Sermon "Skill in Your Hand & God in Your Heart"

Friday, November 18, 2016

For Jesus to be My Shepherd, I Must Surrender as His Sheep

If you read the Bible, then I bet I can guess your favorite scripture passage...Psalms 23. Am I right? ...Well at least I was close. But you'd agree it is a beloved passage for us who love God's word. I would even dare to guess that behind John 3:16 and the Lord's Prayer found in Matthew 6, the 23rd Psalm is one of the most memorized and quoted set of verses in the whole Bible. I mean just listen to how it starts off (say it with me now)..."The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want". Ahhhh yeah, I like that.

I think we love that not only for HOW God says it (it is one of the most poetic passages in all of the Bible) and for WHAT God is saying. We feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that God is our shepherd. Right? I know I do.

But I think there is the unspoken component of this passage that we mostly ignore. That is, if God is our shepherd, then that makes us His sheep. Let this sink in now...if we want to submit that God is our shepherd, that He protects us, provides for us, chases after us when we go astray, and carries us in His loving arms when we struggle, then we also have to submit to being His sheep.

Do you know what sheep are like? They are peaceful, quiet, and fluffy animals. Hey, I think I can be that. But they're also not very smart, short-sighted, easily frightened, irrational animals who prefer to follow the herd into a dangerous place than to stay alone in a safe place. Is that you?

Well, as much as I hate to admit, it is a lot like me in a lot of ways at a lot of times. So if you and I truly want to embrace Psalms 23, then we have to accept that God is in charge, and we're not. God knows best, and we don't. God can get us home safely, and we can't.

See often our problem is that we like the notion of God being our shepherd, but we have a hard time of letting go of the staff. He and we can't both be the shepherd over our lives at the same time. We have to surrender. And in a world that teaches us to be our own person, and do what we feel, and take control of our own life, it's pretty hard to surrender the staff to Jesus. None of us want to be seen as sheepish. But let me tell you what I've figured out. I'd rather take Jesus' lead and go the right path, than to plot my own course and go down the wrong one. So every day I'm trying my best to take my hand off the Shepherd's staff.

Clock here to read Psalm 23 and see all the benefits that come with surrendering to the Shepherd.


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