Psalm 23: The LORD is my Shepherd
May 31st, 2020
Watch live at 10am Sunday

The 23rd Psalm is a Psalm of comfort, a Psalm that celebrates right relationship between God and Man. 

In the twenty-third psalm, God reveals himself primarily as our shepherd.  As we

The relationship that David is talking about here between himself and God is a forever relationship, that should be getting deeper and more fulfilling for us all of the time. 

23 The Lord is my shepherd,

The Lord

Who is my Shepherd?  The capital LORD in your bible tells you that the word used here is Yaweh, the divine name of God. 

When we read this psalm, we tend to focus on all of the 7 things that the Lord does for us that are mentioned.

But look how the Psalm begins and ends.  The psalm is about God, what He does. 

The tone of the 23rd Psalm is at its heart very personal.  Up to now in the Psalms, God has been referred to as king, deliverer, or even the impersonal rock or shield, but calling God our shepherd emphasizes the relationship between God and us.  David is thinking about the comfort and care that God gives us personally. The trust that the sheep place in their shepherd, confident that He will lead them rightly because of who He is.   

Psalm 23 is a song of David proclaiming his confidence as one who has lived, having put his trust and faith in God as his Lord, and who will carry this confidence through death and beyond to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. 

Who’s shepherd his he?

My shepherd--Personal shepherd

God is only our shepherd if we are His

The 23rd Psalm is written from the perspective of the sheep.  King David is giving us a picture of what it’s like to be one of God’s sheep.  Psalm 100:2 says Know that the Lord Himself is God;It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  And again in Psalm 95:7  For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.

Calling us believers sheep is not so much a complement to us, as it is a picture of the total dependence that we have on God as our shepherd.

King David calls himself a sheep.  Sure, he is King over Israel, but he is most fundamentally also a sheep, just like all believers, under the care of the Great Shepherd, the Lord.  It’s important to remember that first and foremost, we are all fellow brother and sister sheep under the care of our Great Shepherd.

See God doesn’t look at things the same way that men do.  God looks at the heart.  It’s often the ones that people overlook that God uses and elevates because they’re not going to get prideful and full of themselves.

Shepherding sheep was the traditional occupation of Israel.  It was because the Israelites were shepherds that they came to live in the land of Goshen.  As we read in the Exodus of God sending his plagues to the Egyptians, we see over and over, God sparing the land of Goshen from the plagues.  God made a distinction between the Israelites and the Egyptians in these plagues, using the separation of the two peoples.

See this lifestyle of trusting the Lord and letting the Lord be our shepherd is going to be loathsome, or hated or disgusting to non-believers.  This life we have been called to separates us, just like it separated the Israelites living in Goshen from the Egyptians elsewhere in Egypt.  As Christians we are consecrated, set apart for service to God. 

I shall not [be in] want

Notice that the LORD is his shepherd now—present tense.  The Lord is now my shepherd, and notice that David is saying, so I won’t be in want in the future.  It’s a statement of trust and faith in God’s power to provide

want” means a lack of something that is needed.  It’s not so much that the LORD will give us everything that we desire. In Psalm 84:11 it says For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.  

No good thing does God withhold from those who walk uprightly, but many of the things that we desire are not good for us, at least in the way and in the timing that we want to see that desire fulfilled. 

prayer is always answered.  Sometimes the answer is Yes, sometimes the answer is No, and sometimes the answer is Wait

Philippians 4:18-22-God will Supply all your Needs.
May 24th, 2020

18 But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.
But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied,

Paul indicates that he has received everything in full, he’s speaking in terms of that commerce-like language of friendship that the Romans often employed. Basically he’s saying that he’s been paid back fully in terms of the friendship and service that he’s given the Philippians.

When Paul says he has an abundance, he’s saying that he abounds.

Their gift has given him abundance, and that he knows how to use their gift for God’s glory.

Paul expresses his motivation, which is for their spiritual growth, their progress and joy in the faith.

It would be very natural to turn to the language of commerce again to describe the Philippians (largely) monetary gift, but the minute that Paul begins to refer to the gift directly, he turns away from the language of commerce, and to the language of sacrifice, saying

a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God.

The picture is the burnt offering, which was understood as a “fragrant offering” to God. Since this sacrifice had been properly offered by the Philippians, out of a love for God, and a desire to see His work of the Gospel done and His will done, the sacrifice is “an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God”.

19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

Paul is rejoicing in the Lord, saying that his God will supply the Philippians needs-God will assume the responsibility for returning their blessing, for reciprocating for Paul.

In the midst of suffering attacks of opponents of the Gospel, experiencing the same conflict that Paul was experiencing (Phil 1:27-30), God was richly supplying the encouragement, the ability to stand, and the Joy needed to further the gospel.

In the midst of divisions and strive, God will supply the grace and humility to serve each other with joy (Phil 2:2)

In the face of anxiety and fear, God was supplying their needs by not only by supplying the “peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, but will be present with them as the “God of Peace”, Jehovah Shalom.

Paul reminds them of God’s wealth beyond imagination as He dwells “in glory”, made available to us, His children by adoption through putting our trust in Christ Jesus.

20 Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

After describing God’s glory and riches, Paul can’t help but worship.

21 Greet every saint in Christ Jesus.

Paul greets each saint within the church, but as a group.

The brethren who are with me greet you.

Paul is sending greetings from the circle of fellow saints immediately around him, fellow workers and saints like Luke and Epaphroditus who had served with him in Rome.

22 All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household.

By imprisoning Paul in Rome, the Romans had brought the one person most likely to be effective in spreading the Gospel there

23 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.

Paul leaves them with a benediction of grace. The standard “good-bye” in Roman letters is “be strong”. Paul prays that the Grace of Jesus strengthens their spirit

Paul yielded to the will of God and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

What makes it scripture is that the Holy Spirit has inspired the apostle Paul to write. (2 Tim 3:16) tells us;

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

In Philippians, Paul has taught us:
Put thanksgiving prayer and our relationship with God first

Nurture our relationships with each other as brothers and sisters in Christ with a love that abounds more and more.

God can use our perseverance to inspire others to speak the Word of God
Jesus is our example in all things, the name which is above every name, at which every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (in Phil 2:9-11).

That self-righteousness or law-righteousness is rubbish, compared to the righteousness of Christ found through faith in Him (Phil 3:7-9).

We’ve heard Paul reprove
Those who’s selfish ambition was causing them to preach Christ out of a spirit of envy and strife.

Those who oppose the Philippians in their work of sharing the gospel, bound for destruction.

Evil-workers who would try to turn them away from Christ and back to religious institutions, rituals and traditions (Phil 3:3),

We’ve heard him warn the Philippians of those who walk as enemies of the Cross of Christ (Phil 3:18)-who refuse to die to their sin and take up their cross and follow Jesus.

We’ve heard Paul’s correction
To “conduct themselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Phil 1:27)

To stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel (Phil 1:27) in unity.

To avoid grumbling or complaining and to stop acting like the crooked and perverse generation around them and instead shine as lights to those around them (Phil 2:14-15)

Paul has given training in righteousness,
Suppressing his own desire to depart the earth and be with Christ in order to be available for God’s use “for [your] progress and joy in the faith (Phil 1:25)

Pouring himself out as a drink-offering in joy, and sharing this joy with all of them (Phil 2:14).

“make [his] joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose (Phil 2:2)

By having “this attitude which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5) the attitude of humble obedience to God, “taking the form of a bond-servant” (Phil 2:7) as He did,
cooperate with the process of sanctification, telling them to “work out their own salvation with fear and trembling” living their lives for God’s good pleasure (Phil 2:12-13), put[ting] no confidence in the flesh (Phil 3:3).

dedication and endurance, not slipping backward in our relationship with Jesus (Phil 3:16), but forgetting what lies behind and straining forward like an athlete in training, pressing into our relationship with Jesus, and the ultimate prize that awaits us when we see Him in Heaven (Phil 3:13-14) and living as citizens of Heaven while we are still on earth, as we eagerly await our savior (Phil 3:20).

To stand firm in the Lord despite opposition, arguments and circumstances (Phil 4:1).

To rejoice in the Lord always (Phil 4:4);
Not to let the enemy steal that joy with worry and anxiety, but to pray with thanksgiving, letting our requests be made know to God (Phil 4:6),

Dwell on true things, honorable things, right things, pure things, lovely things and admirable things, looking to find the good in all situations.

The fact that this letter to the Philippians is inspired scripture—that’s what makes an epistle

The Holy Spirit wanted to address all of these things and speak to the Philippian church

The inspiration of the Holy Spirit makes your sacrifice, your sharing in the work of the Gospel, a wonderful thing.

The Holy Spirit can turn your service to God, no matter how small into something wonderful that blesses others.

Allow God to do what He wants to do through you–THAT’s what will make all of the difference in your life, and in the lives of others around you.

Partners in Ministry: Paul and the Philippians
May 17th, 2020
Watch online at 10am by clicking here.

14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.  15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; 16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs. 17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

14 Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction. 

Paul is not saying that since he has learned to be completely content in all things and that he can do all things through Christ, that their gift is unnecessary or unappreciated.

Paul is giving the Philippians a commendation for having done a “good, beautiful, pleasant, noble” thing in sharing with him. 

Paul comes back to one of his original intentions in writing the letter, returning to his theme of thankfulness to God for them that he had begun the letter with

It is this partnership, both in the afflictions that come to believers because they are followers of Christ, and the sharing of the work of the gospel that binds them together.  

A second way of building camaraderie and fellowship is working together. 

We are to strive together in the word of the Gospel, as one person, each running our individual race, yet running together. 

15 You yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I left Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone;

But Paul wants to take them back to the beginning of their partnership with him, when he first preached the gospel to them. 

Paul reminds them that their relationship goes back to the beginning of their salvation; for many of them were saved under Paul’s preaching to them during that first visit.

They were first to give, and they were continual supporters of Paul

The Philippians weren’t merely spectators in the Gospel, cheering Paul on, they were partners in the Gospel.  The friendship of the Philippian church had with Paul was based, not only in their relationship with him, but in their mutual relationship with Jesus and the gospel.

Paul also reminds them that they were the only church that supported his ministry during this time. 

16 for even in Thessalonica you sent a gift more than once for my needs.

The Philippians sent a gift more than once for Paul, it means that they walked the 95 miles down the Egnatian Way to Thessalonica. 

In Thessalonica, he decided that a better example for the Thessalonians was for him to work.

Paul’s relationship to the Philippian church was kind of unique.  If there’s a church besides the church in Jerusalem that can claim to have sent Paul out as a missionary on their behalf, it was the church at Philippi. 

17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

Paul is sure to let them know that his motivation is concern for their spiritual growth. 

Remember Paul is alive and remaining to continue with you all [Philippians] for your progress and joy in the faith. 

Paul is looking at their willingness to support the gospel as evidence of their love for God and love for him

God makes sure that everyone has something to give, if they are willing to give it.  One of the greatest gifts that one can give is to give their time.

Help in ministry—whatever ministry the Holy Spirit directs you to. 

I’m sure that there are a lot of ministries that would love to have help. 

When Paul lists his needs during his 2nd, harsher imprisonment in a Roman dungeon, at the top of his list in 2 Timothy 4:11-13 is for people to help him in ministry! 

That’s the primary need for Paul, just like it is in most churches today. 

As people are willing to give of themselves, give of their time, in accordance with the will of God, they will find that they grow themselves in their relationship with God, and that the church body grows.

It is my prayer that our joy will increase more and more, as we  Conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ and stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; (from Phil 1:27).  If we choose to do this, God will use us as His instruments to bring people in our community to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  He will use us to bless our community.