1 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.
Psalm 23:1-6 ESV
I. The First Step to Peace
A. Peace is found in a person and personal relationship with that person, who is Jesus Christ. (John 14:27, Ephesians 2:14)
II. God’s Nearness in Danger, Death, and Dark Days
A. The psalm is very personal & describes peace that comes from the nearness of God’s presence in all life’s positions.
B. Not only do we draw near to God in the valley, but He draws even nearer unto us.
C. For Christians there is a boundless nearness ever present not just in danger but even in the valley of the shadow of death.
D. God is near to His children not just in danger and death but in the dark days that precede death.
III. The Greater Guarantees the Lesser
A. If God is with us in our greatest affliction, He will be with us in all the other afflictions of our lives. (Romans 8:31-32)
B. We fear & lack nothing because Jesus Christ is with us to the end and into eternity, which brings peace to our souls.
C. God’s Christmas plans for us remain eternally unchangeable and His peace pursues us in the pasture, the pit, and perpetually.
IV. Next Steps
A. Christmas will change us for the better or worse depending on whether or not we seize the opportunity to create holy habits that point us to Christ.
NEXT WEEK: Psalm 11 King