Psalm 23 - Week II

Pastor Clay NeSmith | Oct. 15, 2023

(This transcript was generated by AI. Apologies for any inacuracies)

Last week when I spoke, I told you over the next few weeks, I'm gonna be speaking from Psalm 23.

So we're gonna start off there today, Psalm 23 in your Old Testament.

And I do believe God has a word for us today to really speak into our heart to help us on our journey.

You know, I don't know what everybody's journey in here looks like, but we do all have a different journey.

And I do know that sometimes on our journey, we face tough times, we have trouble in our life.

I know some of us have experienced troubled times in the past and some of us will experience more trouble in the future.

But Psalm 23 is a great reminder to us from David, who was once a shepherd about God's goodness in spite of whatever is going on in our life.

And today we're gonna see how to apply God's goodness to our heart and our life.

And I do believe over the next few weeks as we unpack Psalm 23, I think God's gonna speak to you in a powerful, powerful way.

So let's read the Psalm together.

I'm gonna be reading today from the New King James Version.

If you have that version with you, great.

If you have another version, just follow along in there.

I just have the New King James over the years in this particular Psalm, this kind of what I've got in my heart, so I'm going to speak from there today.

Psalm 23, David the writer says, the Lord is my shepherd.

And last weekend I spoke to you and I said, begin to meditate on that throughout the coming week about God being your shepherd.

And I hope you did that because David was once a shepherd and he saw God as being like a shepherd with his goodness taking care of the sheep.

And again, I do believe when we see our great God as a shepherd, it can begin to change the direction of our life if we really begin to get this analogy in our hearts and our life.

But he says, the Lord is my shepherd.

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.

He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul and he leads me in the path 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 and you anoint my head with oil and 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.

David understood the position of a shepherd in this particular day.

A shepherd was one that had authority over his flock, over his sheep.

A shepherd was one that many times owned the sheep.

He was the owner of the sheep.

The shepherd was the one that managed the sheep's daily life and how the sheep would continue to move forward and grow in their journey.

And so David is saying, the Lord is my shepherd.

He's my authority.

He's the one that is over me.

He's the one that will carry me through tough times whenever they come.

He is the one, in spite of the enemies that I face in my life, he is the one that will get me through.

Surely his goodness and mercy, they follow me all the days of my life.

He's my authority.

So if we're gonna see God become the authority or the shepherd in our life, we have to kind of begin to understand some of how David envisioned the shepherd here in this passage.

And today my focus is going to be on the rod and the staff because David says this in Psalm 23 verse 20, he says, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, difficult moments, I will fear no evil for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

They guide me.

And today we're gonna be looking at how the rod and the staff of the shepherd become guidance in David's life.

Because God has given a rod and a staff in our day and time that can be guidance in our life if we will learn to apply the context of what David is saying here to our hearts and to our life.

You see, the Bible says in John 16 that Jesus was going to send the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity.

And he was going to not only live with them, he was gonna live in them is what Jesus says.

And Jesus says the Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth.

But the Holy Spirit don't only guide you into all truth, what the Holy Spirit does, he guides you and he can work outside of the word of God, but he guides you into all truth as he partners with the word of God.

In other words, the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the third person in the Trinity, he is guidance for our life, but God's word is also important in our life because it illuminates who God is to us as we're walking through life.

And then the Holy Spirit can take what the word of God is all about and we get in life situations, he can make that word come alive in our heart and begin to change how we're walking through that circumstance or that challenge.

So today I wanna talk about the rod, I wanna talk about the word of God.

And again, it's really important for us to understand, whenever we read the word of God, we need to read the word of God, but we need to read the word of God and put context around what God's word is saying.

And why do I say that?

Because some of God's word was written before Jesus, the Messiah, come to the earth the first time.

Some of his word was written in time and space throughout the years and throughout history.

Some of it was written a long, long time ago.

Some of it was written a little bit closer in as God was doing a journey with people.

Then Christ comes on the scene and some of the word of God was written while Christ was here on earth, interacting with the Hebrew people and other people.

Some of the word of God was written after Christ was buried.

Some of the word of God was written after Christ's resurrection.

And some of the word of God was written after the ascension of Christ.

And all of those are context to what the writer was writing, inspired by God, pinning things down, writing words to people to motivate them on their journey.

And this particular passage, Psalm 23, was written by David, but he writes some things in there and we can take this timeless truth of what he writes.

We may not be shepherds or we may not have a literal rod and a literal staff, but there's some timeless truths in this passage that we can apply to our life right here in 2023.

In other words, you know, oftentimes what people do, the reason the word of God doesn't work in their life, help them move forward in their life is because they take it out of context.

They make it say something it doesn't say.

Imagine with me if you wrote a letter and someone took one phrase out of that letter and published that and began to build the whole truth of what you said around one phrase.

You know what I'm talking about.

The media does it all the time.

They cut stuff.

They don't tell the whole story.

They just pull things out.

And the thing is, is the reason the word of God is not working in many people's life is because they pull things out and they make it say, pull phrases out and make it say something it never said.

But the word of God is powerful.

As a matter of fact, Hebrews chapter four in 12 says this.

It says, for the word of God is alive and powerful.

It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.

It explores our innermost thoughts and desires.

It's amazing.

And so let's go back to this passage today and let's look at this Psalm because I really think there's something we can learn from what David penned here that could forever change our life.

I wrote this down this week because oftentimes when I'm reading through the Psalms of the Old Testament, I begin to notice a lot about God's love.

And if you're in here today and you don't believe in your heavenly father's love, I encourage you to go read through the book of Psalms because Psalms is a picture a lot of times of God's amazing love.

When I want wisdom from God, I go and I read the book of Proverbs.

Psalms is all about the love of God.

Proverbs is all about the wisdom of God.

And I wanna encourage you if you wanna know more about God, maybe daily go and read a Psalm and really get the love of God in your heart.

Go and read a Proverb, get the wisdom of God in your heart.

And then when I really wanna begin to understand and focus my life on the power of God, I go and I read the book of Acts because the book of Acts is all about the early church and the power of the Holy Spirit working in the early church and birth in the early church and the early church expanding and growing with God's hand and God's power on it.

And it's amazing.

So we can begin to see God's love through the Psalms.

We can begin to see God's wisdom through the Proverbs.

We can begin to see God's power through the book of Acts.

And whenever we begin to understand the context of these things and what's going on, it helps us move forward in our life in spite of what's going on in and around us.

And church, there's a lot going on today.

And God wants us to live with the knowledge of his love, with the knowledge of his wisdom, because you're gonna need to make some wise choices over the next weeks and months to come.

And God's Holy Spirit horsepower that comes on his church.

My friends, God is inviting us into a journey, but this is an important Psalm to get in our heart if we wanna move forward.

John 16, verse 33, Jesus said this.

He declared this.

He says, in this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, I've overcome the world.

Jesus says he's been given authority over the heavens and the earth.

And he says, even though you will experience trouble, he says, take heart, because I've overcome the world.

And so today, let's work through this Psalm and begin to understand the rod, which I'm gonna equate to the word of God in your heart and life today.

Oftentimes, when David penned this Psalm, a shepherd would be found in authority over his sheep with one of these, if you're in the back, and then also one of those big sticks with a hook on it that's known as a staff.

This was the rod, and that was the staff.

And many scholars believe the rod was made up of maybe one short stick like this with a spike on the end of it, and others believe that it was a multi-spike tool, a lot like the one I have here in my hand.

But both of these were extensions in the shepherd's hand to help bring comfort and guidance and protection to the sheep.

And God's word is the same thing in your life, in my life, if we'll begin to apply it in the proper way.

And the shepherd would oftentimes take this rod, and he would defend the sheep as predators were coming after the sheep.

He would take this rod, he would take the predators out.

He would protect the sheep with the rod.

Other times he would take, and he would comb this rod through the sheep's wool because parasites attacked the sheep, and he would pull this through the sheep's wool in order to examine or inspect the sheep so he could put medicine on the sheep so the sheep could continue to move forward.

He could bring healing to the sheep, and the sheep could move forward.

He didn't want the parasites to destroy the sheep.

Then other times he would take this rod, and he would poke the sheep in the butt for the sheep to move forward and do what it was designed today.

You know, my dad used to say to me when he'd give me a whipping, he says, this hurts me more than it hurts you.

Anybody ever heard that before?

The reality of it is as you begin to grow older, if you have children yourself, you understand what that means because when your children hurt, you hurt too.

But why would my dad, if it hurt so much, why would he prod me with his belt?

It's because he wanted me to move forward with discipline in the right way, and so he would bring that into my life.

The shepherd oftentimes would bring this into the sheep's life to poke them in the rear end, kind of like we used to do on the hog farm I grew up on.

We had these electrical things that there were these long sticks with an electrical prod on the end of it, and when the pig would move to where you wanted to move, you would stick that pig in the butt with that thing, and whee, and he would take off, and he would go to where he needed to go.

Got his attention.

But see, the reason this rod is so important in your life and the way it will work in your life is simply when you and I choose to make it the authority over our life so that we can begin to get over the hardships that surround our life.

This is how it goes to work in your heart and your life.

Either you're gonna be dominated by the hardships and the troubles and the things that surround you, or you're gonna make God the authority over your life, His word the authority over your life, and you're gonna begin to walk underneath His authority so you can get over your hardships, or you're gonna begin to move, you're gonna begin to walk in the hardships, and they're gonna dominate your life.

So again, God's word is a lot like a rod, and it's a lot like this umbrella also.

It becomes something that can, oh.

There we go.


That's what you get when you get cheap umbrellas.

But God's word is a lot like this.

We walk through life, and there's trouble all around us.

It's raining cats and dogs, it's raining hard, you know, hail storms and everything else, but this can begin to bring comfort to us.

It can help us stay dry as we're moving forward if we'll learn to operate underneath the word of God and its authority.

Not taking it out of context and making it say things that it's supposed to, that it doesn't intend to say.

See, this is the danger.

I see it happen all the time.

People say, well, it's just not working in my life.

The reason it's not working in your life is simply is, are you taking it out of context in what God intended for it to mean?

And people do it all the time, and they wonder why they're not walking forward or moving forward.

It doesn't mean that there's not gonna be trouble and there's not gonna be challenges, but how do I walk underneath God's authority, underneath his leadership, and let his word, his spirit, and his guidance become my authority?

Is I have to take a holistic approach to his word.

Not a partial approach to his word.

If I want a holistic life, I have to have a holistic approach to his word.

And listen to what the scripture says in 2 Timothy 3, verses 16 and 17.

The writer Paul wrote young Timothy, and he said this.

He says, all scripture is God-breathed, and it is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.

Verse 17 says, so that.

Everybody say, so that.

That's the purpose clause.

So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And so the word of God has a purpose in our life, is to equip us to be ready for every good work and move forward with our life, but the reality of it is we have to come underneath it, and not partially come underneath it, but come fully underneath it.

Because the reality of it is that word there in scripture, all scripture, I'm not a Greek nor a Hebrew scholar, but I think I know what that word all there means in Greek and Hebrew.

I think it means all.

It means from front to back.

It means all of scripture.

And again, get the context of the time it was wrote, who it was wrote to, why it was written, what was going on in the community when it was written, and don't just pull things out of context and begin to make it say what it never was meant to say.

All scripture is God-breathed.

In other words, God has been trying to help humanity understand who he is since humanity stepped away from him in the garden.

Genesis is amazing, because it begins to show us that God is madly in love with humanity in spite of humanity stepping away from God.

And the Bible begins to reveal to us God's amazing love from front to back, God's amazing grace, God's justice, God's peace, God's redemptive power.

It begins to reveal to us so much about who God is, and we begin to take and put these things in context about what God was doing.

Simply amazing.

And you're living in the context of what God's doing today.

So we have to learn to take these things, and we have to apply them to our life so we can walk underneath God's amazing authority as we're moving forward.

But oftentimes, we don't take and apply God's word to our life for what it says because we want it to say what we want it to say.

Let me give you an example.

In Ephesians chapter five, God says that marriage, and that is between one man and one woman, is a picture of Christ's love for the church and the church's respect for Christ.

In other words, marriage isn't just so you can come together and repopulate the earth and enjoy a special someone.

You should enjoy a special someone.

You should have that great relationship with that person.

You should honor that person and all that kind of stuff.

But understand, it says that in God's great scheme of things it's two people coming together as one and making him known to the world.

And the husband is to be like Christ and the wife is to be like the church.

And then it goes on to say something like this.

It says, it says, husbands love your wives as Christ love the church.

That's the word of God.

And that was written to a New Testament church.

And it was written to a church where there was a lot of crazy stuff going on.

But the writer here says, look, husband love your wife as Christ loves the church.

And we're sitting here today and we go, you know what, I know God's word says that but you don't know who my wife is.

And instead of putting that authority on my life, whether it feels good or it doesn't feel good, because eventually it's gonna bring comfort to me.

If I learn to begin to apply it to my life, instead of doing that, what we do is we take that authority away from our life.

And we just go like, you know, I know it says that, I'll do everything else it says, but that part right there.

I'm gonna take it out.

You know, the Bible tells us that God is more than able to do more than we can imagine, think of, or ever expect in our hearts.

Ephesians 3.20.

And the thing is, or we can ever imagine.

And the thing is, is some of us go, yeah, God's able to do that.

He's able to do that in Gloria's life.

He's able to do that in Ryan's life.

But he's not able to do that in my life.

And when we do that, instead of having that personal relationship, and it says God is able, and applying that to our personal life, we apply it to somebody else's life, and we're saying he's able, but he's able to do it for them and not do it for me.

The reality of it is, when we do that, we're doing the same thing.

We're just saying, you know what?

God is able to do it for some people, but he's not able to do it for me, because you don't know who I am and where I came from and what I've done.

My Bible says God is able to save any sinner from their sin with the blood of Jesus, if they would so dare believe in the power of what he did on a cross in his resurrection.

Whoever believes in him shall have eternal life, and he is able.

It is not you doing it, it is he doing it.

He is able.

But some of us are like, no, he ain't able to do it in my life.

Take that part out.

You know, it just goes on and on, doesn't it?

I mean, I think about what the Bible says about submitting to authority.

And a lot of us are in here going, you know what?

I'll submit to authority, as long as the authority is in me, and I'll submit to authority.

I'll submit to authority, as long as the authority understands, you know, and does what I think they should do.

You should submit to the authority of your parents.

And yes, your parents should follow God, and you should follow the authority of God first before you follow the authority of another human being.

But the reality of it is submission and not bucking authority needs to get in some of our hearts because we're raised in a culture where we're saying, you know what, no, I'm independent.

I don't submit to nobody.

I just am my own person.

If that is you today, I just want you to know, the Bible calls for submission because maybe your heart is full of pride, and maybe God is trying to lead you somewhere underneath the authority he's put over you.

Maybe he's trying to work some things out of you instead of, you know what, you trying to step out from underneath that, and maybe you need to submit to the authority that God's placed over you.

Because oftentimes, when the authority is trying to bring discipline into your life, prod you, you're like, I ain't doing what they say.

And a lot of times, some people mean good for you instead of harm, and they're trying to help you become better instead of hurt you.

But because you don't agree with what they're doing based on how you feel, you're taking the word of God and you're basically cutting it out and saying, I'm not gonna follow that part.

I mean, we do all kinds of things, don't we?

You know, Old Testament.

The Bible says to the people in the book of Malachi, and again, it's Old Testament, it's before Christ, it's before the cross, you know, all of those kind of things.

But he says, bring the whole tithe into the storehouse of God.

The whole tenth into the storehouse of God.

To the storehouse of God, speaks to the people through the prophet Malachi, and he says, stop robbing me.

And then I'll ring the blessings of God on your heart and your life today.

Is it still a command for you to bring the whole tithe?

No, but the reality of it is because we're not the Hebrew people, we're not who Malachi was talking to, but the principle is the same.

Trust God as your provider.

That's the whole reason they brought the tithe in in the first place.

A lot of people say, why should I bring my tithe in?

Two reasons.

Let me be clear.

Number one, it is to show that you trust God in your heart with what God has given you.

Number two, when you bring a tenth in, it helps the church accomplish its mission.

It's us doing this together, working together.

But is it a command from the Lord?

No, but the principle is the same.

Bring the whole tithe, the whole tenth into the storehouse of God, and watch if God will not open the windows of heaven on your life.

Come on, somebody.

But God, I don't like that part.

So what I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna serve 10 hours speaking in the church, and that'll be my tithe.


Is that what God's speaking to your heart through his word?

No, God's speaking to your heart, and he's saying, trust me, and watch what I can do.

Believe in me.

Stop trusting your employer to give you the raise.

Trust me.

Stop trusting in yourself to produce the money.

Trust me.

Stop trusting in all of the, but God, you don't know how big my light bill was this month.

Trust me.

Why do I bring this up?

Because it becomes something that plagues people all the time.

And again, it's just saying, God, I'm gonna do part of your word, but not all of your word.

I wanna declare to you today, the rod is there to help prod you into your future if you want a holistic life.

Take a holistic approach to God's word and see what God can do.

God's word is there to help you, my friend.

Look what it says here.

In 2 Timothy 3, verse 16, it says, all scripture is God-breathed and is useful.

Everybody say useful.

That means it has use in my life.

And what is it useful for?

It's for teaching, for rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.

The Bible is to be an aid in my life, not just an ancient book seen over in the corner of my life.

And so I have to learn to take it and begin to read it and begin to try to let it filter into my heart and my life.

I don't just need to read it as some ancient book and checking it off some religious thing I did today and I just read my Bible verse today and I'm gonna check that off.

And this is the way it is in a lot of people's home today.

Back when I was growing up as a kid on my mother's cedar chest in her bedroom, she had this very Bible, this big old honking Bible right here laying on her cedar chest.

This thing weighs like 30 pounds.

And it's God's word.

But in our house, though, we had other Bibles that we would read or whatever else.

In our house, this was just an ancient book sitting on the cedar chest that was full of memories and all kinds of stuff.

I don't even know what this is.

But it looks like some kind of handkerchief.

Somebody blew their nose on it.

Maybe it was some kind of anointed snot or something.

I don't know, but it's in this book.

There's all kinds of things in here.

There's funeral things, and nothing wrong with all these memorable things.

I think they're beautiful.

But the word of God is so much more than just keeping memories of what your family was all about and sitting on a cedar chest.

It can begin to help you move forward if you'll apply it to your life.

I mean, I was just looking through this the other day, and I was flipping through this, and I began to read back here about children's birth.

Somebody wrote in here, Eva Blanche Moncrieff.

Who is that?

October the 12th, born in 1918 in Thomas County, Georgia.

Well, I know who she is.

She was my mom's oldest sister, though I don't think I ever met her.

Beulah Lee.

My mama's another sister.

Frances Jeanette.

There's my mom's name, number seven.

Alice May Moncrieff.

And her name's written here.

And just this lineage and all this stuff written in here on these pages.

And I find that remarkable, and it's very entertaining for me to look at some of the old pictures in here, some of the old wedding things, the funeral notices, or whatever else.

But what I'm trying to drive home to you today is this old, old ancient Bible had laid around like a family heirloom in the corner of our house.

And you know what?

It didn't bring aid to anybody's life.

But the reality of it is, is God's word is meant for you and I to begin to absorb and let the Holy Spirit partner with what he says in his word.

And as he partners with it, it can begin to move us forward in our life if we will choose to begin to believe what it says.

The book of James says this.

It says, God's word is like a mirror.

And he says, if you look in that mirror and it tells you to do something, and you don't do it, it's like looking in the mirror like a foolish person just walking away.

And you know, you got spinach in your teeth or something and you just walk away and you don't do anything about it.

And everybody's kind of laughing at you when you go out because it says the word of God is a lot like that.

Look in the mirror, it's gonna show you what's wrong, show you what's right, and then do what it says.

And then if you do what it says, it'll begin to bring change and transformation into your life.

Come on.

It's the rod, man.

It's the thing that begins to help us become all God's designed us to be, to help us move forward.

And then lastly, in 2 Timothy, I love what it says here.

It says in verse 17, it says that all scripture is God-breathed and it's useful and all that sort of stuff.

And it says, so that, everybody say so that.

So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

In other words, it's there to prepare me for something.

And my friends, I'm a full-blown believer in understanding that we become a fully devoted follower of Jesus whenever we begin to pick up how to partner with what God's doing in the world through the local church because of what Ephesians chapter two verse 17 says.

It says we are God's masterpiece.

That's plural, that means more than one of us.

Not just me as an individual.

But we are God's masterpiece and it says, created anew in Christ Jesus so that we can do the good things that he created us to do, plural, before the foundations of the world.

And so what this tells me is that God saves us and puts us in Christ so that we can do the good work and become a masterpiece for God in this world working together.

But the reality of it is, is sometimes people are trying to do the work of God without the nourishment of God.

And when we're trying to do the work of God without the nourishment of God, on a regular basis, we become malnourished and ineffective.

And you know, we have to have both.

The word of God is like nourishment.

Again, whenever that shepherd would take that rod and comb it through the sheep's wool and put that medicine on the sheep for the parasites to get the parasites off the sheep so that the sheep could move forward, it was a form of basically helping the sheep be nourished and get to a place they could eat and keep growing and keep moving forward.

And the word of God works a lot like that.

It begins to work in our life, feed our life, begins to feed our spirit in such a way, partner with the Holy Spirit that begins to transform us and change us.

It works things out and it works things in, but we have to come underneath its authority and believe what it says and do what it says.

And when we do, it begins to bring change in our life so we can do the good work that God created for us to do before the foundations of the world, but there's balance in that.

I was talking to someone yesterday, and what happens oftentimes is people are serving without nourishment.

They're not continually letting the authority of words God rule and reign over their life.

They're not following it, and they're falling by the wayside, they're anorexic.

In other words, they're doing the work of the ministry, but not getting feed or fueled up on a regular basis.

And my friend, if that is you, I wanna say, look, if you need to sit on the sidelines for a little bit and you need to get some of the word of God in your heart and you need to heal and you need healing in your heart and in your life because of your sin and your brokenness, my friend, let that happen in your life.


Let that food for your soul and your spirit get into you.

But also, you know, the other danger, the other side of that coin is sometimes we get inoculated through the work that God's called us to.

And we just sit at the table and we eat and we eat and we eat.

And when we do that and we don't do any kind of work, what we're doing is we're becoming spiritually obese.

And that is just as unhealthy as becoming malnourished.

It's a balance in all of it.

And it's letting the word of God do the work in your life so you can do the work of the ministry.

And God's called us to do a mighty and grand work in this generation, in this day and age.

And we gotta be a healthy church.

We gotta be a church underneath the authority of the living God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

Come on, somebody.

And begin to let God do an amazing, amazing things.

Get your butt to a Bible study.

Begin to let God soak in.

And let's see what God can do.

My friend, it's amazing.

And we all have seasons.

I had those seasons in my life.

And I'm the pastor of the flipping church.

But when I recognize malnourished, I begin to hunger and I begin to thirst after righteousness.

And I begin to say, God, I need you to fill me up.

And I begin to go to those Psalms for love.

I begin to go to those Proverbs for wisdom.

I begin to go to the book of Acts.

It's awesome.

And it's incredible.

When I begin to let God change me because I know it's impossible to change myself.

And the reality of it is, you know what?

I know it's impossible for me to change myself.

So I really know it's impossible for you to change me.

And I know the reality of it is, is at the end of the day, I have to be accountable to my maker and his Holy Spirit.

And I have to let his spirit go to work in me, purging bad things out and putting good things in.

You need to have this intimate relationship, my friend.

It will forever change your life, no matter what storm you are walking through.

It's about intimacy with your great God.

Jesus had it.

Jesus modeled it.

And I want to show you what it means to hide the word of God in your heart.

In other words, meditate on it, let it get in.

And as it get in and you begin to walk the journey, doing the good work, God's going to give you opportunity for that word to come out.

He's going to give you an unlovable person to love.

He's going to give you a moment whenever you need to build your patience to be patient.

He's going to give you the opportunity to apply what he's putting in your heart.

But you got to be willing to walk in the fullness of it and have it in your heart.

And the Bible says this about Jesus and his disciples as they were walking one day and they met a woman in Samaria.

It was an outcast city to those particular people in that day, except for Jesus, because Jesus knew that all people everywhere mattered.

And Jesus went to sit down and speak to this woman.

As he spoke to that woman, she began to profess him as who he says he is.

And then the disciples had gone into town to get some sandwiches because they were hungry physically.

And they're like, you know what, I don't know what Jesus is doing out here by the way, but we going to get us something to eat.

That's the work we're thinking about today.

And Jesus says this to them, they come back, he says, Jesus, don't you want a hamburger?

We got some extras in the bag.

Jesus says this.

And for John four, verse 32 and 34, he says, I have a kind of food you know nothing about.

My nourishment comes from doing the will of God who sent me and from finishing his work.

My nourishment comes from doing the will of God and finishing the work that he sent for me to do.

That's a great model for every single last one of us in this room is to come underneath God's authority as the good shepherd.

Let the word of God begin to nourish our soul, our spirit.

And as he heals our heart and nourishes our soul, let's go about doing the good work that he's called us to do.

My friend, he is the good shepherd.

Jesus defined himself as the good shepherd and Jesus says that his children will hear his voice.

And what I believe in all of our heart today, that there's some children in this room today that have strayed away from the good shepherd.

I believe with all of my heart today, there's some children that have never clearly heard the voice of the good shepherd.

And I believe today that Jesus, the good shepherd, wants to speak through his word and the power of his Holy Spirit into your heart today to get you on the journey.

But the question is, is will you allow the voice of the great God to speak into you and begin to change the outcome of your life?

Can you bow your heads, please?

There's a nourishment for your spirit today.

And God's word says that Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost.

Jesus came in order to bring healing and bring wholeness to our hearts and to our life.

And my friend, if you have never come in here and received the forgiveness of sin, missing the mark of God's glorious standard, and you've never let God move in and begin to work in your life and bring that healing in your heart, I pray today would be the day that God begins to do that.

My friend, I don't know what storms you may have gone through.

I don't know what storm you're in.

I don't know what storm you may be going through or gonna face.

But God, I do know that there's a God who wants to meet you right now and carry you through the storms.

He wants to be the authority.

He wants to be the umbrella.

He wants to be the rod in your life, and he wants to do amazing things.

And so if you're ready to receive that today, maybe where you sit, you just call on the name of Jesus and say, Jesus, good shepherd, savior, one who came to give his life on a cross for me, who lived a perfect life, shed his blood, and came to give his life so I could have a union and communion with my great God.

Just say, Jesus, I need you.

I need the healing that you're gonna bring to my heart.

Today, I turn away from my sin, and I trust you for eternal life.

I believe in you.

Tell Jesus, thank you for the gift of life.

Tell him, thank you for the gift of eternal life.

And tell him that from this day forward, you're gonna walk in his presence and be a part of what he's doing in the world.

Let God speak to your heart.

Let God heal you.

Let God do amazing things through Christ Jesus.

And we pray all these prayers in his holy and precious name, amen.