CONTENTMENT IS NO PROBLEM WHEN WE ARE FOLLOWING THE GOOD SHEPHERD
Do you ever have a problem with contentment? Who doesn’t!
How do you feel when your kids or your wife complain … = a reflection on your ability to provide and care for your family
The Good Shepherd can be trusted to adequately care for His sheep
(:1) THESIS: “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, I SHALL NOT WANT”
Develop the concept of shepherding
Application throughout this passage to the undershepherds in the local church
What type of care are they providing for the flock?
How can they follow the example of the Chief Shepherd shown here?
I. (:2) CONTENTMENT IS NO PROBLEM WHEN WE LIVE IN PEACEFUL TRANQUILLITY
sheltered from the hustle and bustle of a life filled with activity that crowds out quiet meditation;
we need to spend time chewing the cud and meditating on our relationship to the Good Shepherd
A. Green Pastures
“He makes me lie down in green pastures”
B. Quiet Waters
“He leads me beside quiet waters”
free from anxiety; the Lord knows what we need and He has promised to supply our needs
cf. the music tapes which provide background sounds of running water, etc.
II. (:3a) CONTENTMENT IS NO PROBLEM WHEN WE ALLOW GOD TO RECHARGE OUR BATTERIES
“He restores my soul”
Our tendency is to get run down; to get burned out; to get used up;
We need God’s ministry of restoring our souls before we can continue to minister to others
He gives grace upon grace — each day we need a fresh supply
III. (:3B) CONTENTMENT IS NO PROBLEM WHEN WE ARE CONFIDENT IN GOD’S GUIDANCE
“He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake”
We get confused and discouraged and disillusioned, etc. when we feel we are lost and doubt the hand of God directing us;
Remember, God’s reputation is at stake; He is very interested in keeping us on the straight and narrow.
Guidance in a life of holiness is more important than guidance in specific amoral options related to our career, etc.
IV. (:4) CONTENTMENT IS NO PROBLEM WHEN THE REALITY OF GOD’S PRESENCE WITH US SHIELDS US FROM ALL FEAR
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil;
for Thou art with me;Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me”
The Lord’s Protection and Discipline
V. (:5) CONTENTMENT IS NO PROBLEM WHEN WE FEAST AS GOD’S GUESTS AT HIS BANQUET TABLE
“Thou dost prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
Thou hast anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows”
No need to fret about what trouble our enemies can cause. If God be for us, who can be against us?
VI. (:6) CONTENTMENT IS NO PROBLEM WHEN WE GET EXCITED ABOUT GOD’S PROMISED FUTURE BLESSINGS
A. In This Live:
“Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life”
B. In the Life to Come:
“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”