Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Psalm 23:5 Sermon Notes

Psalm 23:5
Follow Me: The Lord is my Shepherd

David is in a situation that is desperate, but he is completely confident in his Shepherd and he is at peace in his heart. As the Lord has been faithful to him in the past, David believes the Lord will continue to be faithful. He’s been through too much with the Lord to stop believing in Him and to quit living for Him. Today we will learn just how David believes the Lord is being faithful to him in the present moment, and we can apply it to our own lives. READ TEXT

I. ”You prepare." David is commenting on the reality that Jesus brings and/or allows every circumstance to come to him. There is a divine purpose for instruction, discipline, strength and faith building in every situation and relationship we experience or are involved in. Jesus also "prepares us" by allowing us to witness the faithfulness or lack there of in others whom we come into contact with during life's journey.

Two possibilities of meaning for "Table" in verse 5. 1) an actual table where a meal was provided. 2) a flat place in the mountains and hills was called a table. It was a great place to rest the sheep after a hard climb (battle). 

II. ”In the presence of my enemies." The shepherd brought the sheep back to the fold each evening. It was usually a circular stone walled structure with a small entrance way that the sheep would go through one at a time. The shepherd placed himself in that small opening during the night, even as he slept. Any enemy of the shepherd, any thief, any wild animal looking for a free meal would have to go through the shepherd to get to the sheep. No where in Scripture does it say that or did God promise to remove our enemies, but He does promise that we can overcome them, experience victory over them. This gives me a mental picture of being engaged in a fight and winning. Fights aren't clean and pretty, nor are they easy. You hit and get hit. You bleed when you're in a real fight. Soldiers get wounded and need to have medical attention. But in all of this King Jesus is with us. "He has overcome already all those things that come against us.

The good man has his enemies. He would not be like his Lord if he had not. If we were without enemies we might fear that we were not the friends of God, for the friendship of the world is enmity to God. (Spurgeon)

We tend to be frightened when confronted with an enemy. Perfect love casts out all fear. "In the midst of the storm, you remain in control. In the middle of the war, you are guard my soul. You alone are the anchor when the sails are torn. Your love surrounds me, in the eye of the storm."

III. ”Anoint my head with oil." The shepherd would apply oil and ointment to the heads of the sheep to keep flies and biting insects away. It was protection on one hand and healing on the other. Many commentators point to the NT and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit in the life of each believer and the church. The Holy Spirit is here to guide us, protect us, guard us, comfort us, mend what’s broken, strengthen what is weak, confront what is sinful, bless what is godly.

The sheep were always secure when the shepherd was close at hand.

IV. ”My cup overflows." It's not that you have too little or just enough when you follow King Jesus as your shepherd. Walking His paths and trust His heart will lead you to a cup that is full and overflowing. Notice that the verb is present tense. It is currently overflowing which indicates that the one pouring into the cup has no plans to stop pouring. James 1:5, Prov. 3:5-10, Luke 6:38, II Cor. 9:8-12.

Don’t forget, don’t allow the enemy to steal away from you the reality of the faithfulness of God toward you. If you walk out of here today with a firm and renewed belief that God has been, is being, and will be faithful to you, your life will be different and you will walk in victory. If you win, Satan loses. He wants to steal that victory from you. He wants you to live defeated. In King Jesus, you are a winner. Claim the victory. Cling to the victory. Lead someone else to victory.

11-11-16 email update

Weekly Update

Last night (Tuesday) was a stressful night. I stayed up until 1:15am trying to see the results of the election, and even then there was no clear winner for president. I was off to the hospital at 5:30am for a member’s surgery, and it was at that point that I learned we had a president-elect, Donald J. Trump. I’m sure you are aware of his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” That statement speaks volumes. It reveals that America, from the perspective of Donald and his team, had been great, was now no longer great, but could be great again with the right leaders with the right plan. I have been thinking a lot about that slogan today, and I believe that it will take many people working very hard for a long period of time to “Make America Great Again.” Great effort and energy, perseverance, and consistency are crucial components of any plan to see significant change in the USA. And then my mind began to think about Highland Baptist Church. I want to see HBC grow deep and grow wide. I long to see the members of HBC grow in their own personal relationship with King Jesus (DEEP). I long to see the members of HBC grow wide (increase attendance, church growth). In that sense I want to see HBC become “greater” than it’s ever been.

I believe King Jesus has a magnificent plan and purpose and mission for Highland Baptist Church, for you and for me. But I believe that a great part of that magnificent plan, purpose, and mission will never become a reality if you and I aren’t willing to put in the “great effort and energy, perseverance, and consistency” to see what we dream of and desire for Highland Baptist Church take place. Do you want to see America become great again? What price are you willing to pay so that it happens? Do you want to see Highland Baptist Church become an even greater church? What price are you willing to pay so it happens? I have really been spending a lot of time praying about 2017, and as I have prayed the Lord has redirected me to a different theme than I originally thought about. Our theme for 2017 will be “WHATEVER IT TAKES.” I truly believe the best days for this church are in front of her. We’ve had some great days in the past, but our best will be found in what lies ahead. I want to get there, “Whatever it takes.” I pray you will ponder and pray about this three-word statement. I pray it will grab hold of your heart with heavenly hooks that will never let go, and that you and I will spend the rest of our days serving King Jesus, “WHATEVER IT TAKES.”

Make plans to come back to church Sunday night for our annual business meeting at 6pm. It will be followed by a time of food and fellowship. If you haven’t grabbed an advance copy of the proposed budget and nominating committee recommendations, they are available for your preview at the Welcome Center. I want to thank the members of the Finance Team and the Nominating Team for your hard word. May God bless you all for your faithful service to the Lord Jesus at HBC.

Serving Him,

Pastor Mike