Temple Baptist Church - 3-24-2019
A. 32 years ago, I stepped into this pulpit for the first time and taught Sunday School and preached the morning service. I remember it like it was yesterday and still remember what I taught and preached. Both Sunday School and Sunday morning preaching were out of the 23rd Psalm.
B. I thought it fitting this morning to use that same text. I thank God that, though the message may vary, the text has not! It is still King James Bible.
C. Psalms 22-24 all show a different picture of salvation that make us a perfect one. Three different works of Christ that take us from the moment of salvation to the moment that we are eternally home with Christ. A Trilogy is a finished product in three parts while a sequel is a story that continues to expand. Psalm 22-24 is a finished product!
D. I thank God that, thought the message may vary, both the Bible and our great Salvation do not.
E. Psalm 23 is one of the most quoted, memorized, and preached from of all Psalms. King David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote these under the inspiration of these Holy Ghost while still just a young man. It never fails to thrill the heart of this preacher.
F. Psalm 23 is “nestled” between Psalm 22 and Psalm 24. Their order is perfect.
1. Psalm 22 is The Cross of the Saviour. Psalm 22 portrays Christ on the cross and then gloriously resurrected. Because He lives, I can face tomorrow; because He lives, all fear is gone! I am glad that I am saved; I am glad that I am secure; I am glad that I am sanctified; I am glad that I am His and He is mine!
2. Psalm 23 is The Care of the Shepherd. Psalm 23 (between our salvation and heaven) portrays Christ as our Shepherd. It is in this little Psalm that we find His watching over us and caring for us! Only eternity will reveal to us all that Christ does for us and is for us in this life. Christ, who is our life!
3. Psalm 24 is the Coming of the King. Psalm 24 portrays Christ as our soon coming King. Our blessed hope is the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ! When He comes, all trials and troubles will be over.
G. Psalm 23 is a wonderful Psalm because it portrays:
1. A Perfect Shepherd – vs. 1 “my shepherd.” I neither want nor need another! I would not trade the Lord for anything in this world. A wonderful Saviour is Jesus my Lord! I became a sheep over 32 years ago and He has been a great Shepherd to me.
2. A Perfect Satisfaction – vs. 1 “I shall not want.” All I have needed Thy hand hath provided! He has truly supplied “all your need.”
3. A Perfect Rest – vs. 2 “Maketh me to lie down.” Notice He does not “allow” or “let” us lie down. He “maketh me!” God can make you rest. He can put you in a position where you have not choice.
4. A Perfect Nourishment – vs. 2 “in green pastures.” Proverbs 30:8 “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me.” I have not had too little nor have I had too much. I can honestly say that I have had enough!
5. A Perfect Guidance – vs. 2 “He leadeth me.” “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me!” The Lord saved me in 1976 by leading me to the right church to hear the right message at the right time! He saved my wife in 1982. He called me to preach in 1983. He sent me to the right school and to the right church! All the way my Saviour leads me!
6. A Perfect Peace – vs. 2 “still waters.” Sheep do not like to drink from rippling water. God has given to me songs in the night when my heart was so burdened that I could no longer carry the load. The peace of John 14:27 that He does not take back. The perfect peace of Isaiah 26:3 when my mind was stayed upon Him.
7. A Perfect Restoration – vs. 3 “He restoreth my soul.” There have been so many times when my soul was sinful, disquieted, or distressed and He restored it. Peter, “when thou are converted, strengthen the brethren.” We may get out of God’s will but He will not leave us there!
8. A Perfect Walk – vs. vs. 3 “the paths of righteousness.” The Lord has never led me into a wrong path of sinfulness. His Word and His Spirit have kept me from all evil. When I strayed, it was because I got off of His path, not that He led me wrong.
9. A Perfect Confidence – vs. 4 “fear no evil.” We sing the song that says, “If Jesus goes with I’ll go, anywhere. It is Heaven to me, where ere I may be, if He is there.” I have and am finding out that He can be trusted. I know whom I have believed!
10. A Perfect Companionship – vs. 4 “thou are with me.” It doesn’t get any better than that! He will never leave nor forsake the child of God! When you go through the rivers or the fires of this life, He is there!
11. A Perfect Discipline – vs. 4 “thy rod.” One of the greatest and sweetest parts of being a son of God is the loving chastisement that God exercises. It is always done right and for my good. It brings about Glory to God.
12. A Perfect Support – vs. 4 “thy staff.” A walking stick. I have found Christ one on which I can lean when my feet get weary and my burden heavy. Song of Solomon 8:5a “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?”
13. A Perfect Consolation – vs. 4 “they comfort me.” How wonderful is the comfort of God that is there when all others fail. “Nevertheless, the Lord stood with me!” When your heart breaks, He is there. When everything goes “south,” He is there. He is truly a friend that is closer than a brother.
14. A Perfect Fellowship – vs. 5 “Thou prepares a table before me.” What can I say? Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer! He walks with me and talks with me! What a sweetness to know that you are right with the Lord and walk with Him. That is where He wants us.
15. A Perfect Triumph – vs. 5 “in the presence of mine enemies.” Isaiah 59:19 “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” The Lord and I make a majority! Greater is He that is in you! If God be for us, who can be against us!
16. A Perfect Strength – vs. 5 “anointest my head with oil.” The oil of gladness and the Spirit of grace. I have made it and will make it. He approves of me because I am His, bought and paid for. One day, I will have finished my course! May the Lord help me to keep the faith! I can do all things through Christ which strengetheneth me!
17. A Perfect Joy – vs. 6 “my cup runneth over.” When your cup runs over, the saucer gets the blessing! The Lord has been so good to me that I must praise Him. Weeping may endure for a night but keep your eyes upon Him for joy cometh in the morning.
18. A Perfect Promise – vs. 6 “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” What a promise. All this and Heaven too! When it is all over, we will all say, “The Lord has been so good to me!” Life has been rough in some places, but it has been good.
19. A Perfect Habitation – vs. 6 “I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” This life is so short and is as nothing compared to the life to come. What a wonderful prospect!
20. Thus we find A Perfect Care – vs, 1 – “The Lord is my Shepherd, I SHALL NOT WANT!”