Are You Satisfied With Your Share?
Reading Psalm 23v1 Part 2.
Preacher Ken Humphries
2. Think About the Manner of the Shepherd! "The Lord my Shepherd"
Whether David knew it or not he was revealing to us, the Church which, would not be formed until Pentecost, a wonderful and beautiful truth that should be so precious to us as to bless our very being today. Here's the wonderful truth!
The "Jehovah" of the Old Testament is the "Jesus" of the New Testament. You see, when we say "Jehovah" we speak of Deity and when we say "Jesus" "Shepherd" we speak of Humanity.
Why, it was Jesus Himself in John chapter 10 who unlocked the amazing mystery of Psalm 23 for us when He said, "I am the Good Shepherd."
So what was David talking about when he said in Psalm 23 v 1" "The Lord is my Shepherd?" He was very powerfully saying, listen! Listen! Not only do we have Sovereignty, "The Lord" we also have sympathy, "The Shepherd" not only do we have one who is able to do exceedingly above and beyond all we could ever imagine but we have one who is available to us at all times and in all circumstances. If only we could grasp the wonder of that amazing truth!
There is one who is God in Heaven, yes, but one who is Shepherd in our hearts. The Lord Jehovah is my Shepherd!
I am not depending on the arm of flesh, it will fail me big time, I am depending, says David, on one who shall, must, can, will, never fail me.
One minister was phoning his sermon title to the weekly local newspaper that carried his advertisement, with the title of his sermon. "What's your title this week Reverend?" said the editor. "The Lord's My Shepherd" said the minister. "Is that all Reverend?" Said the editor. "That’s enough,” said the minister. The paper advertisement carried his add alright but his sermon title read, "The Lord's My Shepherd, That's enough! The advertisement could not have been more correct.
Abraham did not know the way, but he knew the Guide.
Be simple; take our Lord's hand and walk through things.
The Lord Jesus has been teaching His disciples about a False Shepherd.
John 10 v 8-10 in order that he might teach them about a True Shepherd.
A. He Is The True Shepherd:
(1) The True Shepherd Brings Salvation! v9.
"I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture."
The true shepherd comes bringing the assurance of salvation and an enjoyment to life never before known.
(2) The True Shepherd Brings Security! v10a.
"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life."
The thief is a predator and not to be trusted, the shepherd is a protector and to be completely trusted.
(3) The True Shepherd Brings Sustenance! v10b.
"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
The Lord Jesus gives the deepest sustenance when we receive this wonderful life but only as we receive it on his terms of engagement. Then it will be abundant life! It will be life on a higher plane, a life that leads us to those higher echelons of holiness, a life that carries us to greater depths of spiritual experience and blessing.
If we view the microcosm of the human body, we find that the heart does not receive blood to store it up. While it pumps blood in at one valve, it sends it out at another. The blood is always circulating everywhere, and is never stagnant. The same is true of all the fluids in a healthy body; they are in a constant state of expenditure. If one cell stores for a few moments its particular secretion, it only retains it until it is perfectly fitted for its appointed use in the body. For if any cell in the body should begin to store up its secretion, its store would soon become the cause of inveterate disease. The organ would soon lose the power to secrete at all, if it did not give forth its products. The whole of the human system lives by giving. The eye cannot say to the foot, I have no need of thee and will not guide thee for if it does not perform its watchful office, the whole man will be in the ditch, and the eye will be covered with mire. If the members refuse to contribute to the general stock, the whole body will become poverty-stricken and be given up to the bankruptcy of death. Let us learn then, from the analogy of nature the great lesson, that to get we must give, that to accumulate we must scatter, that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that to get good and become spiritually vigorous, we must do good and seek the spiritual good of others.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)
B. He Is the Tender Shepherd: Hebrews 13v20-21.
"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Making you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever."
That wonderful tenderness is displayed for us in the writers closing benediction
The writer gives praise and glory for His Person. Who is this person he speaks of? Why He is "The God of Peace" ch.13v20a. He despises war and loves peace. War with God was begun, as far as man is concerned, in the Garden of Eden. And peace means that war is now over, God is the God of peace and He and He alone can bring peace to the troubled heart and to a warring world.
To turn your back on Christ is to turn your back on peace, eternal peace, and put your hand up for war against God and Heaven for all eternity. Is it any wonder the writer praises God for His person.
The writer also gives praise and glory for His Provision. He is after all the God who "brought again from the dead the Great Shepherd of the sheep with the blood of the everlasting covenant." ch.13 v 20b. So we can see in Christ a Shepherd who has the best good of others continually at heart, we can see in Christ a Shelter in a time of storm, we can see in Christ a Succour in ever time of need, and of course, much, much more. The assurance of the genuine believer is based on the blood of the everlasting covenant. You see, there were Hebrews here who were professing Christianity but in fact preferred the security they found in the rites and rituals of the old religion of Judaism to what they found in Christ. They were satisfied to go back to a fold without a shepherd and a fold without a shepherd is a desolate place indeed.
Thirdly the writer gives praise and glory for His Power. The Lord Jesus is able to "make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ." ch.13v21a.
This is a wonderful piece of writing from the unknown penman to the Hebrews. Notice it begins with a reference to the "Lord Jesus" and ends with a reference to "Jesus Christ" this is delightful! He is "The Lord Jesus" that refers to His position, to His coming out from eternity into time to take upon Himself humanity. Then He is "Jesus Christ"; that reminds of the fact that He was a man who, anointed by God, passed through human life and who now occupies a position as the Great High Priest in Glory. Only he can perfect God's amazing work in us, His children. His power alone can turn our hearts from sin and cause us to live the way God wants us to live.
Finally, the unknown penman to the Hebrews reminds us in his benediction that he gives honour and glory for His Praise. "To whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen" ch.13 v 21b. You see the Hebrews were absolutely besotted with thoughts of the beauty and wonder of the Temple. They relished the amazing rituals and rites, they loved the rich and costly vestments, they were in awe of the beautiful choristers singing, they revealed in the powerful orchestra's music, it was all so magnificent. All this they had to give up for a meeting with a little handful of people who carried through their service in such a simple way. Give up all this for the singing of a few hymns that came from half-hearted singers, who had no song in their hearts anyway. Give up all this to meet outside the city walls in some dingy damp cave or in someone's poorly furnished home. Give up this splendour for what?
They desperately needed to understand true glory, true wonder, true praise did not reside in a building but in a person the person of Christ. If they could but fix theirs eyes upon Him they would behold His glory, wonder and praise and would never want to trade what He is for anything else.
He was without doubt, the most tender of shepherds and would only lead them into pastures green and beside the still waters.
In the physical universe, energy does not perish but is transformed. In like manner, religious values are lifted into a higher case or degenerate into a lower one. When the nuns gave up their long habits, the girls put on maxi coats; when the rosary as a devotion was dropped, the hippies put beads around their necks; when mysticism evaporated into an irrelevant ideal, youths sought the ecstasy, not through the long haul of asceticism, but the short trip through pharmaceuticals; when seminaries, schools, and convents dropped discipline, which is an inner violence against our vices, the street mobs picked up violence but directed it against neighbour, race, and state. When the pulpits no longer resounded with the Name "above every name," the young began calling themselves "Jesus people."
C. He Is the Triumphant Shepherd: 1 Peter 5 v 4.
"And when the chief shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."
Here, the shepherd who saved us from the penalty, power and practice of sin, now called the great or triumphant shepherd, is going to take us away from the very presence of sin. Beloved are you ready for such an event?
You see it’s the triumphant shepherd who alone can assess a person's ministry and life. Oh, I know the world and its neighbour endeavours to assess our lives and ministry while we are on planet earth but they always end up making a bad job of it. Why? Because they are not in possession of all the facts! And it's only the triumphant shepherd who will give us the proper reward for that life and service.
Go to Anwoth in Scotland, stand amid the ruins of that small church which seated only about 150 people and was never filled. His people never considered the pastor of that church a success; in fact many of them had not a good word to say about him. But the man who pastored that church was the saintly Samuel Rutherford, whose book called; Letters of Samuel Rutherford is a spiritual classic. There is not a Bible Seminary today but who advise their students, before entering the ministry, to read again and again the letters of this saintly man. What men deem failure God sees as triumphant! Are you ready for the coming of the triumphant shepherd? Work as you know he would have you work and you will have nothing to fear.
The triumph of His resurrection is about to be seen.
The triumph of His reign is about to be seen.
The triumph of His relationship is about to be seen.
The triumph of His Return is about to be seen.
When the triumphant shepherd shall appear, will you be ready?
He is The True Shepherd! The Tender Shepherd! The Triumphant Shepherd! Think about the Manner of the Shepherd!