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Sermon Title: "The Shepherd's Care"

Introduction:


Good morning, dear friends. Today, we will delve into one of the Bible's most beloved and comforting passages, Psalm 23. This Psalm, written by King David, paints a beautiful picture of God's care and guidance. It reassures us that no matter what we face, our Shepherd is with us, leading, protecting, and providing for us. Let's open our hearts to the timeless truths in this passage and allow the Good Shepherd to speak to us today.


**Scripture Reading: Psalm 23 (NIV)**


1. The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.

2. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,

3. He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.

4. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.

5. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6. 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.


**I. The Shepherd's Provision (Psalm 23:1-3)**


- **The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.**

- David starts by declaring his relationship with God. The term "shepherd" here symbolizes provision and care. Just as a shepherd ensures his sheep have everything they need, God provides for us. This provision covers our physical needs, emotional needs, and spiritual needs. When we recognize God as our shepherd, we can rest assured that we will lack nothing.


- **He makes me lie down in green pastures, leads me beside quiet waters, and refreshes my soul.**

- Green pastures and quiet waters signify peace and abundance. In a world filled with turmoil and anxiety, God offers us a place of rest and restoration. He doesn't just provide what we need to survive but also what we need to thrive. He refreshes our souls, giving us new strength and vitality.


- **He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake.**

- God's guidance is perfect. He leads us on the right paths of righteousness for His glory. When we follow His lead, we reflect His character and bring honor to His name. This guidance helps us avoid the pitfalls of life and walk in a way that is pleasing to Him.


**II. The Shepherd's Protection (Psalm 23:4)**


- **Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.**

Life is not without its valleys, those times of darkness and difficulty. Yet, even in these moments, we need not fear. The presence of our Shepherd gives us courage. His rod and staff, protection and guidance symbols, comfort us. The rod wards off danger, while the staff guides us back when we stray. God's presence and protection tools assure us that we are never alone in our trials.


**III. The Shepherd's Blessings (Psalm 23:5-6)**


- **You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.**

- Despite the presence of enemies, God prepares a feast for us, symbolizing His abundant blessings. The anointing with oil is a sign of honor and being chosen. Our cup overflows, indicating that His blessings are more than we can contain. This shows God's generous nature and ability to bless us despite opposition.


- **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.**

- David concludes with a declaration of God's enduring love and faithfulness. God's goodness and love are not just for this life but extend into eternity. We have the promise of His continual presence and the assurance that we will dwell with Him forever. This is the ultimate expression of the Shepherd's care.


**Conclusion:**


As we reflect on Psalm 23, let us remember that we are under the care of the Good Shepherd. He provides for our needs, protects us in our trials, and blesses us abundantly. Let us trust Him fully, knowing He leads us on the right paths and His love follows us throughout our lives. May we find comfort, peace, and hope in the Shepherd's care and look forward to dwelling in His house forever.


Let's pray: Heavenly Father, we thank You for being our Shepherd, for Your provision, protection, and blessings. Help us to trust You completely and follow Your guidance each day. Thank You for Your unfailing love that follows us always. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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