Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Valley of the Shadow of Death.....Balance

BALANCE....Psalm 23:4a: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,fear no evil, for You are with me;"

Bro. Derek did such a great job sharing God's Word on this verse.  Here are some notes:
1.  Focus on the word DEATH - there is a fear of death.  Sheep are afraid of anything.  It is the shepherd that can lead them to where they need to go SAFELY.  It was appropriate that we are solemnly recognizing 9/11 in our nation and the fear our nation went through.  The acts of terror that has a hold on us.  Salmawet is the Hebrew word for "shadow of death" literally meaning darkness.  We can be led through this darkness without fear, as long as the Good Shepherd leads us.  

There is REAL fear and there is IMAGINED fear.  Our culture is driven by fear.  We can fear this world, but with the Good Shepherd we have something better.  Jesus is with us!  When we neglect Jesus in our life, we invite fear.  We invite imagined fear in our life.  The real fear comes as a result of all of us wanting to lead ourselves.  There should a real fear of not having God in our life.  We can imagine it, but eventually it's real.

2.  We forget the line after this, "for You are with me".  2 Tim. 1:7 we are to be bold in our living for Jesus.  We are to be bold with the gospel.  It is a fear in life versus a trusting in the Lord.  If you are a believer, the Holy Spirit is with you.  God is leading you through the Holy Spirit.  He is directing your paths.  He is taking you where you should be according to His will.  

The question you have to ask yourself is:  Are you afraid?  Are you trusting?  Jesus told His disciples to "be My witnesses" in Acts 1:8.  This takes a life of boldness, not a life of fear for the culture.  Look, you cannot go through life without Christ.  You won't have a Shepherd that will lead you, a Shepherd that will empower you, a Shepherd that is with you when you face evil.  Trusting in Him brings you a peace to go on.  To walk through whatever comes.  

God Bless, Sleepy Disciple

Monday, September 12, 2016

Psalm 23:3 - Balance

Verse 3:  "He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake."

If we are to make a spiritual diagnosis of ourselves, we would surely see that we are filled with sin and in desperate need of a cure (repentance and forgiveness).  Do we really know who God is in our life and do we understand that He is the initiator of our faith?

I.  He Restores My Soul - restores means to repair, to renovate, to return to a former condition.
In the Letter Paul wrote to the Galatians (5:17), he shares of the comparison of living by the flesh and living by the Spirit.  Tony Evans writes that the "flesh goes after sin" and the "Spirit goes after righteousness."  If there is no conflict in your soul when you sin, then you aren't saved.  Unrest.  No peace.  You are in conflict with God.  You are living according to the flesh.  No righteousness.  Galatians 5:17 says it like this...."do not do as you please".  God has sent His Son Jesus to "SAVE" us and to REPAIR our relationship with Him if we believe and trust in Jesus.  Sin and fleshly living has broken this relationship.  Disobedience and rebellion,

The use of the time out in football is great!  It's when something is not right.  The coaches use it to get things organized when it looks like the team is not ready.  When the players need to refocus on the play.  The referee's even use time outs to reflect on a call.  They gather together on the field and discuss what the call was and if it was appropriate for the penalty.  To restore our soul, sometime we need a time out.  To really see where we are in life, and realize that we aren't doing the right play and we are out of sorts with some things in our life.  So. the shepherd is calling a time out so that we can return to the condition we are - the saved, called out ones that should be living by the Spirit.

II.  Will You Follow?  He guides me in the paths of righteousness....
Buddha has said that you should find your path in life.  Religion leads down the path of following a system of beliefs.  It is a relationship with Christ, the Good Shepherd, that gives you purpose for the problem we have with sin.  The solution is forgiveness for our sin through repentance.  Turning away from sin and choosing the path of righteousness.  But if He guides us, will you follow?  It's the right way to go!  Jesus says in John 14:6 "I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE.  No one comes to the Father but through Me."          

We are never truly satisfied, because we chase things other than God.  We follow other things down the wrong path.  We wander and we drift.  If Jesus has truly led you down this path of righteousness, there is no going back to serving you.  It's about serving Him and following Him.  Trust in Him, Live by the Spirit, filled with His righteousness, and be transformed to newness to life in Christ.  Old things will fall away.  It's for HIS Name's Sake!  There is where you find true BALANCE.
God Bless - Sleepy Disciple

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


"He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters."  NASB

In this Sermon Series on Psalm 23, I wanted to look at this particular text and see the words we may overlook and what they mean to the text.  In verse 2, the word "Make" is something that jumps out to me.  For those in his flock, those who have believed and trusted in Him, the Good Shepherd "makes" us lie down.

1.  Sheep will not lie down because of FEAR
This is a trust issue.  Sheep aren't sure about their surroundings.  They are sure about where they are going and where they have been.  With the Good Shepherd, Jesus, He makes us lie down.  There has to be an absolute trust between sheep and shepherd to make this happen.  Because of fear, we are afraid to give the shepherd absolute control of our lives, our safety and our well being.  We want control!  It's in our nature.  If we are followers of Jesus Christ, we submit our all to Him.  

2.  He Leads Me -  Sheep will not drink from turbulent waters.  A dog will!  Sheep have to be led to still calm waters to drink from.  It seems that as we live turbulent waters are all around us.  It's the calm peaceful water we need in our life.  It's that particular spot at that certain stream where the shepherd leads us to.  What are we waiting on?  We are stubborn and we are prideful to know where we want to go.  If he makes us lie down, then we trust Him to lead us to the waters we should drink from.

1903 Hymn from George A. Young is appropriate to apply to this passage of Scripture:

  1. In shady, green pastures, so rich and so sweet,
    God leads His dear children along;
    Where the water’s cool flow bathes the weary one’s feet,
    God leads His dear children along.
    • Refrain:
      Some through the waters, some through the flood,
      Some through the fire, but all through the blood;
      Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
      In the night season and all the day long.
  2. Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
    God leads His dear children along;
    Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night,
    God leads His dear children along.
  3. Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose,
    God leads His dear children along;
    Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
    God leads His dear children along.
  4. Away from the mire, and away from the clay,
    God leads His dear children along;
    Away up in glory, eternity’s day,
    God leads His dear children along.

Be blessed my friends and trust in the Good Shepherd to leads us where we need to go.
He will give us a song..........Sleepy Disciple