October 18, 2020
The LORD is my shepherd;
I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul;
He leads 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 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 runs 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.
I don’t know about all of you but here more and more, these days, I am in need of Gods peace. I listen to the radio, watch a little tv, even listen to the news just a little bit and as I have said before time and time again, it seems that the world is running down the tracks out of control and no brakes can be found to slow it down. I think about the things going on in my own life, the fact that my parents are growing older day by day, I think about our children and the problems that they have and that they may face in this ever increasingly violent world, I think about all of you and your families, I think about those of us that are not able to be here with us anymore like Bea and Buddy and Tammy, I think about those who, for whatever their reason is, that don’t make it to church that much anymore, I think about my brothers and sister and their children, I think about how in just the last few months my own attitude about certain things has changed and not for the good, and I have to step back and ask God for forgiveness for some of the anger I find in my heart.
I think about the President and his family, I think about all of the good men and women in government that are trying with all their might to keep this country a Godly country, and I think about the general disposition of the world and the lost and saved alike that share it, and I find myself sad for all of us.
Despite all of mankind’s advancements in technology the world seems more hopeless today than ever before and I can’t understand why it seems that the “smarter” we become the more lost we become.
So I want to take today to remind myself and hopefully you, that this is the reason that Jesus came to earth, this is the reason that God gave us a way find peace in an ever peaceless world, this is why God made sure that even though there are those who mock it and seek to silence it, God gave us His word, so that we would always know that there is something more than this world, that there is an alternative to hate, and fear, and worry, that one day the rat race would end and that we can find eternal peace in Him both during the race and after the race is over.
People say that these are just words they carry no real power, yet I guarantee that if I were to give those same people a news story that fit along the lines of there beliefs, I could stir them to anger out of a calmness. It all depends on what kind of fire is kindled in their hearts just waiting to be provoked into a full-fledged bonfire.
So, what kind of fire is being kindled in my heart I ask myself, what kind of fire is being kindled in your heart, is it an angry fire, is it a fearful fire, is it a fire that only cast darkness over you or is it a fire that brings light? This isn’t something I just ask so that I can have a sermon to stand up here and give, I ask you this because it’s important for us to know what is really leading us day in and day out, what is it that is leading me day in and day out, the circumstances of my life and your life, the circumstances that we find our country and the world around us in, or the Shepherd in the opening psalm?
Which is leading you through your day, what determines your state of mind, your attitude, whether you are emanating love or hate, kindness or indifference, fear or assurance, anger or mercy and grace?
Because be assured only one of them can lead you at a time, you are either following the Shepherd or you’re following the world.
And we can say “it’s not that easy, I just can’t ignore what’s going on in my life, in my country, in the world I live in, I just can’t witness and experience life and not be effected by it”… yes we can say that BUT, what we can’t deny is it’s a choice that we make in which one will direct how we react to these things, yes sometimes it’s difficult to see through the chaos and pain and confusion of this world to even find the Shepherd let alone follow Him but your heart knows the difference between light and darkness, we just need to avoid the darkness and seek the light and we will find Him even in our darkest moments.
In John chapter 8 verse 12 Jesus said “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
Many of us have worries that plague our minds every day, we worry about our age, our health, our children our friends, you name it we worry about it, we see what’s going on around us and you can’t help but get angry or upset or both, but our reaction shouldn’t be to Waller in the anger or despair or whatever darkness that comes from these worries, instead we need to move closer to the shepherd we need to let him guide us we need to follow Him as he walks us through this life because he is leading us to a place of still waters and green pastures.
I have made a pledge to myself, that in the days ahead I will stop letting the world lead my emotions, thoughts and attitudes, and will instead stay as close to my shepherd as possible.
When anger comes I will remember my shepherds love, when worries and fears come I will remember the promises of my Shepherd, When doubts come I will remember the sufferings of my Shepherd, sufferings that he endured for my sake and I will push the darkness of doubt out of my mind, When I find myself straying I will remember that only my shepherd knows the best path and it’s the one he’s walking on, and when I worry about my children and grandchildren, my family and my friends and all of the others that I worry about, I will remember that I am not the only sheep in my shepherds flock and he loves us all.