Psalm 23 Verse 1 - From the Heart

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Psalm 23:1 Sermon from the Heart of His Sheep

by

Eduardo Diaz

Today I am going to teach you the Word of the Lord as He first taught me, for it is His Sheep that hears His voice and follow.

One verse, all of you should know it, and in that verse is seen the entire relationship with Our Lord and Shepherd, Jesus Christ.

His sheep hear His voice; and He calls us by name and He leads us out.

"And when He brings us out, He goes before us; and we follow Him, for we know His voice." (John 10:4)

It is His voice that speaks... it is His voice that is calling you today! Will you follow?

1 verse,... 9 words,... in 3 parts... and if it is not written in your heart already, in your Bible you will find it written in Psalm 23 verse 1.

For the last 35 years He has been teaching me this one verse, and I still have not grasped it all, it is that majestic and glorious! The more I seek Him, the more glorious He becomes!

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that this Christ I preach may dwell in your hearts through faith today, tomorrow and always.

And I pray that we, being rooted and established in love, may have power, to grasp... how wide... and long... and high... and deep... is this love of Christ He has for us,... and to know this love... that surpasses knowledge—that we may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I who am nothing am just a little sheep, just like you, who loves His Shepherd and I just hear His voice and I will speak to you of that today!

As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on us who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are simply dust; it is His Holy Spirit, not I, that speaks to you today. I pray from my heart that the words I bring will bless you!

You won't need to take notes, if you open your hearts and receive these Words of Life He gave me, God will write them on your hearts and they will be there forever ...and ever... and ever!

In this one verse, it is who I have been become in Christ, by Grace, His unmerited favor whose Name is Jesus Christ who fashioned me with His Word and molded me by His Spirit and a Love that is indescribable,... this is who He made me... this is who I am... and He can likewise make all of you who call on His Name.

Yet I am still just a work in progress, but I am very excited to tell you of My Shepherd!

Psalm 23:1

"The Lord is..."

Any superlative that follows these 3 words is totally incapable of capturing the Glory of the Lord, the Names of Our God! For neither Words on earth nor Words in Glory can fully describe Him!

Holy, Holy, Holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His Glory!

"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was... and is... and is to come!"

The Lord is... Jesus Christ,... He is... God Almighty!

In my life I have known Him as Savior...My Lord and Deliverer...The Lord who healed me!

When the cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me, His arms were not so short they could not save me!

He is High and Lifted Up... I will praise His Holy Name, He is Glorious yet His Greatness is not simply in His loftiness but rather in the depths He was willing to go to save me, now that is true Greatness and why He is so worthy of Praise!

He raised me up from the miry pit and set me high on a Rock! Both His Loving arms came with His Name His arms that lifted me up when I couldn't stand!

The Lord is... my Savior..., the Lord is... my Healer!

I am fully persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus for that is who the Lord is...

I WILL FEAR NOTHING but Him, He calls me by Name, He is with me; I will not be dismayed, for He is My God! He will strengthen me... and help me; He will... tenderly... hold me... with His righteous right hand.

I WILL FEAR NOTHING but Him, for He has redeemed me; He calls me by name; I am His, I call Him by name, the name above all names,... Jesus ...as I am His,... He is mine,...The Lord is...Jesus Christ, God Almighty!

I WILL FEAR NOTHING but Him, when I was in excruciating pain, at the end of my strength, wanting to quit, it is He who promised to vindicate me; His Word sustained me. His loving arms that strengthened me!

The Bible says, "I was young, now I am old yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken." (Ps 37:25)

I have known many trials, heartaches and troubles and the Lord delivered me FROM THEM ALL and I have NEVER BEEN FORSAKEN!

Several times in my life I have come close to dying yet each and every time I believed Him, I believed His Word I was healed. By all accounts I should not be here, I should be dead and buried and in each case I put my trust in Him and His promises that bear His Name.

His Name and His Promises are one and the same and in His Presence, He provided all I needed.

I have known great pain, rejection, tragedies and betrayals from those that should have loved me and I can say this with perfect assurance...

I know from where my help comes, it comes from the Lord Creator of Heaven and Earth He watches over me; He does not slumber! Abba Father watches over my life, through Christ, I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED!

That is God's Gift of Grace, freely given to all who would receive Him and His Name is Jesus Christ. That is who the Lord is.

Therefore,... I am confident of this,... that He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus He will not abandon the works of His, He will fulfills His purpose for me!

That is who The Lord is...

He heals the sick; forgives the sinners and discharges our insurmountable debts!

His Grace is sufficient, more than enough, unmerited favor!

His Love is indescribable; His Love is incomprehensible; His Loving Grace, oh... so irresistible!

My spirit groans and desires to Praise Him yet when I consider who He is... in light of who I am... the absurdly is realized in that I have NO eloquence of words worthy enough for Him, if the heavens cannot contain Him,... how can my little words describe him, for ...I... who am nothing... cannot hope to describe ...He... who is Everything!

That is who the Lord is...

Yet though I am but dust, it is He who fills my mouth with Praise so I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My lips shall praise Him for He is my Delight!

That is who the Lord is...

His anointing presence overwhelms me... my body can barely contain His Joy... The Lord is My Beloved!

He is jealous for me! To the point of death He gave all He had for me and received what I deserved, that I can have ALL that's He is, His unmerited favors, His Grace I did not deserve, Oh what an Amazing Grace the Lord is!

Therefore I am changed and can say "as Christ is, so am I in this world!" (1 John 4:17)

The Lord is...my Love! How beautiful He is and how pleasing, my love, with His delights!

Oh! How I long to be able to describe Him to you!

The Lord is the Ancient of Days...the King of Glory... He's the King of Righteousness!

God has made us who are in Christ to be the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! It was by faith, not by works lest any man should boast.

The Lord is...

The Holy One who directs my steps as well as directing my stops and telling me when and where to turn!

I can call to Him and He will answer me and tell me great and unsearchable things I do not know.

He makes known to me the path of life; He fills me with Joy Unspeakable in His Presence, with eternal pleasures at His right hand. The Joy of the Lord is my strength and I am filled with His Joyous Holy laughter!

That is who The Lord is...

In Him is my delight. I will delight myself in Him; He will grant me the desires of my heart.

No barrier can keep Him from pouring out His blessings on me. Grace has done its perfect work, "it is finished!"

He is unique, He is self sufficient, not needing ANY of us yet He died for ALL of us, a mystery beyond comprehension, the full expression of Love defined,

for God so loved... He gave...His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

That is who the Lord is...

The Lord is... My King...

Other kings are born as Princes and grow up and rule but for a moment then they are gone as a vapor.

But My Lord was born a King because he has always been "The King of Kings" and has never been anything less and will rule forever!

Mortal kings speak of their nobility from a heart full of pride and arrogance as they lord over their subjects from a distance, but by My King gave up His throne for love so He could reach down in perfect loving humility to us that we can be raised up to be sons of God and His beloved, now that is true nobility and glorious kingship and it is God's Amazing Grace, His Royal Splendor His banner hung on a Cross!

My Lord is the same yesterday...today...and tomorrow, He truly is... The King of Kings!

His kingdom endures forever and has never been nor will it ever be anything less, all other kingdom will pass away, All other kings will bow down to Him, and everyone will confess that

Jesus Christ is Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

That is who the Lord is...

The Lord is... Our Groom, we will be His Bride and He will take us into Glory!

Would you like to know what Heaven will be like?

Let me share with you what He revealed to me in an intimate moment I had with Him.

Jesus, our Groom, through the marriage covenant with us, will reveal unique and highly intimate things about Himself with such purity of love, so majestic and Holy that our unglorified bodies here on earth could not handle the full measure of that intimacy, only the bride's glorified body will be able to receive this Love,... His delights... and His pleasures!

I am not talking about a corporate revelation that we will all share, of course we will have those, no, I am talking about a revelation uniquely given to each of us; no two will be alike.

Our Lord is so able to meet with each of us individually and continue for eternity the personal relationship he initiated with us here on earth, so great is Our God!

So great is He that each revelation will be as fragrant and beautiful as a freshly picked Rose of Sharon given to the bride by the Groom, exquisitely picked for each us individually from His Garden of Delights!

We will rejoice with unspeakable Joy in His presence as we experience this loving intimacy.

Why does he give us small previews down here, a glimpse here and there?

He is courting His beloved!... He is wooing us, even now.... He does this with a gentle touch, a moment, a passing favor when we least expect it, a Word to remind us, His Bride, of the depth of His Love, sometimes the deepest and most powerful of these proclamations of love come in silence,... as at the Cross!...priceless moments that say, "I Love you!"

Do you know why time will cease to exist and eternity commence?

Because that is how long it will take to begin to express the full revelation of the Groom's love for us and that will be heaven and it will be forever... and ever... and ever, Amen!

That is who the Lord is...

The Lord is the great I AM THAT I AM, the name He calls Himself!

The Lord doesn't give salvation, He IS Salvation...He doesn't give redemption He IS redemption.

He doesn't give healing, He IS Healing.

Whatever need you might have, be it big or small, He doesn't bring what you need He IS what you need. No benefit, no promise of His exists outside of Himself, for He IS the fulfillment of all you will ever need and the totally of what it is to be fulfilled and satisfied. His benefits to you, the countless promises in the Word, are realized when He is present and in His Presence we are made whole and delivered.

Need a Savior? His response is I AM THAT... I AM.

Need a financial breakthrough? I AM THAT... I AM.

Need a healing? I AM THAT... I AM.

He doesn't simply provide a benefit He provides Himself and in His Presence is where all your needs are met. In Him there is NO lack, and He continually gives Himself to us, over...and over...and over again!

This is why the Lord can say I AM THAT... I AM.

That is who the Lord is.

And that brings me to the next 2 words in this verse,

The Lord is...My Shepherd.

Before I could understand Jesus as MY Shepherd I first had to understand myself as a sheep for in that revelation is where I came to understand why I so desperately needed Him.

We are now and will always be simply - Sheep! And when He calls us that it isn't a compliment!

Sheep are dumb and by virtue of this, God sent a Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ!

I know all of us have seen these pictures depicted by an artist where Jesus is carrying some little sheep on His shoulders and there are others ones around looking up in this pretty pastoral setting and everyone says, "Awww how cute!" and they think this is the reality.

Let me start by telling you that this is pure sentimentality and far from the reality of what it is when He calls us sheep and why we so desperately need a Good Shepherd!

Let me read this partial list of the attributes of being a sheep...think of it as holding up a mirror and seeing our own reflections, it is going to be painful in that our prideful flesh doesn't like to hear the truth but trust me, the truth is the only thing that will set us free!

Sheep have a gregarious nature...meaning they love to be with the herd.

Sheep must have a leader (shepherd) and must be told what to do and where to go; otherwise they'll wander off and get lost. Does this sound familiar?

Sheep are fearful by nature, timid and panic easily. We are not only dumb but we are gullible, easily influenced by others.

They stampede easily, vulnerable to mob psychology.

They really have no means of self-defense despite their great boasting and a shepherd is the calming influence.

They are jealous by nature, highly competitive for dominance,

They constantly need fresh water and fresh pasture but have very little discernment in choosing food or water, they are so stubborn that they will insist on their own way, even eating poisonous plants or drinking dirty water.

Sheep easily "cast" - that means flipped over on their back, unable to right themselves they will die of starvation if not turned over by shepherd; helpless.

Sheep frequently look for easy places to rest.

Of all the farm type animals they need the most care of all livestock.

This describes us, we are the sheep!

But here comes the best part; I have saved this for last!

Consider this the icing on the cake, the cherry on top!

In spite of all these attributes which would make you wonder why anyone on earth would want to own a sheep or a herd, God comes along and tells us one more things about them.

Are you ready?

...They are His Beloved!

The God of all the Universe loves us, His sheep so passionately that the expression of that passion is seen at the Cross, we seldom think or hear about it but God is passionately in love with you and me and the full expression of that passion is seen when He sent His Son to die on the Cross that whomever would accept Him, would have eternal life.

The entire gospel from Genesis to Revelation can be summed up in 5 words...

God so loved,... He gave...

We His sheep are His beloved! Highly favored! Full of Grace!

And because of that Gift of Grace we have the privilege of saying...

The Lord is...MY shepherd!

So who is this Good Shepherd? Listen to His words...

John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

12 "But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.

13 "The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

14 "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

15 "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

16 "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

17 "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

18 "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father."

Therefore in light of the attributes of being a sheep... and his words of what a Good Shepherd is... he then taught me the following:

We are NOT His equal, we are simply His sheep.

He is sovereign and owns us both by virtue of being, not only, our creator, but our redeemer as well yet many of us have the misconception that we have rights, a fallacy born from a spirit of pride and selfishness, not one of Love and submission. Our stubbornness and insistence on OUR WILL rather than HIS WILL is what is preventing many of us from seeing manifested the full expression of His Abundant Presence in our life and the promises fulfilled.

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,

but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:5-11)

Though King of Kings He stepped down off His throne and became a Shepherd, the lowest of professions that we can be raised to be sons of God seated in heavenly realms. Jesus did God's Perfect Will.

Yet my question is how many of you really know this?

He doesn't share his Glory what makes you think you and I have any?

Whose will are we seeking, His or our own?

I am not asking you if you are saved... I am asking you if you know and can really say, The Lord is MY Shepherd.

The Bible says, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. (John 10:27)

Can you truly say you hear Him and follow Him?

In this country born of democracy we have the incorrect notion that the attributes of a democracy apply to His kingdom and that we have rights, voting privileges and we rule jointly, and I heard this expressed among Christians, let me clarify this,... we have no rights,... we don't get a vote... and most assuredly we don't rule jointly.

God's Kingdom is NOT a democracy, it is a theocracy, which means it is ruled by God, He is NOT a democrat or a republican, contrary to their speeches and thank you Jesus for that less God's Name be maligned and tarnished by association!!!

Furthermore, contrary to the notion of many, and this may come as a surprise to some of you, Jesus is NOT an American. He is Almighty God, the nations are but a drop in the bucket to Him, and the Lord is MY Shepherd.

Let me say this again, The Lord is MY Shepherd.

We are his sheep.

He is both Sovereign by virtue of being Lord and our owner by virtue of being the King of Kings, in his kindness He became the Good Shepherd, do not confuse the notion that His meek and gentle spirit is a sign of weakness nor that He wants us to be independent of Him, nothing could be further from the truth.

We need to grow up!

The Lord is MY shepherd...this is his house... and it shall be called a house of prayer.

I have been to many churches over my lifetime and I will ask these questions, where are the prayer warriors? Where are the corporate prayer partners that will give up their comfort to come together in His house consistently to wrestle in prayer for others? Where are the great intercessors?

Do not tell me you don't have time... are you really going to use that lame excuse?

Really?

Are you satisfied with that? Is your life is so perfect you don't need to pray?

Where are the miracles as seen in the book of Acts? Do you know of a church where they occur today? Where is the power of the Holy Spirit displayed to the fullness where thousands are saved by the preaching of one sermon? Where are the blind given sight, the lame walking, or the dead being raised? Have you seen it recently?

Where are the prayer warriors that will step out in faith and believe for these miracles promised to us in His Word from Our Good Shepherd?

Whereas God doesn't require anything on my part for Him to bless me, as evidenced by when He gave me His Son, it does require my response to Him for intimacy to exist.

How intimate are you really?

Are you going to settle for mediocrity in light of His Excellence?

Are you going to cheapen what He did on the cross by telling Him, you don't have time for Him?

Is the life you are living so perfect you don't need His intimacy?

Can you truly say... the Lord is MY Shepherd?

Many sermons cause people to modify their behavior with mainly limited success that typically fades over time, God is not looking for temporary behavior modification but rather, permanent heart transformation that comes only by His Grace, His Word and time alone with Him where He can be Our God and Our Shepherd as we come as His beloved sheep and receive that Great Love!

Where despite the circumstances that come against us we can say with perfect confidence and perfect peace, The Lord is MY Shepherd!

He sealed this lesson very well in me when I almost died several years ago yet I was in perfect peace for I know that I know the Lord is MY Shepherd, I will be at rest in his peace for that is the place of His Provision!

The ineffectiveness or lack of evidence of these manifestations not being seen in the church today is more indicative that we are not living out in reality what God has placed in us factually and the saddest part of all of this is that we are apathetic and our heart are hardened and the greatest excuse I here is,

I just don't have the time!

OK, let's be brutally honest with each other.

How many hours a week do you watch television compared with how many hours a week outside of church do you spend in the Word and prayer?

That is a fair question,... what would your answers be?

You do realize that the voices you hear will be the voices you follow, what are you hearing?

Here is another question to think about...

The Bible says, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light." (Matt 6:22)

What are you watching?

Do you not realize that what you see affects your spirit and therefore your entire being?

Do you not realize that your enemy who want to come and steal, kill and destroy you, your family and your children does so by distracting you first and getting your focus off of Jesus by showing you shiny glittering things that have no value?

Who is knocking at your heart and who are you letting in?

If my questions make you feel uneasy I am glad, they are meant to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed!

For those of you that don't know Him, "today if you hear his voice do not harden your hearts!" He is the Good Shepherd, He is calling you today. He is the door; all others are thieves and robbers!

The Lord is MY Shepherd, He is the door, anyone who opens it, will be saved.

In Greek the word for salvation is "Sózó" and means..... "To save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction or one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health, to prosper"

He has come that we may have life; and that life more abundantly IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES, do you not want to experience this for yourselves and see it in the life of others?

My Lord is the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

He is the Good Shepherd; and He knows His sheep, yet I ask, how intimate are you with Him?

We need to grow up and actually live out what He has deposited in us!

While the notion is correct that all of us should be growing and maturing in Christ, and that in nature the normal order of growth is from childhood... to adulthood... and ultimately maturity, in Grace the true development is perpetually backward toward the cradle so we become childlike in our simplicity believing and that will come about through prayer and the Word.

The object of prayer is to come as little children, not losing, but rather awakening childlikeness of spirit and from that vantage point we will see not only more and more prayers answered but greater miracles experienced as our self-reliance dwindles and our faith in Abba Father increases.

It is here that we learn to walk with Jesus with Him holding our hand, not us holding His, think about that... the one holding is in control, the stronger party, the ones whose hand is being held isn't, they are the weaker! You would understand this if you have ever held a little child hand so you can cross the street holding their hand.

Therefore, His will be done and I assure you that it is far superior to our own!

And it is here that we can then say with confidence, the Lord is MY shepherd!

It is here that we reach the last four words in our verse.

I shall not want!

It is here that the climax is reached; the full extent of our relationship with Him becomes realized.

When I know in my spirit, in the deepest recesses of my heart of hearts that

The Lord is MY Shepherd...it is that realization that causes me to be in peace and at rest in Him and my heart to say...I shall not want.

Because of who He is, I shall lack nothing! He is my satisfaction and in the Presence of his rest, He will provide, including miracles beyond imagining! When I learn to sit and rest in Him,... He arises to work and provide! That is who Our Good Shepherd is!

Do not doubt, if God did not spare His Son for us why would you now think He would not provide ALL your needs?

If I seem to need anything, what I need is not what I lack, what I lack is forgetting who MY Shepherd is. It will be that and that alone I will always need and having obtained that, I shall lack nothing!

When we are at rest and peace in the confidence of who He is it is there that He provides His Presence and in that Presence manifest ALL MY NEED... therefore I can say... I lack nothing!

Let that sink in for a minute, matter of fact let me say it again...

If I seem to need anything, what I need is not what I lack, what I lack is forgetting who MY Shepherd is. It will be that and that alone I will always need and having obtained that, I shall lack nothing!

When we are at rest and peace in the confidence of who He is it is there that He provides His Presence and in that Presence manifest ALL MY NEED... therefore I can say... I lack nothing!

Never forget that where the Lord is,... in his Presence,... there is NO Lack!

So, let me conclude with just a few more things.

Is he your Lord?

Is he your Good Shepherd?

Do you lack anything?

If you are as broken as I have been I know you have lacked but be assured that this sermon that He has been teaching me for over 35 years, this realization of who He REALLY is was all I lacked.

Having been saved and learning submission He filled and satisfied what I lacked.

The Lord is my Shepherd...it is then I fully realize...I shall lack nothing.

There you have it...

The gospel in 1 verse,... in 3 part,... and 9 words...

Psalm 23:1 The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall lack nothing!

© Eduardo Diaz, April 8, 2015