Trusting Our Shepherd

Sermon Video

2020-10-18 – When the Lord is Our Shepherd – Part 2 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

1 Kings 17:8–16; Psalm 23; Matthew 6:25–34

  • The mental health condition of anxiety has been on the rise in the US for quite a few years. But the contrast between statistics gathered before the pandemic (8.2% of the population) and those gathered during the pandemic (30%) is sobering.
  • Anxiety – Matthew 6:34 – Do not be anxious.
    • Lilies of the field and birds of the air. God cares for them and he cares for your even more.
  • We talked about the abundant life that Jesus offers us last week. Part of this abundance is the ability to live without anxiety when we trust in him.
  • Psalm 23:6 “Surely goodness and mercy…”
    • This sums up the psalm even after talking about the “valley of the shadow of death” (v. 4) and the “presence of those who trouble me” (v. 5)
  • We can always trust Jesus to be our guide, our protector, our provider, and our salvation.

Guide

  • Psalm 23:2-3 – Our Shepherd leads us.
  • Abraham – Genesis 12:1-4
    • Ur to Haran – approx 600 miles
    • Haran to Canaan – approx 400 miles
    • Abraham moved his household solely based on the promise of the Lord. He depended on God to lead him and show him where the promised land was.
  • Story of God leading us to Trinity School for Ministry
  • Take a moment to remember a time when God clearly guided your steps.

Protector

  • Psalm 23:4 – Our Shepherd protects us.
  • Elisha protected by horses and chariots of fire – 2 Kings 6:15-17
    • Elisha prays and the whole Syrian army was struck with blindness! (v. 18)
  • Hudson Taylor – Canon ball story.
    • “After six months [of living in China] he moved [from a foreigner’s compound] to a little house where he could get to know his Chinese neighbours. One day, however, as he watched a fire from a balcony, a cannon ball hit a wall near him showering him with tile bits and landing in the courtyard below. Taylor decided to move back to the foreigners’ compound just before his house was burned to the ground. His mother kept the four-to-five-pound ball for years as a small token of God’s great protection of her son.”
  • If you stopped for a moment to think about all of the things which could cause you bodily harm, the list would be endless.
  • Take a moment to remember a time when God has protected you.

Provider

  • Psalm 23:1 – Our Shepherd Provides for us.
    • “I shall not want” vs. “I can lack nothing”
    • Wants vs. needs – the false prosperity gospel
    • Praise to the Lord, the Almighty – “How thy desires have been” / “How all thou needest hath been” — “granted in what he ordaineth.”
  • Widow of Zarephath
    • Elijah sent to a poor widow who has no food and tells him to ask for food.
    • She was just about to prepare a last morsel for her and her son and then die.
    • 1 Kings 17:14-16
  • YTD for Good Samaritan -$1,205.46 – most of the months this year we have been in the black and we have onle just now dipped into the red.
    • PPL loan/grant infused our bank account with an extra $25,000.
    • Budget time, pray for your vestry.
  • Take a moment to remember a time when God provided for you.
  • Roseberry, “If we don’t trust the Lord to provide what we need, then we will be tempted to hoard and hold on to more than we need, as we saw with toilet paper and other goods [during the early days of the Pandemic]. Trusting the Lord’s provision frees us to generously share what we have with others to meet their needs.”
    • This is part of the idea behind tithing. The Biblical standard of giving is 10% of one’s income. It is hard to give 10% without trusting God to provide for your needs. You could think of it as a spiritual discipline that trains us for trust.

The Peace of God

  • As I said at the beginning of this sermon, part of the abundant life that Jesus offers us is a life free from anxiety. But it is east in the midst of our circumstances to slip back into feeling anxious. What should we do when this happens?
  • Philipians 4:6 – Do not be anxious / the peace of God.
    • Prayer and Thanksgiving are Paul’s secret weapons to counter anxiety.
    • Philippians 4:7
    • I felt anxious on the way to see my Doctor this past week. I kept the radio off and started pouring out my heart to the Lord. My anxiety started to melt away.
  • There are many other ways we can trust our Shepherd, but there is one big one that I would like to discuss in depth. Next week we will focus on how we can trust our Shepherd for salvation and how he is our eternal home.

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