Greetings in the name of Jesus. This is Rob Haymes. This is 15 Minutes With Jesus. Today we’re going to talk about Psalm 23, but before we do, we’re going to start in Psalm 22. Let’s turn there now. Psalm 22:1-24, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed. But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised by the people. All those who see Me ridicule Me; They shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord, let Him rescue Him; Let Him deliver Him, since He delights in Him! But You are He who took Me out of the womb; You made Me trust while on My mother's breasts. I was cast upon You from birth. From My mother's womb You have been My God. Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help. Many bulls have surrounded Me; Strong bulls of Bashan have encircled Me. They gape at Me with their mouths, Like a raging and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, And all My bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; It has melted within Me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And My tongue clings to My jaws; You have brought Me to the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots. But You, O Lord, do not be far from Me; O My Strength, hasten to help Me! Deliver Me from the sword, My precious life from the power of the dog. Save Me from the lion's mouth And from the horns of the wild oxen! You have answered Me. I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will praise You. You who fear the Lord, praise Him! All you descendants of Jacob, glorify Him, And fear Him, all you offspring of Israel! For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from Him; But when He cried to Him, He heard. It is only because of what is revealed here in Psalm 22 of the sufferings of Christ that we can enter into the blessings of Psalm 23. Psalm 23:1-6, 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. The Lord is my Shepherd. In order to partake of the promises in Psalm 23, first of all, the Lord must be your Shepherd. You must be following Him. If you are in rebellion against Him; continuing in any sin, refusing to repent; if you are in any unforgiveness, you are not following Him. Jesus died for your sins, and the sins of those people who did you wrong. He loved you and gave Himself for you and suffered for you that you might be forgiven and enter into fellowship with Him, and the Father, and with the people of God. So forgive them and love them so that you may be forgiven. In 1 John 1:8-10 it is written, If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. You must confess it! If you feel like you can’t face it; if you feel like you can’t forgive, cry out to Jesus! For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered. He will help you. He loves you. Come to Me, Jesus said, take my yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls. Jesus gave Himself on that Cross to pay your ransom for all your sins, and to bring you into eternal life with Him; to forgive you, and wash you, and fill you with His Holy Spirit, that you might be led by His Spirit to follow Him in the righteous paths that the Father has planned for your perfection; to make you holy, separate from this present evil world, that you may walk with Him and serve Him all your days in holiness and righteousness, and bring forth fruit that remains to His Glory. Let’s turn to Mat 7:21-23, Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness! Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, is going into the Kingdom of Heaven, but they that do the will of the Father.
If the Lord is your Shepherd you will be seeking first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all those things that you need will be added unto you; you shall not want. Luke 12:22-34, Then said Jesus to His disciples, Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. He will bless you. He will make you to lie down in green pastures. You will have good food, all that you need, with His blessings. But if you set your heart on the things that you want and need, and seek those things, you will not be able to follow Jesus. He will lead you beside still waters; a place where you can drink and be satisfied and refreshed and find rest.
As you follow Him, He will lead you in paths of righteousness to restore your soul. The Lord has paths for you to walk in that will deal with your heart, and bring about righteousness in you. He will expose things in you and bring you to repentance and cleansing. Your soul will be restored from all the damage of sin and rebellion, pride and self-righteousness. If you’re going to follow Jesus you must stay on the path He has for you and let Him deal with your life and break you and make you righteous, until He leads you to the next path. Sometimes it hurts; sometimes it’s difficult and painful, but if you are following Him, He is with you for your greatest good, and it’s for His name’s sake, not yours. He will bring you to the place where your greatest desire is to glorify His name and please the Father; no longer yourself, and He will make you fruitful if you will be faithful to Him and follow Him unto death.
Eventually you will come to the valley of the shadow of death. No matter what He brings us to, we need not fear any evil, because He is with us, and He will bring us through that valley. His rod and His staff will comfort us. Jesus Christ has absolute authority over every power of darkness, over every principality, over every man, over every name that is named; that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord to the Glory of God the Father. He is Lord! As His sheep, if we will stay close to our Shepherd, and follow Him, we need not fear the wolves, the lions, or the bears, nor any other predators. His rod and His staff are in His hands to defend us, protect us, and comfort us. I will fear no evil for you are with me. In fact, Jesus will prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies, right in front of those who want to destroy us, He will feed us, He will bless us, and anoint us with His Holy Spirit. Let’s turn to Luke 12:35-40, Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Let’s turn to 1 Cor 10:12-24, Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; judge for yourselves what I say. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread. The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the fellowship of the Blood of Christ? We are blessed because of the Blood of Jesus; washing us and cleansing us, white as snow; that we might enter into communion with Jesus and the Father, and with one another, through His sacrifice of Himself on the Cross. Through repentance and faith toward Him our cup runs over; the blessings will come upon us and overtake us: the blessings of true righteousness, the blessings of true love, the blessings of the Holy Spirit, and the blessings of the Word of God; the blessings of true fellowship with the Lord through the Holy Spirit, and with one another. We will be blessed and our families will be blessed. Our work will be blessed. Our companies will be blessed. Our cities will be blessed and our nation will be blessed, IF we will repent and turn to Him with all our heart, and truly and wholeheartedly follow the Lamb of God wherever He leads us. And He will lead you if you are willing to follow Him. If you want to go your own way, and seek your own pleasures, He will not be leading you into all these blessings, and you will wander in your own wilderness until He deals with your life to bring you out of rebellion, dead religion, self-righteousness, and the doctrines of men, to really follow Him in the Spirit, and in truth; to truly love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and your neighbor also, as yourself. As we love God, and love one another, forgiving one another, walking in the light, we will have true fellowship with Him and with one another, and surely His goodness and His mercy shall follow us all the days of our life, and we will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
Choose you this day whom you will serve; whom you will follow. As for me and my house, we will follow our Lord Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. Jesus said, I am the Good shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.