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Sunday AM Remix – 11.27.11

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

“I Will Dwell In the House of the Lord Forever”

* A lot of people spend their lives worrying about tomorrow. They never enjoy today because they’re worrying about tomorrow. Why? Because we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow.

* REALITY: We can’t control what’s going to happen. Instead, we worry, fret, and agonize over what could happen.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever. Psalm 23

* FACT: David ends this psalm with extreme confidence.

* QUESTION: Is it easier for you to focus on the fear of what could be or to have faith in what can be? Why or How?

* As believers we can face the future with confidence.

I CAN FACE THE FUTURE CONFIDENTLY …

1. BECAUSE GOD’S GOODNESS IS WATCHING OVER ME.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life . . .”  Psalm 23:6a (NKJV)

* TRUTH: God’s goodness is tracking us down all the time.

* REALITY: Bad things still happen to Godly people.

* PROMISE: God promises that He will use everything that happens to us for our good. No matter what bad or evil things come our way, if the Lord is our shepherd, He will make sure goodness comes out of whatever happens.

* Psalm 23:6 is to the Old Testament what Romans 8:28 is to the New Testament, look what it says …

 “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

* There is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, disaster in the life of a Christian that ultimately God won’t bring good out of. Eventually, God’s goodness will flow out of it. Somehow.

* Sometimes we are so close to the situation that we can’t see how God is working and even wonder Why He is letting this happen, or How could this be gods plan?  It may take day, months, or years before we see that God wasn’t absent, he was just quietly growing us in the process.

* REMINDER: Paul wrote much of the New Testament while sitting in prison.

* Psalm 23 is a Shepherds Psalm. It’s a reminder of how a shepherd is supposed to lead his sheep. And we know that the shepherd of this psalm is the Savior in the Gospels.

* Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd

* The word ‘good’ doesn’t mean nice; it means unique or one of a kind.

* Jesus was saying there is no one like me, so there is no one who can take care of you like I can. So follow Me and I’ll lead you into goodness.

“And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”  Acts 10:38 (NLT)

* For 33 years living life on this earth, Jesus went about doing good for His sheep. Listen, what He did then, He is doing now. The Good Shepherd is still doing good for His sheep.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  James 1:17 (NIV)

* TRUTH: Everything good in my life comes as a gift from God.

* QUESTION: What are the good things that God has given you that sometimes you overlook?

“. . . The goodness of God endures continually.”  Psalm 52:1b (NKJV)

“The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.”  Psalm 145:9 (NKJV)

“He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”  Matthew 5:45b (NIV)

“He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.”  Psalm 33:5 (NKJV)

* You can’t go anywhere in this world where you can’t find some evidence of the goodness of God.

* OUR PROBLEM: We take God’s goodness for granted so often that we don’t often realize just how good God really is, and how we benefit from His goodness every second of every day.

2. BECAUSE GOD’S GRACE IS WORKING IN ME.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. . .”  Psalm 23:6a (NKJV)

* The word ‘Mercy’ here is the Hebrew word ‘Hesed’. It’s used 246 times in the Old Testament and half of those are in the book of Psalms. It’s David’s favorite word to describe God’s attitude toward His children. Hesed can be rendered mercy or loving-kindness or overwhelming grace.

* Mercy is the flip side of Grace. In fact, mercy is the result of God’s grace.

* God’s grace is the vehicle that carries God’s mercy to you. You could even say that grace is mercy in action.

“. . . I will now have mercy on you through My grace.”  Isaiah 60:10b (NLT)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. . .”  Psalm 23:6a (NKJV)

 * The Hebrew word for ‘follow’ literally means ‘to pursue or chase down’.

* REALITY: God’s goodness and His mercy pursue us, chase us down, run after us, and stays right on our heels all the days of our lives.

* REMINDER this is a shepherd song’s. Shepherds don’t drive sheep, they lead sheep.

* QUESTION: who are you Shepherding? Are you leading them or driving them? What do you feel like you need to do?

“Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.   They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)

* If you belong to the Lord, if the Lord is your shepherd, you don’t have to face the future with a question mark, you can face it with an exclamation point. Because Gods goodness and mercy follows you, picking up the pieces, cleaning up the messes, and making you complete by His Grace and Mercy found in Christ Jesus.

3. BECAUSE GOD’S GLORY IS WAITING FOR ME.

“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  Psalm 23:6b (NKJV)

* The word And here is very important because that little word connects our today’s with our tomorrows. It binds our present with our future.

 “One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.”  Psalm 27:4 (NIV)

* David had one purpose in life: to glorify God. He had one goal for his future: to live in the presence of God forever and ever and ever.

 “We know that our body—the tent we live in here on earth—will be destroyed. But when that happens, God will have a house for us. It will not be a house made by human hands; instead, it will be a home in heaven that will last forever.”  2 Corinthians 5:1 (NCV)

* This is why Christians should be the most confident people on the planet. We know who we are, whose we are, and where we’re going when we die.

“So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. . . Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:6, 8 (NLT)

* PERSPECTIVE: Death, for Christians, is a transfer, a promotion. It’s on to better things. No more problems, not more tears, no more sin. But you’re not ready to live until you’re ready to die. You don’t know how to live until you’re ready to die.

FINAL THOUGHTS:

In this Psalm, God saves the best for last. From the very beginning, He tells us that will lack nothing. He says when we’re hungry, He will lead us to green pastures. When we’re thirsty, He will lead us to still waters. When we’re lost, He will find us and lead us down the right path. Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, He will protect us with His rod and staff. And even when we are surrounded by our enemies, we will eat in calmness and abundance from His table, knowing He is right beside us all the time.

He promises our earthly life will be full of goodness and mercy, and all of that is wonderful, but this Psalm closes by saying that if the Lord is your Shepherd the best is yet to be. In other words, the best moments of your existence are still ahead. You haven’t seen anything until you reach your final destination.

Listen…life is hard. There are struggles, and strife, and countless issues we have to deal with, but listen, God is saying to you right now…keep your fork…the best, His best, is yet to come.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What do you look forward to most when you think about heaven?

2. Confidence is something we all hope to possess. In your life what does does confidence look like and in what areas do you feel you have this confidence? Where do you think this confidence come from?

3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident are you that you are going to heaven when you die? What do you base your ‘score’ on?

4. Read Ps. 23:6, 1 John 5:13, Romans 8:35-39. What do these verses have to say about being confident in your salvation? How should this assurance bolster the way you live?

5. Read Ps. 33:5, 52:1, 145:9. What do these verses say about the goodness of God? What do you think David means when he says that God’s goodness follows him every day of his life? Are you experiencing this? Why or why not?

6. What’s the difference between grace and mercy? Why do we need both? How do both of these wonderful gifts of God play a role in your every day life?

7. Pastor Bob said grace is the vehicle that carries God’s mercy to you …. grace is mercy in action. Grace is a gift to you that you don’t deserve. Gods grace pursues us, it chases us down. How does this change your prospective of thinking God is angry with you?

8. Pastor Bob noted that the Shepherd lead the sheep he didn’t drive the sheep. When it comes to your leadership, do you tend to lead or drive the people around you? How is this impacting your relationships?

9. Read Lamentations 3:22. Why is it important for a Christian to know that God’s mercy never runs out? How should that affect your walk with Christ?

10. Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-8. How does Paul’s future ‘home’ affect his daily living? Is Paul more motivated by the desire to be with Christ, or by fear of judgment? Which motivates you?

11. Pastor Bob mentioned the best is yet to come, speaking about Heaven. What do you imagine heaven to be like? Read John 14:2-4
Do you know people that aren’t aware of God’s glory awaiting them? How might you ministry to them after hearing today’s sermon?

12. What part of Psalm 23 is most impacting your life right now? Why?

MUSICAL WORSHIP SET

You Never Let Go – Redman

Everlasting God – Brown

My Reward – Stanfill

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Sweetly Broken – Riddle

We hope that you found Sundays Message and following Small Group Questions helpful. If you missed this weeks message, I encourage you to get it here.  While you are there, browse around our website … we think you will like it and find it to be a great tool in inviting friends to FBC Harvester.

As always, I hope you make plans to join us at FBC Harvester next weekend! If distance is a problem, you are always welcome to listen to any of the teachings from our worship service on our website. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us here. We would love the privilege of helping where we can and seeing God do amazing things in our lives together.

 

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