Are You Satisfied With Your Share?
Reading Psalm 23v1 Part 3.
Preacher Ken Humphries
3. Think About the Magnanimity of Satisfaction!" I shall not want"
A little girl when saying her prayers of an evening often used the words, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I've got all I want." And if you think carefully about that prayer you will find that little girl is not far wrong. Or put it like this it might come clearer, "The Lord shepherding me, I have all I want." The idea being, because it’s the Lord who is my Shepherd, with Him I am fully satisfied, therefore in Him I have everything I need. The idea today seems to be satisfaction comes from what the Lord gives us. No! No! A thousand times No! The Magnanimity of satisfaction is in the Lord Himself.
You see, we take Psalm 37 for example and quote, "Delight thyself in the Lord and he will give thee the desires of thine heart." When we read that beautiful text we think, well, if I love Jesus enough I can get anything I want! But that is not the meaning of the text at all. What the text means is, when you delight yourself in the Lord the deepest desire of your heart will be met in Jesus Christ. Why? Because; when you delight in the Lord he becomes the deepest desire of your heart. He! Himself! Becomes your deepest desire, not the things he gives but He Himself. You see beloved that’s what we were made for. In Him we live, we move, and have our being.
The reason there is so little peace and love in many a home, heart, marriage church, job, friendship or even country today is because we look for satisfaction in things and not in the Lord.
Friends all around me are trying to find,
What the heart yearns for by sin undermined;
I have the secret, I know where 'tis found,
Only true pleasures in Jesus abound;
Jesus is all this world needs today,
Blindly men strive, for sin darkens their way;
O to pull back the grim curtain of night,
One look at Jesus and all will be light!
Now, the question I must ask today of those of us who want to hear this is, is this true? Do we find in Jesus Christ a true magnanimity of satisfaction or is this simply, hollow words and foolish thinking?
Well, Jesus lays it out for us in a way we can come to the correct conclusion for ourselves. Do I find in Jesus Christ all I need, desire, or even want?
A. Jesus Speaks of A Relationship, Which Is, Personal: John 10 v 4-5.
(1) The Sheep Follow the Shepherd: v 4.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
The idea is that of the shepherd on the Judean hills in this particular time zone when going out to round up his flock of sheep did not send a dog to bark at their heels to bring them into the fold or to his side. He himself would go out to the pasture where the sheep were grazing and call them by name. He knew them by name and they knew the sound of his voice. He did not drive them, he led them, and they followed him because they trusted him.
The Lord Jesus has led us; the sheep of His pasture, out of the destructive fold of this world and calls us to follow Him. Now to follow Him we must know and trust Him. It’s interesting; the initiative for this particular piece of Biblical truth was a blind man of whom we read in John chapter 9. There he was as Jesus passed by, Jesus saw him, or looked deep into the inner being of the man and saw his great need. The disciples began asking questions and Jesus answered but all the while He was intent on doing something for this blind man. The blind man had not spoken one word but he was the object of attention by Jesus, His disciples asked therefore of everyone around, what was happening? Why, this man was hearing all that was being said in his presence.
What does the Scripture say? "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." This blind man comes to know the Shepherd of Israel by Faith. In v 38 of John 10 he says, Lord, I believe. And do you know the first thing he did after his confession of faith. Worshiped God! He comes to know the shepherd of Israel by faith and then by fellowship and then by following. That is the order of the day now and it always has been the order of the day. Faith, Fellowship and Following, this is God's plan for His people. In his testimony this man says an amazing thing. v 33 of John 10, "If this man (Jesus) were not of God, he could do nothing." Here's my point! In fact let this make the point for me!
If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible to him who believes in him. Corrie Ten Boom.
When we truly follow the shepherd then all He can do we can do! Am I speaking foolishly or brashly?
John 14v12. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto my Father."
The sheep follow the Shepherd for a very good reason! Do you want to know if you are truly following the shepherd, let your works speak for themselves!
(2) The Sheep Fear the Stranger: John 10v5.
"And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers."
Having lived in a village setting when a boy I remember watching the farmer come down to the gate of the field where the sheep were grazing. Immediately they noticed the farmer with a bag or bucket in hand, as if bound together they ran toward the farmer, yet when some of us boys would cross that same field where the sheep were grazing they would run from us. What was the difference? Why they were fed by the farmer; but they had a fear of us because we were strangers. You see sheep are not naturally drawn to strangers they run from them. And beloved brothers and sisters we need to be careful of those who would come amongst the flock of God. Using a different figure of speech Paul reminded the elders or shepherds at the church of Ephesus:
"Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock." Acts 20v28-29.
Paul is alerted to the fact in his spirit that when he goes from the people of God they may be sheepish enough to accept, even from among their own number those who would eventually destroy the flock of God and scatter it. Paul knows from his years of working with men in office, you can depend completely on every one of them, some you can depend on to feed and lead the flock and some you can absolutely depend upon to wear and tear the flock to pieces.
I have had such an experience! After a while a stranger is no longer a stranger, he becomes accepted and therefore he no longer looks like a threat to the flock.
That's the reason, when writing to Timothy; Paul takes such pains to spell out what is expected of those who would be leaders of God's people. Above all else they are to be men who know what is to follow the shepherd, to be led by the shepherd, to be fed by the shepherd. If you find a man in office or in leadership in any part of the church and he is not a man who feeds daily from the milk and the meat of God's wonderful Word and submissively accepts to do all that God commands him, he has no right to be in such an office. And you have every right to fear such a leader!
Some years ago Premier Khrushchev was speaking before the Supreme Soviet and was severely critical of the late Premier Stalin. While he was speaking someone from the audience sent up a note: "What were you doing when Stalin committed all these atrocities?" Khrushchev shouted, "Who sent up that note?" Not a person stirred. "I'll give him one minute to stand up!" The seconds ticked off. Still no one moved. "All right, I'll tell you what I was doing. I was doing exactly what the writer of this note was doing--exactly nothing! I was afraid to be counted!"
James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 128.
The meaning of a relationship that is personal with the Lord Jesus Christ is to be led and fed by Him at all times and to grow to deep maturity in Him so that we are totally satisfied with Him and all that He is.
B. Jesus Speaks of A Relationship, Which Is, Permanent: John 10v28-29.
"I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my father's hand."
There is no security in things. In fact, things are deceptive: they appear to be satisfying and lasting when they are actually temporary and unable to satisfy the deepest needs of life. ... Certainly, God wants us to enjoy the blessings of life. There is nothing spiritual about sitting morosely in a corner and saying, "These things will not last anyway! Why enjoy them?" God wants us to enjoy his good gifts, just as we want our children to enjoy what we give them. But he does not want us to depend on things--He wants us to depend on Him.
Warren W. Wiersbe in Meet Yourself in the Parables. Christianity Today Vol. 32 No. 4.
Why? Because wonder of wonders this statement concerning our eternal security is matched only by Paul's assurances in Romans 8. There we note that our possession of eternal life is stated in the present, continuous tense. We do not have to wait until we die to find out if we are saved. We are given this present wonderful assurance.
Oh beloved, there is something wonderful, something majestic, about the picture of the Lord wrapping his mighty hand around us, and of the Father coming behind that and wrapping his almighty hand around His. Thus we are enciphered in Christ and in God. Does that not make you want to shout I shall not want! In Christ I am completely satisfied!
I have never met a soul who has set out to satisfy the Lord and has not been satisfied himself. Watchman Nee: Leadership, Vol. 9 No. 3.
The man or woman who does not know God demands an infinite satisfaction from other human beings, which they cannot give, and in the case of the man, he becomes tyrannical and cruel. It springs from this one thing, the human heart must have satisfaction, but there is only one being who can satisfy the last abyss of the human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers; Christianity Today, Vol. 37 No. 11.
Question: Is the Lord your Shepherd?
Answer: The Shepherd is my Lord!