Psalm 23 – Jesus is your Shepherd!

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I ·have everything I need [L will lack nothing].  He ·lets me rest [makes me lie down] in green pastures.He leads me to ·calm [quiet] water.  He ·gives me new strength [T renews my soul].He leads me on paths that are ·right [righteous; or straight] for the ·good [sake] of his ·name [reputation].Even if I walk through ·a very dark valley [or the shadow of death],I will ·not be afraid [T fear no evil], because you are with me.Your rod and your shepherd’s staff comfort me. You prepare a ·meal [L table] for me in ·front [the presence] of my enemies. You ·pour oil of blessing on my head [anoint my head with oil; C oil was a means of refreshment in a hot, dry environment];you ·fill my cup to overflowing [L make my cup overflow; C a cup of blessing].  Surely your goodness and love [loyalty; T mercy] will ·be with[pursue; T follow] me all my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord ·forever [L for length of days].

General Comments

  • David saw himself as a sheep led by God his Shepherd – he knew that he was loved by God and that he would not lack.
  • In a way, this portrays what 1 John 4:18 is saying
  • Key for us to do our best in life, but not in stress. Live life and love, in rest and peace, not stressed out.
  • We don’t need to defend ourselves, neither do we need to fight for open doors. If God opens the door, it is ours. If God doesn’t open the door, it’s not meant to be ours at this present moment.
  • Many think that this is a Psalm for death, however, when we read and understand the Psalm we come to know that it is about our life with our shepherd who loves, leads, cares and is always with us.

Vs 1 –  The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me], I shall not want.

  • Other versions of the bible say, “The Lord is my shepherd; I ·have everything I need [will lack nothing].“
  • As you meditate on this simple verse, begin to realize that the Lord IS (present tense) your shepherd.
  • A shepherd provides for his sheep, feeds them and protects them. In the same way, Jesus your shepherd provides for you, feeds you, and protects you.
  • “I shall not want” = the Lord is our provider! One of the names of our God is Jehovah Jireh, which means “the all-providing One.” He provides more than enough. The God of more-than-enough came in the flesh and walked among His people. And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He did not give His disciples small blessings. That is why He said to Peter, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets [plural] for a catch” (Luke 5:4), and not “let down your net [singular].” And what a catch it turned out to be—a boat-sinking, net-breaking catch! It was such a big and unexpected blessing that Peter and all who were with him were “astonished at the catch of fish which they had taken. He provided while on earth and he provides now for whatever we need.
    • {Health, Healing (“I am the Lord who heals you (Exodus 15:26))},
    • Finances,
    • Direction (Are you groping in the dark, not knowing what to do? He says, “I am the light of the world (John 8:12).) Success.
    • Are you looking for a way out of a bad situation? He says, “I am your deliverer. I will reach down from on high, take hold of your hand and draw you out of the deep waters” (see Psalm 18:2,16).
    • What is it that we are facing? Is it wisdom, favor or provision that you need? Rest assured that Jesus, our shepherd, will surely supply it, and you shall not be in want for anything.

Vs 2 –  He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.

  • Since the Lord is providing for all our needs, He wants us to lie down and experience abundance (We are receiving based on His completed work!).
  • When you rest, it’s an act of faith. You’re saying, “God, all right, you have finished everything. And if there’s any area not finished, I’m resting so you can finish it in me, through me.” You are resting in work. It is not inactivity.
  • Are you going to work tomorrow saying, “Okay, there’s a deadline. Okay, my boss want to talk to me, or this”? Are you resting in him? Do you believe he will work in you? Or do you feel like nothing is happening? Let me tell you this, even when He’s sleeping, He’s controlling the storm.
  • The place of God’s rest is where you’ll find everything has been done for you. And if something’s left undone, it will be done in you. It’ll be done for you.
  • This is the essence of Jesus’ message in the Sermon on the Mount when he said, “Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t struggle, they don’t strain, yet your heavenly Father clothed them. Are you not much better than those lilies?”
  • This brings to mind Jesus invitation to us in Matthew to follow Him and to leave a life of worry! Matthew 11:28-30 (Message Version) says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Vs 3 –  He refreshes and restores my soul (life); He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

  • Expanded version says this: He ·gives me new strength [ renews my soul]. He leads me on paths that are ·right [righteous; or straight] for the ·good [sake] of his ·name [reputation].
  • Voice version: He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.
  • Complete Jewish Bible: he restores my inner person. He guides me in right paths for the sake of his own name.

Vs 4 – Even though I walk through the [sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.

  • We are only walking through the valley we DO NOT STAY in the valley.  So much grace and love shown us.  We see also that it is but the shadow of death and not death itself.  Jesus conquered death for us at Calvary and defeated it forevermore.  No more fears (Psalm 91), instead we have His shalom peace (John 10:27-28).
  • Our Good Shepherd would never lead us into the valley of death (He came to bring life).   What happens is that we ourselves get into the valley of the shadow of death all on our own.  Our Shepherd, Jesus, who is always with us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6, Romans 8:35-39) protects us and leads us through and out of this valley.

Vs 5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You have anointed and refreshed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 

  • Some may say, “Lord, how can you expect me to eat now? The symptoms are still in my body! My bank account still shows the lack! Lord, I will eat well and I will celebrate when all my problems are resolved.”
  • But the Bible says that God doesn’t follow human nature. God says, “I will prepare a table. You eat first! You eat in the presence of your enemies, and I will take care of your enemies.”

Vs 6 – Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

  • “Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the day of my life” literally means “Surely goodness and mercy shall HUNT ME DOWN all the days of my life!”
  • Jesus is faithful and with us now, right here right now
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Pastor Leon Fontaine Sermon Notes – Constantly Renewed and Enhanced

  • Today will talk about being constantly renewed and enhanced
  • Such a mistake in body of Christ – have not recognized our authority as Christians
    • We don’t understand the difference between the new and old covenant
    • Continue to pray defeated “Old Covenant” prayers asking for God to do something – he might say no, or you need his permission.
    • God has already given you all things pertaining to life and Godliness
      • Died for you and given power, health, protection
      • We live in a fallen world that will kill, steal and destroy (Devil) our faith
  • Key is to be constantly renewed every day in the Word of God
  • Ephesians 5:1 “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children.  Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
    • We are to imitate God
    • To imitate God we have to be in the God family – we are children of God, we are in God’s family
      • Some people will say we can’t be like God or there is a formula, etc.
      • We as the new creation have been given authority. We can use the name of Jesus
      • We need to anchor our mind in the word of God and renew ourselves in the word
        • Ephesians 4:23 “ and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh, untarnished mental and spiritual attitude],”
      • Devil wants us to just ask God and accept what comes. If it get’s better it does, if not, it doesn’t.
  • We need to know and understand God’s will
  • Body, flesh has negative things, the spirit has positive things and the mind decides what to do.
    • Ephesians 4:24 “ and put on the new self [the regenerated and renewed nature], created in God’s image, [godlike] in the righteousness and holiness of the truth [living in a way that expresses to God your gratitude for your salvation].”
    • Put on new you by imitating Jesus, do what He did
    • Keep devotion times in your life where your mind can be renewed
      • If not you move back to realistic frame of mind (flesh). The miracles follow those not focused on the flesh but focused on the spirit
      • When God hands you a tool or gives you gifts it is a key of what He wants you to do
      • God took a ordinary rod in the hands of Moses and parted the Red Sea
  • 1 Corinthians 15:34 “Awake to righteousness…”
    • These are all beautiful verses –
      • Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind
      • Put on the new you
      • Imitate Jesus
      • Awake to righteousness
    • When these words become real to you, you begin to walk in the enhancement that God has prepared for you
    • Some people think that only God holds the authority to the planet
  • Matthew 28:18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth”
  • Mark 16:15-18 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (This speaks of believers)
    • It doesn’t say check in with me we will have a vote in heaven
    • We are enhanced to do great things for God
    • Matthew 9:29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”
      • If we believe it according to our faith so it will be done.
        • If you believe that God has taken you as far as He can – according to your faith so it will be done to you!
        • Need to strive to believe that God can do great things according to His word
        • What gift has God given you, what has He put in your hand? Use it for God but believe that you will be taken to places you have not seen before and accomplish great things
        • Faith and belief that what He has put in your hand has been put there for a purpose
      • Imitate Jesus
      • Recognize we are righteous
      • Move from old to new covenant
  • When we renew our minds in the word and listen to the Spirit the miracles will happen
  • Jesus never said, “I have decided to make you whole.” He always said, “Your faith has made you whole.”
  • We need to keep believing for the miracle, keep renewing our mind
  • Do not give up, do not stop
    • Don’t stop on family or business
    • Do not look at yourself as retiring
    • Wake up to righteousness
    • Don’t succumb to low self worth or low self esteem
    • We are here to go where no man has gone before
  • Decide whatever God has given you, that it can be used to do incredible things!

Fear Not! Do Not Worry!

  • The bible tells us in many places to “fear not” or a variant such as “do not be afraid”. God is in control in every area of life He is leading us and guiding us.

Promises of God – No fear!

2 Timothy 1:7

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of sound judgment and personal discipline [abilities that result in a calm, well-balanced mind and self-control]. (Amplified Bible)

  • Fear has no place in our hearts as believers!
    • Read Romans 8:15
    • Consider our status as “joint heirs” with Christ, our sense of His love for us (Read: 1 John 4:18)
    • Read Ephesians 3:17 – 19
  • We have a spirit of power! I can do whatever I need to do in life through Christ!  (Philippians 4:13)
  • We have a spirit of love! (Romans 5:5)
  • Through the Holy Spirit we have a sound mind. Strong’s Concordance says that “sound mind” here is discipline and self-control. We also have the promise of peace (John 14:27).

Next Steps

Meditate on these bible verses and incorporate them into your prayers. This will cause fear to dissipate.

  • Father I thank you that I do not have a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power of love and a sound mind!
  • Father I thank you that I have the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ according to his promise and I receive this peace right now in this situation that I face.
  • Abba Father, I thank you for your love for me and pray that I may have a fresh revelation of this love and of the knowledge of my place as a joint heir with Christ. I know that you go with me into this situation with me right now. In this knowledge let me not be fearful but bold and full of wisdom and a sound mind!

 Additional Resources

 

 

 

Keeping our eyes on Jesus throughout Life

Matthew 14:22-33 New Living Translation (NLT)

Jesus Walks on Water

22 Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. 23 After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

24 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. 25 About three o’clock in the morning[a] Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” 27 But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here![b]28 Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” 29 “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” 32 When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. 33 Then the disciples worshiped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

  • The disciples were terrified when they saw him thinking He was a ghost. Jesus responded , “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here! No matter what the circumstances let’s take courage knowing that Jesus is here with us in our present circumstances.
  • Peter walked out on the water, but “…when he saw the strong[c] wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink.” The Lord was there and reached out and grabbed him. Sometimes we make steps toward progress, and maybe have a slight setback and become discouraged. Since the Lord is with us, He will grab us and save us, often we are unaware of these times. At other times the odds may be against us, but let’s not consider what is against us, but who is for us (Romans 8:31)!
  • Finally when Jesus climbed into the boat all the winds and waves stopped. Remember they had been fighting the storm for many hours. It was 3 AM when they first saw Jesus and they left in the boat right after the feeding of the 5000. Some biblical scholars estimate that they were fighting the wind and waves for 9 hours! The point is they were exhausted, but then immediately when Jesus came in the boat there was peace.

The key is Jesus.   We want to rely on him, draw from Him and meditate on Him and be strong in our prayers. When we are tired and need encouragement, when we feel there is no hope, He is there and He is our hope, He is our saving, He is our healing and He will see us through difficult times. If we need peace He has it. Let’s remember who is for us and focus on Him and not the negative things that seem to be against us. With Him we know and are assured that we are secure.

Powerful Promises of God when Stressed or Overwhelmed

As I ponder over these words, there are some overall points that the spirit moves in my heart:

  • Be assured that God is with you, expect to be cared for, have an expectation of good.
  • When God leads – there is always a way!
  • Before we even call he hears us (Isaiah 65:24)!
  • God is our refuge and a very present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1)!
  • What do we believe? Do we believe that God wants us to have a full and wonderful life (John 10:10)?
  • Do we believe that God wants us to have peace (John 14:27)?
  • Do we believe that our vision and our hearts belief, largely dictates our life’s course (Proverbs 4:23; Colossians 1:22-23)?
  • Do we believe that we already have everything that we need? Do we believe that everything was given to us at the cross (2 Peter 1:2-3; Hebrews 9:13-14; 2 Corinthians 9:7-8; Ephesians 1:3)?

Powerful Promises of God when Stressed or Overwhelmed

Exodus 14:13-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Sea Is Divided

13 Then Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid! Take your stand [be firm and confident and undismayed] and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for those Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you while you [only need to] keep silent and remain calm.”

Numbers 14:9 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.”

1 Samuel 17:41-49 Amplified Bible (AMP)

41 The Philistine came and approached David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine looked around and saw David, he derided and disparaged him because he was [just] a young man, with a ruddy complexion, and a handsome appearance. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with [shepherd’s] staffs?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a [a]javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 46 This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, so that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and that this entire assembly may know that the Lord does not save with the sword or with the spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will hand you over to us.”

48 When the Philistine rose and came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone penetrated his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground.

Psalm 23Amplified Bible (AMP)

The Lord, the Psalmist’s Shepherd.

A Psalm of David.

23 The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort andconsole me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You have anointed and refreshed my head with [b]oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the houseand in the presence of the Lord.

Psalm 28:6-9Amplified Bible (AMP)

Blessed be the Lord,
Because He has heard the voice of my supplication.
The Lord is my strength and my [impenetrable] shield;
My heart trusts [with unwavering confidence] in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I shall thank Him and praise Him.
The Lord is their [unyielding] strength,
And He is the fortress of salvation to His anointed.
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance;
Be their shepherd also, and carry them forever.

Psalm 29:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)

11 The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.

  • Orthodox Jewish Bible translates this as follows:

Tehillim 29:11Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)

11 Hashem will give oz (strength) unto His people; Hashem will bless His people with shalom.

  •  Strong’s Concordance Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. Shalom comes from the root verb shalom meaning to be complete, perfect and full.

Psalm 46 Amplified Bible (AMP)

God the Refuge of His People.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of the sons of Korah, set to soprano voices. A Song.

46 God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable],
A very present and well-proved help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains be shaken and slip into the heart of the seas,
Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains tremble at its roaring. Selah.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her [His city], she will not be moved;
God will help her when the morning dawns.
The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered and were moved;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower].Selah.
Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.
He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.10 
“Be still and know (recognize, understand) that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.”11 
The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold [our refuge, our high tower].Selah.

Psalm 61:1-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Confidence in God’s Protection.

To the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of David.

Hear my cry, O God;
Listen to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I call to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and weak;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I [a rock that is too high to reach without Your help].
For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me,
A strong tower against the enemy.
Let me dwell in Your tent forever;
Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. Selah.

Psalm 103:1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)

103 Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is [deep] within me, bless His holy name.
Bless and affectionately praise the Lord, O my soul,
And do not forget any of His benefits;
Who forgives all your sins,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the [soaring] eagle.

Psalm 112:6-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

He will never be shaken;
The righteous will be remembered forever.
He will not fear bad news;
His heart is steadfast, trusting [confidently relying on and believing] in the Lord.
His heart is upheld, he will not fear
While he looks [with satisfaction] on his adversaries.

Proverbs 3:5-8Amplified Bible (AMP)

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts] And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart
And do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
[a]In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him,
And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way].
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord [with reverent awe and obedience] and turn [entirely] away from evil.
It will be health to your body [your marrow, your nerves, your sinews, your muscles—all your inner parts]
And refreshment (physical well-being) to your bones.

Isaiah 26:3-4 Amplified Bible (AMP)

“You will keep in [a]perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both[b]inclination and character],
Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
“Trust [confidently] in the Lord forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner],
For the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

The blood of Jesus gives us the security!

Romans 5:17
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

  • Righteousness is a GIFT.
    • Why is it so difficult to believe that if we could become sinners through Adam, that we can become righteous through Christ?
  • In Egypt, On the night of the Passover, when God saw the blood, He caused the Angel of Death to pass over that household.
    • The only thing that the Isralites did was to follow the direction and paint the door posts with the blood
    • If we believe this story, why is it so difficult to believe that we are righteous through Christ?
    • It’s not when the angel sees the family’s good works, it’s when it sees the blood!
  • The blood of Jesus gives us the security.
    • Jesus is the measure of our righteousness.
    • Seek intensely to be righteousness-conscious everyday, know that you are righteous through him!
    • Whenever we are self-righteous, we are an abomination.
    • He who condemns the righteous is an abomination to God.
    • What if you condemn yourself? You are condemning the righteous when you condemn yourself?
      • Don’t we do this when we feel we don’t have enough to accomplish something?
      • When we think we are unworthy or can’t do something we are called to do?
      • Those are the attacks of the evil one (1 Peter 5:8-9) who we are called to resist!
  • Let’s choose to be conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37-39)!