Free From Fear by Claude Thomas
FREE FROM FEAR
Introduction: A preacher was asked, "How do you respond to appeals for help from people who are gripped by fear?" He suggested the daily reading of Psalm 23. And then he outlined seven powerful "trust-truths" contained in the Psalm. These "trust-truths" should be meditated upon and memorized after reading the entire Psalm each day.
Upon reading the text, the personal nature of the Psalm is obvious. Because of the Psalmist's personal experience with Jehovah, he could sing an unruffled Psalm of rest. Whenever a person or corporate body of believers is gripped by the truths of this Psalm, he/they are set free from fear by the daily assurances from God.
There are seven "trust-truths," one for each day of the week. Each one builds confidence to live each day with victory.
The Lord will work for me - v. 1
Explanation: The shepherd thinks ahead for places to graze sheep. He plans the days so they will not be caught between pastures and watering places. Jesus is the Good Shepherd - John 10:11, the Great Shepherd of the sheep. He knows our needs before we ask, and makes provision before the Christian realizes the need.
Transition Statement: Why, then, be filled with fear, anxiety, worry? Because we:
Application: Labor under the misconception that "God helps those who help themselves." We work, to be sure -- but it is not to be in our own power. His power is working in us, through us, and for us!
Illustration: The little boy, in quoting the Psalm, said "The Lord is my Shepherd and I don't want anything else." Martin Luther said "When you can say 'the Lord is my Shepherd, then you can say, I shall not want.'"
II. The Lord provides for me - v. 2
Explanation: Green pastures and still waters are exactly what sheep need!
They lie down when: they are free of fear, their coats are free of parasites, they are free from hunger, and free because the shepherd is present.
Still water: fast-moving water ...
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