Friday, July 6, 2018
The Promises of Psalm 23 | Colin D
This message was preached by Colin D'cruz at Word of Grace Church on July 1st, 2018. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
We live in challenging times- nationally, internationally and even personally. There are ups and downs. There are people amongst us who are very sick, there are strains in marriage relationships, not able to find a job, breakdown of relationships, etc. there are all kinds of things that cause stress and anxiety. Through the service we have seen the goodness of God. That is wonderful! But in the midst of that, there are these challenges that come up. We need to anchor ourselves in Jesus so we can ride these storms.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, 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 overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This is the best known passage in scripture. It is often read at funerals. But it is meant for everyday life. The imagery is of the shepherd who is God and we are the sheep.
1. Provision: we may face situations in our life where we face lack. God promises to supply our needs but not out greed. Psalm 84: 11 says that no good thing will he withhold. God will meet our needs. This is not just theory. As we take hold of it, we will see the reality.
Kisan’s story: He joined Word of Grace last year, and was very happy to be here. His house was 8”x 10”. He and his wife Nutan lived there and even had guests over. Jesus gave him a new flat which is a 2 Bedroom apartment for a small rent. God provided lavishly for him.
2. Peace: God’s peace over our lives. We lived through the invasion of Kuwait and overnight everything changed. But through it all God gave us such a peace. Many people were devastated, but we made it across. That is the goodness of God. We’ve got to draw on God in our difficult times. The situation might not change immediately but he will give us peace. We get bad news all the time and it troubles us. The antidote to that is to get into the presence of God and let His peace engulf you.
3. Guidance: we want to know what God wants us to do. We make 100s of decisions everyday and some may be big and some maybe small. He is interested in every decision. As we feed and soak ourselves in the word of God, he will enable us to have this navigation system within us so we may know what is right and what is wrong. There is also guidance between the good and the best. How can we get this guidance of God?
a. Spending time with God in the quiet place. If we listen to His voice in the quiet place, we will be able to recognise Him in the midst of the chaos outside. It is important when it comes to jobs and marriages, etc.
b. Hear his leading even in small things.
4. Protection and comfort: God’s promise is to be with us. What is the difference between us and the world? We carry the presence of God. The last several weeks I’ve been listening to messages on the presence of God. in life we are constantly disturbed and interrupted. But when are we making time to be in God’s presence? The Bible says ‘wait on the Lord’. What does wait mean? It means to wait. No one likes waiting. Cultivating God’s presence requires us to wait. His rod and His staff are one for protection and one for comfort. When sheep fall on their back they can’t get themselves back up. Have you been in such a situation? IN that situation he comes and delivers us.
5. Promise of Protection and inheritance- in the presence of our enemies he pours out His goodness on us. The promise is for this earth as well as heaven. Our ultimate comfort is being with Jesus forever. Sometimes we can be so pessimistic, but God’s promise is for us to succeed.
So when you face challenges, go to Psalm 23. It declares God’s qualities and attitude towards you. So memorize it, declare it and believe it.