Vol. 39, No. 3 March, 2015
“I SHALL NOT WANT.”
“The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth 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 Thou art with me. Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth 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).
The sermons, messages, lessons from this text are so numerous there is no counting them. I am sure that I cannot add a single thing to what has been said. The things I share with you are things that I have read, notes from messages I have heard, and from my own study in this Psalm. Anything I have to say is only a repeat, and a mention of some things that have happened to me personally. To create a new outline would be impossible for me to do. Let us today enjoy a few minutes around this great Psalm of Comfort; I SHALL NOT WANT.
Psalm 22, 23, 24 are a trilogy. These have been called, The CROSS (Psa 22) The Good Shepherd will die for our sins, John 10:11.
The CROOK, (Psa 23) The Great Shepherd who
cares for His sheep, Heb 13:20-21.
And, Psa. 24, the CROWN. The Chief Shepherd will return for the sheep, 1Pet 5:4.
Here is a song that has brought comfort and
blessing to everyone who has trusted the Great Shepherd.
It has sung peace and courage to the frightened.
It has sung Balm and healing to the sick and
It has visited the prisoner in Jail and brought
hope where there was no hope.
It has made the dying slave more free than his
It has consoled the dying.
It has consoled the mourner.
It has comforted the Mother who rocks her child
whose fever will not cool.
It has sung to the aged who have found
themselves alone and forsaken.
There is no way of counting the millions who have found so much in this beautiful Psalm.
- WHO IS THIS ONE? Who is this One of whom the Psalmist wrote so magnificently? What is His Name? He is LORD. The capital letters stand for His Name; JEHOVAH. In copying His Name, the Jewish writers were so awed that they would lay their quill and ink aside and take fresh ink and quill and write LORD, and then continue writing with the quill and ink that they laid aside. He is JEHOVAH, the Great I AM. And as JEHOVAH He is the all powerful, the All Mighty One.
As The LORD JESUS, He is the One who walked the worldly pathways and sweetly says, “Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28).
Many centurys have passed since King David wrote this sweet song. The Rich Glory of David and his kingdom have vanished. His palace has crumpled in the dust of time, but this Psalm is as fresh as this morning’s dew on the roses.
- WHAT IS THIS ONE? He is “Shepherd.”
He is the GOOD SHEPHERD who gave His life for the sheep. (John 10:11)
He is the GREAT SHEPHERD who leads His Sheep along (Heb. 13:20-21).
He is the CHIEF SHEPHERD who is coming back for His sheep.( 1Pet. 5:4).
He is the Shepherd who leads His flock to the still waters of life.
He has a Shepherd’s Heart. “But when He saw the multitudes He was moved with compassion on them because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. “He leadeth me.”
He has a Shepherd’s Eye. “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go. I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psa 32:8). He guides us with His eye. His eye is upon us. He does not miss a thing. We do not know what lies ahead, but the Shepherd knows all. As He ushers the sheep into the sheepfold at the end of the day He carefully looks at each one. If He sees one who has been injured or hurt in any way, He pours soothing oil on each wound. And so does our Shepherd as He binds our wounds, and heals the brokenhearted..
He has a Shepherd’s Faithfulness.
There are many “false shepherds” but they flee in the time of danger. (John 10:7-14).Our Shepherd is there to protect, to drive our enemies away. He will never flee in the time of danger.
He has a Shepherd’s tenderness.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness and go after that which was lost until he findeth it? And when he hath found it he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours saying unto them , Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.” (Lk 15:4-6). Oh. I can shout with joy here. I was a wandering sinner…LOST! But one day He found me!. He took me in and cared for me. That has been many years ago. He’s been on the job. He’s never lost one of His own. “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd. He shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isa. 40:11).
- WHO IS THIS ONE FOR?
The LORD is MY Shepherd. Not “A” shepherd, not “some” shepherd, not “his”or “her” shepherd, He is MY Shepherd. Perfect, present tense.
May I ask, Do you know Him? Is He your Shepherd? I am not asking, “Do you know about Him? Or have you heard about Him? I ask, Do you know Him? If you do not know Him, He is at your heart’s door, He stands and knocks, bidding entrance. He will never knock down the barriers in your life and come in unbidden. You must receive Him, by faith alone. If you have not done that, then get this settled with Him TODAY. Ask Him into your life. I did that many years ago. What a joy this has been.
- WONDEROUS THINGS DONE BY HIM.
(A) I SHALL NOT WANT FOR RESTORATION. “
He restoreth my soul. As that helpless lamb, wandering, lost in the wilderness of this world, He found me. He placed me on His shoulder and took me into his sheepfold.
(B) I SHALL NOT WANT FOR REFRESHMENT
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” Sheep have no way of finding food. They must be led from pasture to pasture by the shepherd. They are not like other animals who can find food.
“He leadeth me beside still waters”
Sheep have no way of finding water.
They have to be led by the shepherd. All in the animal kingdom can find food and water, but the sheep cannot. Without the shepherd, he will die.
“He restoreth my soul .” That which was dead in sin, lost and undone, helpless and hopeless, He has found, healed all wounds, fixed broken hearts and restored to life.
(C) I SHALL NOT WANT FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness.” He leads me in the way of right living. I know the way, for He is the way. He does not lead me into the low places of this world. There are many who say that they know the Shepherd, but they are not following Him. Our Shepherd will never lead us wrong.
Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. With His rod, He drives the enemy away. With His staff with a crook in one end He pulls me back into His fold e’re I wander away.
(D) I SHALL NOT WANT FOR REFUGE.
“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Sheep have many enemies. They cannot defend themselves. They have no fangs to bite with, no horns to gore with, and are not fast runners. Sheep need a protector.
The enemies of the believer are everywhere. Deceiving and being deceived. The world, the flesh, and the devil are mortal enemies. I am no match for them. Thank God for my REFUGE. His Name is Jesus!
(E) I SHALL NOT WANT FOR REST.
“I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.”
“There remaineth therefore a REST for the people of God.” (Heb 4:9). This world is not my home. “For our conversation is in Heaven from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ who shall change our vile bodies that it may be fashioned like unto His Glorious body according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.” (Phil 3:20-21). For the Christian, our Home is far away. No enemy can ever enter there. There we will live in joy and peace and fellowship with our Lord Jesus. Our loved ones who trusted our Shepherd are there, waiting for us and for that great day of Rewards. I ask again, Do you know Him?
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
(Adapted from Psalm 23)
By Pastor George Mills
The Lord of Hosts, my Shepherd leads,
In Pastures green, I lie.
No thought about tomorrow’s need,
My need, He will supply.
From waters still, I daily take,
Before me, a table, spread,
While enemies about me wait,
I partake of the Living Bread.
From deep within, my soul restored,
Great peace, no fear of death.
My Shepherd is the Living LORD,
He keeps my every breath.
Mercy and Goodness behind me stay,
Around me, Grace and Love,
Before me Truth to lead the way,
To that Great Fold above.
I will not fear what I may endure,
My Shepherd knows the way,
With Rod and Staff to keep secure,
As He does, day by day.
Just to trust the Shepherd’s care,
Great works He will perform,
Through valleys low, and places bare,
Until we’re safely Home.
At last to see my Father’s face,
To have Eternal Rest,
Then to thank Him for His Grace,
My Shepherd did His Best!
He brought me through, He brought me o’er,
To my Father’s House above.
With bended knee on the Eternal shore,
I’ll Thank Him for His Great Love.
BEING JUSTIFIED BY HIS GRACE
By Pastor George Mills
“For we ourselves were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. That being Justified by His Grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Today, let me show from this text what great things God has done for us. He tells us…
WHAT WE WERE.
WHAT GOD DID.
HOW GOD DID IT.
WHAT WE ARE NOW.
(1) WHAT WE WERE. V3.
We were sometimes, or, in the past,
FOOLISH. We were foolish. This does not mean that we were silly, or with no sense. The Bible describes a foolish man. “The FOOL hath said in his heart there is no God.” (Psa 14:1) “A foolish man built his house on the sand.” (Mt. 7:24-27). The foolish man was a worker, he built his house, probably on the same street as the wise man built. Probable used the same kind of building material, and his house, when finished looked as good as any house on the block. But one thing was missing, He left God out of his life. Before we were saved, we were like that. We lived as though God did not exist. That’s FOOLISH!
DISOBEDIENT. We disobeyed God’s Law. We could list the ten commandments, but we could not get past the first one to see that we were disobedient, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (Ex 20:3). Anything that comes before God becomes ‘god’ in our lives. Before we were saved we had many ‘gods.’ We were disobedient.
We were deceived about God,
We were deceived about sin.
We were deceived about salvation.
First. We have already discussed what we thought about God.
We were deceived about sin. We had our own list about what sin is. We imagined that “Sin is anything wrong that you get caught doing” is sin. But sin is a transgression against the Law of God
We were deceived about Salvation. We thought that Salvation was something we had to do, some good work we could do, or, get baptized, or start attending church. We knew nothing about the word GRACE. We thought that Grace was someone we knew. We were deceived.
SERVING DIVERSE LUSTS AND PLEASURE.
Whatever the flesh lusted for, whatever the eye saw was our desire. We were servants of our own desires.
LIVING IN MALICE AND ENVY.
Malice means “a desire to harm others or to see others hurt.” Envy means “a painful resentful awareness of an advantage of another and a desire to possess the same advantage.” Or, “I want what he has.”
HATEFUL AND HATING ONE ANOTHER.
This world is a hateful place. With all of our education, learning, wealth, and material possessions we have not learned how to live with hatred. Only God can cure this awful disease.
This is what we were, in various degrees. Untameable flesh is capable of anything.
(2) WHAT GOD DID.
“He saved us.” v5. He saved us from the Penalty of sin by His death on the cross. “For the wages of sin is death. But the gift of God is Eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”(Ro. 6:23).
He saved us from the Power of sin by His Life..”For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His Life.” (Ro 5:10).
(3) HOW GOD DID IT.
He saved us by His Grace. (v7). Grace appeared in the person of Jesus Christ. “We beheld His Glory full of Grace and Truth,(Jn 1:14). He shed (poured out) His Grace upon us. Grace is the attribute of God that gives us what we do not deserve.
He saved us by His Mercy,(v5). Mercy is the attribute of God that keeps us from getting that which we do deserve. We are sinners, we are guilty of offending His Law, we deserve all of the punishment His Law declares, “BUT HIS MERCY!
On the negative side…”Not of works.” Not of good works, not of righteous works. Many have done great works, which are very commendable. But not one righteous deed will ever get our feet off the ground. If we could be saved by works, the the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is all in vain!
The washing Paul mentions in v5 is NOT water Baptism. Water Baptism never saved a soul. Baptism is a work that man can do, and no work of man could ever save anybody
Not the two agents God uses in regeneration…
Washing is symbolic of the WORD of God. “That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of the water by the Word.” The Word is that implanted seed. “Being Born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible by the WORD of God which liveth and abideth forever.”
(B) THE HOLY GHOST. The Word of God is implanted in our heart by the Holy Ghost and the Holy Ghost births us into God’s family (John 3:1-9). This is the same process as the natural birth. A seed implanted into the womb produces the natural birth. A seed implanted in the heart produces the Spiritual Birth. No work of any kind done by any man could ever produce the New Birth. It is by the Holy Spirit we are born again.
(4) WHAT WE ARE NOW.
JUSTIFIED. (v7) Justification is the Work of God in the life of the sinner that makes the sinner just as if he/she had never sinned. The past is gone, washed and made white in the Blood of the Lamb. God not only forgives sin, but makes it as though we had never sinned in the first place.
We are heirs of God and Joint-heirs with Jesus Christ, (Ro. 8:17). Whatever He gets, we get. He has made that possible for us. As a natural born son of my earthly father, I have already inherited everything I will ever inherit. As a born again child of my Heavenly Father, when Jesus comes into His inheritance, I will receive my share,all by the Grace of God.
Our Salvation brings us so very much. More than we could ever imagine. I thank God that He Saved me by His Grace. Now that we are saved, it is our responsibility to give out the Good News of Salvation to everyone. What a privilege we have. May I ask of you, Do you know Him? I do not ask, “do you know about Him?” Do you know Him? If you cannot say, “ yes, I know Him.”
You can, right now, have the things we have been studying. The Bible says, “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (Jn 1:12) “Ask, and ye shall receive.” Do that just now, and one day we will meet in Heaven and enjoy eternity. Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!
GOD’S PLAN FOR ALL
ALL have sinned. ALL means all, that’s ALL that ALL means.
ALL need to be saved. This is the result of sin.
ALL are saved the same way; by GRACE alone through FAITH alone!
BY GRACE ALONE, THROUH FAITH ALONE.
By Pastor George Mills
“For by Grace are ye saved through Faith and that not of yourselves, it is the Gift of God, Not of works lest any man should boast.”(Eph. 2:8-9)
It is by Grace through Faith alone,
Forever settled, the work is done,
To pay for sin, God gave His Son,
It is by Grace, through Faith alone.
Not by a merit wrought by me,
The Blood of Christ, my only plea,
Not by a race that I have run,
But by the Work of God’s own Son.
Not by a work of my own hand,
But only by Salvation’s plan,
Not by much grief that I can show,
Only Faith can make me know;
My sin forgiven, the stain is gone,
The work is complete, Christ alone!
For no one could sin atone,
It is by Grace, through Faith alone!
THE SAVIOR’S TOUCH
“Jesus put forth His hand and touched him. Saying be thou clean. And immediately His leprosy was cleansed.” (Mt 8:3). We often speak of touching Him, or touching the hem of His garment. It will be worth it all when at last our faith will be sight and we behold His face, and literally TOUCH HIM. What a day that will be. I am grateful for the fact that He touched me. Yes, and many times I have felt His loving touch, just when I needed it. As we wander through this WILDERNESS, His touch is ever near. In Bible times if anyone touched a leper, he, himself would be defiled.. When He touched us, our uncleanness was passed to Him, His Righteousness was passed to us. O LOVING TOUCH!
THE HOLY SPIRIT, HIS WORK IN OUR LIVES IN THIS PRESENT EVIL AGE.
“Howbeit when He the Spirit of Truth is come, He will guide you in all Truth. (Jn 16:13).
He illuminates Christ. Like a spotlight shining on a person on center stage without calling attention to itself, so the Holy Spirit does not speak of Himself, He shows us Jesus. I am afraid that much of the talk today about the Holy Spirit is just that; “TALK.” The Holy Spirit magnifies and Glorifies Christ. There are many ‘”spirits” in the world today; the spirit of error, the spirit of antichrist, the lying spirit, the spirit of bondage, spirits of devils, spirit of disobedience,, seducing spirits, bewitching spirits, just to name a few. Any spirit that does not magnify Christ is not the Holy Spirit.
HE CONVICTS THE WORLD OF SIN. (Jn 16:). He uses the power of the Word to convince of sin.
HE BIRTHS US INTO THE FAMILY OF GOD. John 3:1-8. We are Born again of the Holy Spirit.
HE BAPTIZES US INTO THE BODY OF CHRIST. (1Cor 12:13).
HE SEALS THE BELIEVER. (Eph 1:13). That seal means we belong to Him.
HE ENDOWS THE CHURCH WITH SPIRITUAL GIFTS. (Eph 4:7-16, 1Cor 12:4-13).
HE AIDS US IN OUR PRAYER LIFE. (Ro. 8:26-27).
And so much more. He is your greatest friend, the one who “sticketh closer than a brother.” Get acquainted with Him. Fellowship with Him. He is in you, if you are a Christian, and He will guide you all the way. Greet Him first every morning. Seek His watch care through every night. Nothing of eternal value is ever accomplished without the leading, guiding, anointing of the Holy Spirit. Pray for his Power and anointing!
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
“I thank my God upon every Remembrance of you.” (Phil. 1:3).
My husband has pastored several Churches in his fifty plus years of ministry and he is still pastoring! We have many happy memories, and some not so happy memories of the different places the ministry has taken us. God has always gone before us and placed His special, loving and caring ones to be there for us and our every need was met. When the fault finders would allow Satan to use them, we always had the dear ones that allowed God to use them to encourage and stand with us.
Dear Christian friends are a gift from God and I know that our Heavenly Father has blessed and is still blessing the dear ones that have been so kind to us down through the years. We remember them all fondly and thank God for each of them.
“Blest be the tie that binds,
Our hearts in Christian love,
The fellowship of kindred minds,
Is like to that above.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain,
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.”
By John Fawcett
If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any house better than the House of God, any table better that the Lord’s Table, any person better than Christ, any indulgence better than the hope of Heaven…….TAKE ALARM!!!
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
DEALING WITH STRESS
Everyone understands how busy and stressful life can be. We have only 24 hours in the day to cram in school, work, God, family and friends. Trying to manage and keep everything in balance can be quite a task. Is there any way to fix stress and get rid of it completely? No! But there are a few ways that can help you deal with stress.
First and most importantly, rely on God. You were not meant to figure out everything on your own. God is there to help you, to guide you. He is always there 24/7! There isn’t a second that goes by that God isn’t there to help you.. He is ready to listen to you, and listen for your needs. In Prayer, ask God to show you how to deal with your stress and worries. Ask God to help you manage the stress. He will show you.
Secondly, rely on others around you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your friends and family won’t look at you differently for asking for help. They will see that move as bold and courageous. It can be as little as asking your classmate for help with some homework you are struggling with. God places people in your life for a reason. Those people are there to help you.
Lastly, find your own personal stress reliever. What do you enjoy doing? What is something that you do that takes your mind off everything? Maybe it’s taking a nice long walk outside,, reading a book, or even cooking. Make sure that you are taking this time out of your day to enjoy these things.
May God bless your life each and every day.
Until next time; Ashley Stevens
THINK ABOUT IT…
Since God knows what He is doing in my life, it would make more sense for me to yield my life completely to Him. I wonder how much my stubborn will has cost me in knocks, bumps, and bruises. Oh well, we grow old so soon, and smart so late.
THE “ALMOST” BIBLE
There are at least four groups in relation to the Bible issue…
- Those who flatly deny that we ever had God’s Word.
- Those who believe in the “originals only.”
- 3.Those who believe God’s Words are preserved without error in the Textus Receptus Manuscripts.
- Those who don’t care. They see no issue at all. If you believe that God’s Words were inspired in the originals only, you believe that God’s Words died with the originals. Those who believe in the “almost bible” theory deny that we have God’s Inspired Words today. The “almost bible” is a dead book, no matter which one you may have; RSV, NIV, NASV, LB, NJKV, TEV, ASV, NEB, etc. God’s Word is alive. God’s Word in English is the Old King James bible. NOT second inspiration, but preservation. Those with the “almost bible” cannot preach, “Thus saith the Lord.” They almost can. If you can’t believe every word in your bible, you really can’t believe one word. To cast doubt upon one verse is to cast doubt on every verse. The “almost bible” leaves too much of a gap. It makes the grand canyon look like a doodle bug hole. The gap between the “almost bible” and God’s Eternal, Inspired Word is the lake of fire. “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”