11 Aug Psalm 23 – The Shepherd who won’t fail
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even 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. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
This month we are celebrating ROCK Sydney 23rd anniversary. 23 years of God’s faithfulness to us. And I can’t think of a better text to celebrate God’s faithfulness to our church than Psalm 23. Psalm 23 on 23rd anniversary. How cool is that? There was one time I was driving in middle lane, and suddenly a car from the slow lane cut me off. Just like you, my initial response was I wanted to hit my horn as long as I could, drive my car next to them, possibly cuss in Greek at their face and overtake them. But then I saw a sticker at the back of their car, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” I don’t know what that supposed to mean. I can’t get angry now because the Lord is also his shepherd. I’m guessing the Lord led him to cut me off in order to teach me patience.
Psalm 23 is possibly the best loved chapter in the whole Bible. Our senior pastor even wrote a book on Psalm 23. If you have seen the cover of the book, it is impossible to forget. If you have not, here is my 3 seconds gift for you. I love the book of Psalms but Psalm 23 stands out above the rest for me. In one of the darkest season in my life, God used Psalm 23 to help me wake up every day. I memorised Psalm 23 and recited it every morning. This Psalm is an incredible source of strength, comfort and encouragement for myself. And I am sure this is not only my story. For many of us in this place, Psalm 23 is a very dear Psalm to us in times of trouble. Let me see your hand if God has used Psalm 23 to strengthen you. Awesome.
Today I want to speak to those of us who are walking through difficult times. For some of you, you recently loss someone who was very dear to you. For others, you might be in a season of darkness and turmoil. You don’t understand what God is doing in your life and you question him. For some, you might experience physical illness that leaves you extremely weak. For others, you might battle depression and hopelessness. Whatever it is that you are going through, Psalm 23 offers you promises and hope that goes beyond your circumstances. And if you are not in a season of difficulties, praise God. But don’t think that this Psalm is not for you. Because I can guarantee you that your turn is coming. I also want to speak specifically to ROCK Sydney 23rd anniversary. For the past 23 years, God has been faithful to us. For 23 years, we experienced many joy and sorrow. Some of you still remember when our church was at the top of the mountain. Some of you also witnessed how this church walked through the deep valley. Many of us saw many people left this church. And some of you thought, “Is there still hope and future for ROCK Sydney church?” But this month we are celebrating our 23rd anniversary. 23 years and this church still stand. This church still walking. And this church will continue to grow into Christ-likeness for many years to come. Underline this. ROCK Sydney church will continue to grow in Christ not because we are strong, not because we are able, but because we have the Great Shepherd who will not fail to lead us.
We do not know exactly when Psalm 23 is written, but we know that David wrote it. Before we listen to what he has to say, it is helpful for us to understand few things about David. Davis was no ordinary man; he was the shepherd among shepherd. He was a shepherd from a very young age. When I was a kid, my family used to have a Pinscher Miniatura (kancil) named Brownie. I never have a sheep but I had a dog. Funny thing about Brownie was I can’t decide if he loved me or hated me. Every time we set him loose, he would chase after me and I would run away in fear from him. I tried to imagine what would happen if I saw brownie being attacked by a larger dog. I would probably feel sorry for Brownie but I wouldn’t do a thing.
But David was different! When a lion messed with his sheep, he would run after the lion, struck it, get the sheep out of its mouth, grab the lion by the beard and kill it. Anyone want to fight David one on one? Even to kill a mouse, I needed to get my bb gun out. Some of you would jump up the couch when you see cockroaches. I wouldn’t dare dreaming about slapping a lion. But David would risk his life fighting a lion in order to save his sheep. Eventually, David became a shepherd of the nation of Israel. God made him king. In fact, David was such a good shepherd to Israel to the point that when God promised to send Messiah for his people, God called the Messiah, the son of David. What makes David such a good shepherd? What drives David to be able to shepherd a nation to fear God and love God? In Psalm 23, we find David’s answer to our questions. And the answer is so simple yet so profound. It’s not a ground-breaking theology. We know it but we often forgot it in the midst of our frustration.
Let’s look at this beautiful Psalm which was written by David. I am going to separate this Psalm into two sections. Our Shepherd is for us; Our Shepherd is for himself.
Our Shepherd is for us
David starts off Psalm 23 with a grand statement. Psalm 23:1 – “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” This is massive. I want to take a little bit of time for us to chew on this verse. David introduces us to a very intimate metaphor of God. In many other parts of the Bible, we are often introduced to the Lord as the king, deliverer, rock of ages and mighty fortress. It is a majestic description of God. But here David introduces the Lord as shepherd. Shepherd is someone who lives with his sheep and know everything about his sheep. It is a picture of intimacy. The Lord is not only a majestic king but he is also a close companion. And he is not just any shepherd but he is “my shepherd.” What is interesting about this Psalm is that there is no “we” or “us” but instead you find 17 times the personal pronoun of I, my and me being used in this psalm. It tells us something about the nature of our relationship with our shepherd. Yes Christianity is communal but it is also personal. At the moment of crisis, you need a healthy community of Christians to walk beside you and strengthen you. But when you go home and get into your room, what enable you to rest at night and wake up in the morning is your personal relationship with your shepherd. But here is what’s most amazing about this statement. Our shepherd is not just any regular shepherd. Our shepherd is the Lord himself. It’s easy for us to read this and think, “Oh yeah, that’s cool. The Lord is my shepherd.” We don’t feel the weight of what David is saying. Maybe this will help.
Hebrews 12:18-21 – 18 For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” Picture these images with me. This is not the images of God that we have lots of times. The world like to think of God as soft and cuddly. Even many Christians today see God as their divine helper who exists to serve their needs and dreams. But Hebrews tells us that God is like a blazing fire that is ready to consume everything around it. He is like darkness that swallow the earth. He is like a tempest that destroy everything around it. Have you ever picture God like that? Yes God is love but he is also extremely powerful and destructive. The manifestation of God is so terrifying to the point that Moses trembled with fear before him. God is so much bigger and powerful than what you can think. You cannot control God. Imagine you are standing in an open field and seeing a huge destructive tornado comes at you. There is not much you can do. You can’t look at that tornado and say, “But I have a dream.” That’s not the way it works. But let me tell you why this is a good news. Because if this God is on our side, if this blazing fire, tornado-like God is for us, then who can be against us? And this is exactly what David is saying. “The Lord of blazing fire and mighty tempest is my shepherd.” And the same Lord is also our shepherd! The Lord watches over us, protects us, cares for us. He knows our every details. He knows when we are sitting and when we are walking. He is aware of all things and he cares and loves us. Even when no one know, he knows!
Here is what I am trying to say. A lot of time in life, we forget that we have a shepherd. We are busy trying to do our responsibilities and thrive in life. We want to be the best shepherd we can and that’s great. We want to be the best pastors we can, the best parents we can, the best children we can, the best brothers, sisters, MC leaders, workers and students we can. But in our attempt to do so, we forget one crucial thing. Before we are a shepherd we are first and foremost a sheep. Our primary identity is a sheep in the hand of the good shepherd. Our role is not first to lead but to be led. When is the last time we enjoy our role as sheep? When is the last time we trust God as our shepherd? There is something inside of us that is driven for success. We want to find our own green pastures; we want to find our own waters; we want to be the one to beat our enemies into pulp, put them in chain, make them hungry for few days and then eat KFC in front of them. How awesome would that be? We want to make things happen but yet God called us to be sheep. He wants to lead us. He wants to fight for us. He wants us to enjoy being led by him. He wants to be our shepherd. The Lord is my shepherd.
And when the Lord is my shepherd, he is enough. The translation “I shall not want” is better translated as “I shall not lack.” David is not saying “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not care about anything else.” No, he doesn’t say that. He still had two to three sheep to shepherd. He still has a nation to shepherd. He still has to make war with enemies around Israel. He still has a country to govern. He still has decisions to make. He still has to give his best shot in being the king of Israel. But his identity is not found in being a shepherd but being a sheep in the hand of the good shepherd. He is not in want. He is content. We need to understand something about a sheep. By itself, sheep lacks everything. Sheep are not dogs. Lots of times when we think of sheep we think of house pets. No. Dogs are smart. You can train them and you can play with them and they can understand you. But sheep, they are not that smart. Sheep is the dumbest and most helpless animal. They have no self-defence mechanism at all. Do you know that if sheep fall over on their side, they can’t get up by themselves? They are hopeless and helpless. They need their shepherd for everything! Do you know what happen if sheep got lost? One of the funny thing about sheep is that if they get afraid, they get very nervous and fearful, they lie down and die. They are that dumb. And this is the picture of you and me. We are that dumb sheep who can’t do anything without our shepherd. But David declares that we lack nothing. How? Because we have a great shepherd! Lacking nothing does not mean that we will never be in lack but it means that we will never lack what is good for us. The Lord will not fail to give us whatever is good for us. And now David is going to show us how our shepherd led us.
Our shepherd gives rest. Psalm 23:2 – He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. I love the fact that God makes me lie down. He makes me rest. Just like sheep, I am stubborn. I want to strive to get what I want. But the good shepherd does not let me. It’s either I lie down or he makes me lie down. It’s not a choice. He knows our souls need rest. “He leads me beside still waters.” Just from reading the words, you get a sense of peace already. When we are busy making things happen for ourselves, we are restless. And when we do, peace is absent from our life. We get irritated easily and people don’t enjoy being around us. But the shepherd wants to bring us back to that position of rest, where sheep can drink from the water and lie down in green pastures until they are satisfied.
Our shepherd gives restoration. Psalm 23:3a – He restores my soul. What does it mean to restore soul? Proverbs 18:14 – A man’s spirit will endure sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? I’m a man who can endure pain. I rarely complaint about pain. I’m not afraid of needles or being beat up. When I dislocated my knee last year, I was standing, walking and preaching the week after. But there is one pain that I can’t endure. It is tormenting my soul. It is called the pain of broken heart. Anyone? One of my cure for stressful day is food. I love eating good food. It brings delight to my weary soul. But the pain of broken heart is one that makes KFC taste like congee to me. The absence of rest and peace will a lot of times bring us to a point of frustration that lead to disappointment. And this disappointment will crush your soul. But David said the good shepherd will restore your soul and bring vitality back into you.
Our shepherd gives guidance. Psalm 23:3b – He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Sheep are prone to wander. Does it sound like you and me? There are days that we follow him like a good sheep but there are also days that we are prone to figure things out on our own and stray from our shepherd. But our shepherd will not let us wander for too long. He will guide us in paths of righteousness. He will not let us get lost trying figure out his path for our lives. He wrote 66 books to let us know the path of righteousness that we should take. And he will lead us in that path. How does he do it? By being your shepherd. Sheep follow the shepherd. Sheep is not smart enough to figure things out on their own. They trust every word that the shepherd says. The implication for us is to trust the word and the promise of God that is written on the Bible. He leads us in the path of righteousness.
Our shepherd gives protection. Psalm 23:4 – Even 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. This is crucial. There are times that we are in the valley because we wander from our shepherd. But there are also times that our shepherd leads us through the valley. The valley is as much the will of God as the green pasture. If our shepherd is for us, then why lead us into a valley filled with danger and death threats? The only possible answer is because our shepherd is leading us to a better place! Pay specific attention to the changes that’s happening in these verses. In verse one to three, David refers to the Lord as he. He makes me; He leads me; He restores me. But the moment he enters the valley of shadow of death, “he” changes into “you.” We know this. It is the valleys of the shadow of death that draw us close to God. It is in the valley that the abstract knowledge of God turns into a personal revelation. It’s in these moments that the phrase “God is good” turns into “God you’ve been so good to me.” There is a big difference between saying that your shepherd is good and experiencing your shepherd’s goodness toward you. We taste the sweetness of God so much more when we are in difficult times than in good times. Bible College is awesome but my sweetest experience of God does not come in Bible College. My sweetest experience of God happened when I was in hospital bed, diagnosed with leukaemia. It was then that the sovereignty and goodness of God became a warm blanket to my soul and not just a theory.
Do not despise the valley of the shadow of death because your shepherd is bringing you to a better place. And it does not necessarily mean you will be unharmed. In the valley, there might be wolves and enemies who try to harm you. But we have no reason to be afraid because our shepherd is with us. This is the promise of God. In the valley, you will get to know your shepherd more. You will get to see how strong and how awesome he is. If God is your shepherd, don’t you want to walk through the valley of shadow of death and watch him fight for you? Don’t you just want to see how he will come through? Don’t you just want to see how he beat up your enemies, starve them to death and prepare a banquet for you in front of them?
Our shepherd gives provision. Psalm 23:5 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. This is the better place that our shepherd is bringing us to. Our journey started from the green pastures to the valley and to a banquet. There is a change in metaphor in verse 5. The Lord is no longer a good shepherd but a bountiful host. The picture that we have here is that we are invited to God’s banquet. To be invited to God’s banquet is not just a random dinner. In this culture, invitation to dinner is a sign of bond of loyalty and love. That is why the Lord anoints your head with oil. It is a gesture of welcome and hospitality. And he overflows your cup which simply means he really enjoys your company. God is not a stingy host but he is a generous host. He lavishes us with affection and his acceptance and joy overflows our cup. Extravagant generosity. What a picture. But here’s what amazing. As you enjoy your dinner with the Lord, you look around and you realize that you are in the presence of your enemies. Your enemies are watching you dine with God. Oh yes, you will have enemies if you are on the Lord’s side. The world will hate you. But don’t miss this. The world might not welcome you but God is a generous host who overflows your cup with his goodness. You will enjoy his presence in the presence of your enemies.
So our shepherd gives rest, restoration, guidance, protection and provision. And in all of this, he is the one doing all the works. Not us. Our shepherd is the one who makes things happen. We are just the recipients. All of this is given to us by his grace alone and not our ability. Our shepherd is for us.
Our shepherd is for himself
Psalm 23:3 – He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yes, your shepherd is for you. Don’t let anyone take that from you. Your shepherd loves you and cares for each of you. But here is something that we need to understand about God. At the end of the day, the reason that God gives rest, restoration, guidance, protection and provision, the reason that the Lord becomes your shepherd, is not because you are awesome but because he is awesome. God leads you in the path of righteousness for his name’s sake. God is ultimately not motivated by his love for you but by his love for his name and his glory. Get this right. God is for you but God is not about you. You are not the centre of God’s universe. God is the centre of God’s universe. God is ultimately about himself. This thread is everywhere throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. Even here in Psalm 23, the most comforting psalm for Christians, this psalm is motivated by God’s desire to exalt his name. Let me give you two examples.
Ezekiel 36:22-23 – Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. Did you see that? God is saying to Israel that God will save Israel. God will act and restore Israel. But he is not going to do it for Israel’s sake. Does the Lord love Israel? Yes! That is why the Lord chose his Israel to be his people. But the underlying motivation behind everything that God does is for his own name’s sake. God loved you and saved you for his own sake. Some of you are still not convinced. Let me go New Testament on you.
Romans 11:33-36 – Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgements and how Inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. At the end of Paul’s long explanation on the gospel and the beauty of God’s grace, Paul concludes by saying that God is so much bigger than us. He is far greater than what we can imagine. And everything exists from him, which mean that there is absolutely nothing that existed outside of God, everything is through him, which mean that everything that existed today is there because God sustains it, and everything is for him, which mean that ultimately every part of created universe, including you and me, exist for him and his glory. That’s the God of the Bible!
“Yos, are you saying that God has ulterior motive in loving me?” Let me be very clear. I am not saying that. God is saying that. You are not the centre of God’s universe. God is the centre of God’s universe and everything he does revolves around him. God is for you but God is not about you. I have heard it explain this way. It’s like cat and dog theology. A cat goes, “My owner feeds me, cares for me and cleans up after me. I must be God.” A dog goes, “My owner feeds me, cares for me and cleans up after me. He must be God.” That is why when you come home your dog is all over you while your cat could not care less. For many of us, we are missing the point. We are like cat who thinks that we are the point. I love you but let me be straight with you. You are not the point; God is! Stop being a cat and start being a dog.
So is God vain in seeking his own glory? No. Think about it. If God is not exalting his own name and glory, whose glory and name should he exalt? You? Me? Really? We think we are better than God? If God exalts anyone else but God, it means that there is someone greater than God and he ceased to be God. But there is no one greater than God and that is why he is the point of all things. “God is the one Being in all the universe for whom seeking His own praise is the ultimately loving act.” – John Piper. Since God is the only one who is perfect in goodness, beauty, majesty, strength and wisdom, then his way has to be the best way. Every other way falls short in comparison. God’s commandment for us to treasure and praise him is because he desires the best for us. The best and most loving gift God can give us is himself. Therefore in commanding our praise and creating everything for his glory, God is for God and at the same time he is also for us. Because our joy can only be full in knowing and praising him, the most magnificent of all beings.
This is the point of the whole book of Psalm. We have an entire book written by God to be used to worship God. Imagine a husband goes to his wife saying, “Hey babe, I have written something for you. I have written 150 songs that talk about how awesome I am. I want to give them to you as a gift, so that you can pull them out and read them to me every night before you go to bed and every morning when you wake up. And doing this will bring such delight to you.” No sane husband will give that kind of book to his wife! Why? Because no one is worthy of that. But God is.
And in Psalm 23, God has bound his glory, reputation and name in being our shepherd. That is a good news to us. God is as committed to you as he is to his own name. God is committed in giving you grace so that he gets all the glory. “God loves me” is not the core message of Christianity. The message of Christianity is “God loves me so that I might glorify him.” But how do we know God loves us? Because our great shepherd has come for us.
John 10:11-15 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. Jesus is the fulfilment of Psalm 23. Jesus is not like a hired shepherd who leaves his sheep in times of dangers. Jesus is the great shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. You and I should be separated eternally from the Lord because of our sins. Our sins deserves eternal punishment and separation from God. But Jesus came. Jesus came and fights our enemies and gave his own life to bring you and I back to God. Through his blood, Jesus reconciled us back to God. He died for the sake of his sheep but he rose again and he will not fail to keep his sheep. Not a single of his sheep will be lost. Listen to this.
John 10:28-29 – I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. If you put your faith in Christ, you have double protection. First, no one can snatch you from Jesus’ hand. But let’s say that if by any chance someone manages to snatch you from Jesus’ hands, no one can snatch you from the Father’s hand. Not even yourself. You are forever secure in the grip of Christ. Jesus, our great shepherd is saying to us, “I am not going anywhere. I am going to lead you. I am your shepherd. I have bought you with a price. I bought you with my blood. You are mine.” That’s the promise of the great shepherd. I do not know what difficult circumstances you are facing right now but I can promise you that Jesus won’t fail you. He is the great shepherd who is with you through the valley of the shadow of death. In fact, because Jesus is your shepherd, you will not experience ultimate death but shadow of death. Shadow cannot hurt you. Because Jesus already took the ultimate death, you will only experience the shadow of death.
Last verse. David concludes Psalm 23 beautifully. Psalm 23:6 – Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. This is David’s conclusion after he passed the green pasture through to dark valley and into the banquet hall of God. The Hebrew for the word “follow” is a lot stronger than follow. It means pursue. So we have goodness and mercy pursuing us for the rest of our lives.
I’m going to borrow John Piper’s illustration. Imagine yourself driving casually on a highway, when all of a sudden you seed red blue light flashing in your rear view mirror. In a moment of panic, you make the decision to push the gas instead of brake. You drive as fast as you could, trying to get away from the police. Fast and furious. You know exactly what’s going to happen if the police catch you. Your license would be revoked, heavy fines would come your way, and possibly some jail time. But since you drive a Honda jazz and the police drives a Ford mustang, he eventually forces you over. You sit there trembling in your car as the police leaves his car and makes his way to you. Then he walks to your window and says, “What you just did is very stupid.” Then he reaches to his pocket and pulls out a wallet and says, “The restaurant you just left asked me to bring you your wallet that you left on the counter.” So you feel like a fool and as you reach out to take the wallet he says, “Oh there is another thing. They had a drawing this morning in the restaurant for one lucky customer to win a 2 weeks holiday to Japan fully paid. They told me to tell you that you won it.” God is not only a good shepherd; he is also a policeman pursuing you with goodness and mercy every day of your life, and he is fast! But the story does not end there. Just as you are breathing a sigh of relief, he says, “You are under arrest now and you have to come with me.” So you leave your Honda jazz and get it in the back of his patrol car and head off, but he doesn’t say where to. Soon you realize that he is not heading for police station but into the country. Then you find yourself arrive in a big mansion with a huge gate that looks like a castle that belongs to royalty. So you ask, “Where in the world are we?” And he says, “This is my place and from now on you will live with me. I have prepared for you a small mansion by the river. It’s free. I’m going to go get your family now. Hopefully they won’t try to run away too.”
This is what David means when he says, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” But make no mistake. For David, what’s so amazing is not the mansion, nor the river, nor the view, nor the fact that it’s free. What’s so amazing about this mansion is that he gets to live with his good shepherd. David’s love is not for the gift of the shepherd but for the shepherd himself.
One of the biggest failure in our lives is failing to be a sheep in the hand of the good shepherd. Life can be tough and difficult. But God is inviting us to be a sheep in the hand of the good shepherd. Take some time to enjoy our role as sheep. Take some time to lie down and roll around in the green pasture. Take some time to drink and walk by the still water. Take some time to sit still and trust him as our good shepherd. He wants to lead us. He wants to fight for us. He wants us to enjoy being led by him. He wants to give us grace so that he gets all the glory. Our life is never about us but it has always been about our great shepherd. So at the end of the day, we do not walk out of this journey thinking how awesome and great we are. But we realize how fragile and weak we are and how mighty and wonderful our shepherd is.
I will end with this. There are two flocks of sheep that are next to one another. One flock is filled with strong, healthy sheep that are cared by a good shepherd. The other flock is filled with weak, sickly sheep that suffer because of a careless shepherd. One day, a weak sheep makes its way to the fence that separated the two flocks and it collapses. A strong sheep from the other side of the fence walks to the weak sickly sheep. The weak sheep looks up and say, “Go ahead and mock me. I am weak and sickly and there is nothing I can do.” But the strong sheep says, “I will not mock you. For it were not for my great shepherd, I would be just like you.” My friend, this is our story if we put out trust in Jesus. He is the shepherd who won’t fail. To him be all the glory.
- What comes into your mind when you think of “The LORD”? Does it resemble the images we are given in Hebrews 12:18-21? Why is this a good news for Christians?
- “Before we are a shepherd, we are first and foremost a sheep.” Describe the implication of this truth in our daily life.
- Our shepherd gives rest, restoration, guidance, protection and provision. Out of these 5, which one do you struggle the most to trust your shepherd? Why?
- Why do our shepherd lead us through the valley of the shadow of death and why is this a good news?
- “God is for you but God is not about you. You are not the centre of God’s universe. God is the centre of God’s universe.” Why is this a good news? Discuss.
- How does Jesus fulfils Psalm 23? Explain why Jesus will not fail to protect his sheep.
- One of our biggest failure in our lives is failing to be a sheep in the hand of the good shepherd. Think of few practical applications that you can apply in the next few weeks on how you can be a sheep in the hand of the good shepherd.