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  • Becky Carriker

Sunday Sermon 10/29/2023


Psalm 23:1–3 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.

First, It may picture the straying sheep brought back.

Matthew 18:12–14 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep..

Human freedom permits some people to hide from God, and he will not force them to return against their will.

(1) God takes the initiative to go to great lengths to bring back to himself those who have strayed from him.

(2) Reclaiming such people should lead to joyous celebration.

(3) The faithfulness of the majority may never excuse us for ignoring anyone who still remains distant from God.

Secondly, my soul usually means ‘my life’ or ‘myself’; and ‘restore’ often has a physical or psychological sense.

The retrieving or reviving of the sheep pictures the deeper renewal of the man or woman of God.

Jesus, our great Shepherd, gives me the ability to get up and keep going, even when I have a broken heart or a disappointed dream or an emotional distress.

God wants to take away your emotional garbage. He wants to restore your soul.

Guilt, grief, grudges are the three main things that cause and keep you in emotional instability.

Let Jesus our great Shepherd remove your guilt,

Let Him relieve your grief.

1. Accept what cannot be changed.

2 Sam 12:22-23 "Then David got up from the ground... He said, `While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept... But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back to life?"

2. Play it down and Pray it up

Don't exaggerate it, dedicate it. Give it to God.

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.

3. Focus on what's left not what's lost.

God is not finished with your life.

The rest of your life can be the best of your life.

Let Him replace my grudges.

Grudges come from what other people do to me.

You're going to be hurt in life; that's a fact of life. Life isn't fair.

The difference between bitter and better is the letter "I".

Romans 12:19 "Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God, for He has said He will repay those who deserve it."

One day God is going to settle the score.

If you've been forgiven, God expects you to be forgiving. You will never have to forgive another person more than God has already forgiven you.

Martin Luther King said, "Bitterness is blindness."

Stop punishing yourself for the past.

Sheep have to learn to follow the Shepherd again. The path of righteousness is the path of dependence on him.

John 10:3-4 (ESV) To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

Phil 3:9 ” not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith,”.

The Righteousness to which He calls us

1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.”.

The paths on which He will lead you will always be paths of righteousness, paths of living right.

The right path will not always be an easy path.

Psalm 77:19-20 “Your way was through the sea, your path through the great waters; yet your footprints were unseen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron”.

There will be times where the way God leads you seems impossible.

Isa 43:2 ‘When you pass through the waters, I will be with you”.

There will be times when you find it hard to detect the presence of God.

When the Lord is your shepherd, He will lead you. Even when His footprints are unseen.

There will be times when God’s direction in your life comes through people He puts beside you.

Where the Shepherd leads is always the right path

Our Good Shepherd leads us for His Name’s Sake.

Ezek. 36:22 “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…”.

Isa 43:25 I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake…

“My sheep… will never perish” (John 10:28).

The strongest assurance you can ever have is that the Good Shepherd has staked His name on leading you home.

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