This is Pastor Shim's sermon from October 10. I'll post the sermon from October 3 probably tomorrow.
The Twenty-Third Psalm is one of the most loved and is the one most used in funerals and memorial services to comfort people. But when King David wrote this psalm, that probably wasn’t what he had in mind. He might have written while he was in dire need, perhaps when he was engaged in conflict with Saul. Psalm 23 lifts us closer to God in almost any situation.
A little girl in Sunday School once was asked to recite the psalm, and her succinct recital maybe says it all: “The Lord is my shepherd, and I have everything.”
Life is not perfect, and relationships are not perfect, but we can say with the little girl that we have everything we truly need. Remember Jeremiah 31:3 that says “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you to my side.”
A pastor went to visit an 84-year-old woman in the hospital. He asked her how she was doing, and she replied “As you can see, I’m not well at all.”
The pastor asked her if she had any problems in her heart. She informed him her dog had died, and her husband died two years earlier. She added, “I think God may no longer be in control, and I’ve never been so scared in my life.” Was it that the dog and her husband died or pain from her losses that made her think that? The pastor reassured her that Jesus was the Good Shepherd, and He would never leave her.
A pastor named Isaac in Romania, pastor of a Jewish congregation, was in danger. The Government had killed 30,000 Christians. People warned him he should leave. His wife was frightened and wanted for them to go, but he told her he was a shepherd, he couldn’t leave his sheep. And so he stayed, even though he knew that if he didn’t leave, he would probably die.
We, like sheep, have needs, and we’re all wanting something—money, health, long life. In Matthew 6, Jesus talks about the things that we need and want, and He said that if we would put the kingdom of God first, that God would provide for all the things we need. Sheep need food, guidance, water—and so do we.
When Pastor Shim and his wife Misrak were on their cruise to Alaska, a big storm made the ship dance frighteningly. Pastor said he bet everyone onboard was praying that night—even the ones who were supposedly atheist. Even he wondered what would happen if he died that night. What would happen with his children, his church? Then he knew, everything would be all right—because the Lord is his Shepherd.
Pastor finished his sermon with a string of thoughts in regard to the Lord being our shepherd: “The Lord is my Shepherd; the Lord that is God, the Creator, the boss, the owner, the sustainer, the all-in-all. The Lord is my shepherd, I will be fed, protected, guided, satisfied, enlightened, healed. The Lord is my shepherd, I will follow Him, listen to Him, stay close to Him, obey Him, delight in Him, trust Him, honor Him, be grateful to Him. There is no comparison to Him, no one above Him, the absolute potentate, the Almighty God. To Him be all glory and honor, all praises everywhere. Now and forever, the Lord is Lord, His Name is the eternal I Am. God is my provision and my provider, and that’s more than good!