes care of us. He provides for us. He will give us good things and we will have the abuundant blessings of being forgiven Jesus people. Though we may endure hardship, we still will have God's goodness and love and mercy.

I will Dwell in the House of the Lord Forever--Perfect Destiny
God has a plan for us. He wants all of us to be with Him forever. He wants all of us to hang with Him in the Big House in the Sky, to eat of the blessed fruit and drink from the water of life. He wants that for all of us. That is aht he has planned for us to do, where he has planned for us to go. Howeer, it is up to us. WE have this thing called free will which sometimes gets in the way. However, God plans for us to be with Him and when we call out ot Him and have a relationship with Him, we can know that this is waht is waiting for us. It should embolden us and enrich us to go from being spiritual infants to spiritual giants. What a great destiny awaits!

You know what else is cool? Look at the tense of these perfects. They are in the present tense, meaning we can have these perfects right now in our lives if we claim these perfects, if we believe in God and his Promises. They are not in the past tense, meaning that we had them, but now we don't. It is not in the super conditional tesne, meaning that there is some parameters that must be met, or some condition. WE can have these right now if we believe in God, and these promises, these perfects, if you will, are even now being fulfilled and worked out in us. Even now, we are being perfectly guided, perfectly cared for, and can have perfect joy. It is not some uncertain time in the future. These perfects can be accessed now. Claim them. Grow your relationship with God. Fulfill and get closer to that perfect destiny he calls us to!

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