We’ve been going through a series and Pastor Jim asked me to continue on a series on the 23rd Psalm. So if you can turn your Bibles of Psalm 23.
I don’t have it anywhere in my outline to talk about what happened yesterday, and the tragedy that happened with the space shuttle.
If it comes up, that’s great. I just I felt kind of awkward just trying to make it fit just to make it fit. But I do know that as the series goes on, I think next week Pastor James and give the portion series where he’s going to discuss it in more detail. So I encourage you all to show up next week and I think he’ll be he’ll address.
That in more detail.
I’m just going to read the 23rd Psalm and then we’re going to go through it and see what we can get out of it.
The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul, he guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake, and even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
I fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff. They comfort me.
You prepare a table before me, in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days in my life and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever, forever. And I’m going to talk about the portion of the Psalm this morning where it says.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake, so all I have to do just so you know, I’ve got to take a beautiful sentence like that and put it in my language.
And it’s not always pretty when it comes out in my language, but it’s the way that I can digest it.
It’s the way that I can understand it, so if you break it down, what what it’s saying is he leads me in the right path.
He leads me in the right path. Sounds pretty simple. I like simple, it’s easy for me. He leads me the right path. Why for his namesake, not mine?
Through that simple he leads me in the right path for his name for his credit, not mine for his glory, not mine for his honor and not mine.
And we’re going to find out what kind of breaking the two sections, and I talk more about. He leads me in paths of righteousness, and then the elements in just a few. A few minutes talking about for his namesake. And hopefully what I’m gonna communicate is.
It’s for his namesake, ’cause I can’t handle the credit. I can’t handle it ’cause I don’t deserve it. I’m not geared for it, it’s not what I’m made to do. I’m geared to give it, not receive it.
So if I broke it down, he leads me in paths the right path. First of all, what I found out in my study is.
I’m wearing a tie, some kind of official.
Now I gotta tell you that I’m I’m just going to be straight up and transparent with you. That last night I I felt really defeated. I was up in my room.
And I used to have a job where I worked all the time and I got this job. Now when I’m on the phone so I don’t get in front of people, wear sweatshirts and sweats and stuff to work. So I wore a tie a long time and I sat there going.
Oh, and I just got frustrated. My head got all head my heart, my face got all hot and I was sweating and I came home and put my daughter. Taylor said you’re going to have to ask.
Pastor again, right?
I’m a 30 year old man.
OK, I should know how to tie a tie, so I go knock on his door and I stand there.
I got that off my chest I’m sharing.
Anyways, he leads me in paths of righteousness. What I found out was he leads me in paths of righteousness.
I went through like this so I got this little piece of software I go through, look at different versions of the Bible and none of them say he leads me down.
Paths of righteousness as if to say that when we start following God that everything is downhill and smooth.
Easy walking if that was the case, then I’ve got a real problem ’cause I got lots of uphill walks in my life.
He leads me.
In paths of righteousness, the Up Hills, the downhills, the mountain top experiences, the valley experiences. I don’t appreciate the valley experience as much, I appreciate.
The mountain top experiences, but he’s leading in both experiences. Then when I found out not to go into too greater detail, is that in the valley experiences?
Is where we can pick up the food. ’cause if we look at a valid geographically, that’s where the food is grown and the farms are and the ranches are so we can store up we we can get the food that we need to get the energy that we need to get back up to the top to get back up to the mountain. Top experiences. So he does lead me in paths.
Of righteousness, so both good pet not good pass and bad pass, but good experiences and bad experiences. I can’t exactly say that that.
In 1998, when my wife got the phone call from the doctor’s office, she gets off the phone. She talks to those people, they’re official.
She got the phone call.
She got gets off the phone. She comes in the living room and she says the result of the MRI came in.
And the doctor says that you’ve got multiple sclerosis.
I can’t exactly say that at that point I looked up to the heavens and I.
Said righteous path, man.
I didn’t say that at all I said.
Yeah, this is a tough Rd.
And it has been a tough Rd, but it’s been. It’s there’s been ups and downs. I’ve had mountain top experiences.
I’ve had valley experiences. I’ve had mountain top experiences. I’ve had valley experiences, but I have put my faith in God and I have followed the Good Shepherd to the best of my ability.
And he has led me through each step along the way, and he has taken me. And I’ve grown in this. I’ve grown in it so.
Through both experiences he leads me in paths of righteousness, paths, plural.
I I’d figure that one out to multiple paths and what I broke it down to so I can understand it just in my life alone I have a path as a husband.
I have a path as a father.
And my herd is growing.
My life is about six months pregnant.
I have a path of the father. I have a path as a son. I have a path.
As a software sales engineer.
Oh, and I have a path as a youth pass.
Sure, all of those are different paths that I’m on in my life, and if I follow the Good Shepherd, if I follow Jesus down, each one of I know that I’m going the right way.
I know that he’s going to take care of me. I know he’s going to provide for me down each one of those paths. So in and pass he leads me in paths of righteousness.
And I don’t think that there are many people who want to be on the wrong path.
I think most people want to be on the right path where they know how to get there or not.
They want to be on the right path. I’ve got to believe that most people want to be on the right path.
So I did a study.
And I found some ways that we find ourselves that I found myself on the wrong path.
OK so I got out three ways. I want to talk about this morning and.
I’m sure there’s more ways, but these are the ways it came to me. One way that I know that I have found myself on the wrong path is when I decided to be a self starter.
I decided I was going to take it on my own. OK, I know your almighty God the universe, but I could take from here cheap.
I think that’s the attitude I’ve taken you. Almighty God, like I could take it from here I’m gonna go and I’m gonna.
Handle this one OK, I got it.
I get that a lot in my in my line of work. Like I said, I’m a software sales engineer.
Uh, a senior software sales engineer and there’s a lot of acronyms in my line of work and my boss says, yeah, you’re a senior software sales engineer, but you’re really you USS?
Unemployed unless I sell software.
What happens is when I’m in in my in a small business that I’m working and I wear many hats.
So I sell the software I train people on how to use the software. Like tomorrow I get on a plane and I fly in North Carolina to train a company. How to use their software. So I trained companies how to use our software.
I do frontline telephone Technical Support when they call in.
To help them with the issues that they’re dealing with, and sometimes we’ll get a phone call from some guy person that bought our software and like a year down the road or somewhere down the road, they start using it.
And he calls up and he says, you know, I thought about using this software and stuff broke. Don’t work, it’s cheap. He probably uses some adult language.
And I say, well, thanks for the compliment, but did you? Did you get any training? No.
Well, there’s 400 pages with some instruction manual that comes up. Did you read any of it? No.
Did you call for help when you first started using the software?
And what happens is I have this tool that I use.
Or we go up on the Internet and he gives me permission. Look at his desktop, his computer and I go into his computer and I look and I said, well, that’s pretty silly to myself now. So I see the problem Sir. I can take care of that no problem.
So I go in there and I fix it. It’s usually something that he started off, started off doing that was a basic step and it got him in trouble in the long run and I I get off the phone after I fix it and the guys in the opposite. What was that all about and I said well that the pebcak
And that’s and that’s another acronym in the industry. And sometimes if I have enough report, the customer, I’ll actually say to the customer.
So be talking to me and I’ll say well, Sir, Mr. Anderson, this is what we commonly referred to as a pebcak PDB.
KAC and it stands for Sir Pebcak problem exists between keyboard and chair, thanks.
So if you ever call telephone Technical Support and they see you use that acronym, you have every right to be offended.
OK, it’s officially out of line and we know that that’s why I only use it with customers that I have with Paula.
Well, in life there are ways that we can go down. There’s paths that we can go down that seem right.
And all of a sudden we’re in way over our head.
We didn’t ask for help in the beginning. We didn’t ask for instruction. We didn’t ask for any training, and now we’re in a situation where whoa, way over our head and the Bible says it very clearly said there is a way that seems right to a man.
In proverbs it says there is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.
And like that’s heavy, I don’t want to go down that way.
I don’t want to be on that way because if you go in the same book, if you go further down the same book, Jesus is crying out, he goes. Hey, I’m the way I’m the way follow me.
So that’s one of the ways that we get off. The path is where self starter. I’m a smart guy can figure out on my own.
I’ll go this way, it seems right, and that’s dangerous. It’s a dangerous way. Another way that we can.
Another way that we can get out the path is just daily distractions.
Things that we have going on in our lives. Daily daily distractions. I think of a commercial that I saw for a program.
Now it’s a controversial program. OK, it’s a cartoon. It’s called King of the Hill.
And the scene is this. There are a baseball game and in the commercial the dad and his buddies are sitting on the sidelines, just kind of standing there and the Suns out there playing one of the bases. I say first base, I’m just partial to first base ’cause I’m a lefty.
And he’s saying they’re out there in the baseball diamond. Just kind of stand there looking around distracted by everything that’s going on a guy is up to bat.
The pitcher is going to pitch the ball and he just standing there looking around. The dad goes hey boy, watch the ball and the boy goes what?
And the dad goes, hey boy, watch the.
Ball and he turning goes what?
And before you can say quotes the ball one more time, the balls hit line drives smacks the kit right in the head.
Flatbacks put smiles back and he’s laying there little like Tweety birds going around. The dad stops. He looked at his buddies.
And he says that boy ain’t right.
Yeah, I wonder how in the world does this apply to anything?
Well, I know in my life in my life there’s been many, many a time where I get so busy so many things are going on in my life that I got all these distractions, all these things that I’m that they’re fighting for my attention and I’m giving beats, bits and pieces of my attention to and now Jesus.
He’s on the sideline.
Instead of following Jesus, he’s now on the sideline. He’s crying out to me saying, hey.
And I say what?
I’m not hearing him and he’s saying follow me and I’m not paying attention. I’ve got all these distractions. He says that again and all of a sudden I’m flat on my back because I run into something that’s way over my head, something that I can’t handle, something that’s way too much for me to handle. I’m flat on my back and now Jesus is in a position where he’s gotta.
Comedy’s gotta stand over me.
Maybe he sits down, he says, yeah, I love you. I’m going to forgive you. I’m going to heal you and I’m going to restore you. But I gotta tell you in this situation.
In this particular situation, that boy ain’t right.
It’s true, right? He’s not on the right path. He wasn’t following me, he was distracted. He had all these things going. We can make a decision to follow God today Sunday and by Tuesday being the wrong path again.
And that is not an exaggeration.
We can make a decision today and by Tuesday we can be on the wrong path again.
And Jesus just sitting there. Follow me. He’s not rude. He’s not going to run up and shake you. He’s not going to scream at you when you start going down the wrong path.
He’s not going to stand up from that path.
And use a famous line by my 7th grade teacher, Miss Carvello.
He’s not going to stand there and go, ah, whoa.
He doesn’t do that. Jesus doesn’t do that. This is what Jesus does. Jesus says, what?
This is what happens when you go down this road. This is what happens when you go down this road, you decide.
That’s what Jesus does. He gives us the choice.
So daily distractions.
We get caught up in the daily grind and forget to follow.
There’s a story in Luke chapter 10. Let’s go ahead and turn there.
Mary and Martha.
Martha opens our home up Jesus and disciples. I’ll wait till we get there.
I don’t know if you ever deal with this stuff.
I deal with it.
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where woman named Martha opened her home to.
She had a sister called Mary who sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he said, but Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked, Lord, don’t you care that my sisters left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me. Exclamation point, she yelled.
Did you ever have a microphone on?
Martha, Martha the Lord answered, you are worried and upset about many things but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and will not be taken away from her.
And in that shell, Martha opens up her house to the Lord and his disciples. They come in Martha, gets so distracted by the miscellaneous things that have to take place.
All the things that have to be in line, all the things that have to be in order and she forgets what’s important.
And Jesus says, no, this is what’s important. This is where you should be. And we did the same thing.
I did the same thing in my life I got Jesus living in my heart and I’ve got all these distractions. I’m listening to all these things.
And I don’t ever just sit there and listen to him.
I got all these daily distractions and now I find myself on my back wondering what happened.
So daily distractions.
We get taken for a ride.
Send can take us for a ride.
Then we can listen to the wrong, the wrong leadership, just flat takes us for another, takes us for a ride.
I was in.
I was in Mexico.
Actually was Tijuana
I was about.
18 years old. Group of us went down to Tijuana. I know what you’re thinking.
I could say we were on a mission.
We’re in Tijuana and we wanted to get somewhere in the city, so we called the cab.
And if Cab pulls out and he says, you know, 5 bucks apiece, and that was more money than we wanted to spend ’cause we were broke 18 year olds.
So we give him like we give him 5 bucks apiece, and he I’m not. I’m not joking, I’m not exaggerating.
He took me, he took us from here all the way around the city and dropped us off here.
Here you see that.
Because all the way around the city and dropped us off here.
And later on we found that we went to the place where he dropped where where we started when there was more light and there was a a path about a couple 100 yards that took us right where he dropped us off.
Right in the same area that he dropped us off.
And there’s a. There’s a. There’s a there’s a same a quote about sin and I don’t know where it came from. I heard it this year at camp for the first time and I I’ve heard that Ron Mael.
Was the original the quote, but I guess it really doesn’t matter. It’s a good quote, it’s sin.
Will take you further than you ever want to go.
It’ll keep you longer than you ever want to stay.
And it’ll cost you more than you ever want to pay.
We can be taken for a ride if.
We’re not careful.
If we’re not paying attention, we can be taken for a ride, but we choose. We choose to get in the car whatever path we end up on begins with a choice.
Whatever path we end up on begins with the choice and we make that choice when we’re standing at the crossroads of decision. OK, here I am.
Now I’ve got to make a decision which way to go.
Turner, Jeremiah Chapter 6 please.
I’m almost out of water.
I wrote down in my notes.
The result of being wrong. The result of being on the wrong path was was my fault not God’s fault, and whatever path that I end up on begins with the choice that I made a choice made when I was standing at the Crossroads Jeremiah Chapter 6, verse 16.
This is what the Lord says. Stand at the crossroads and look.
Stand at the crossroads and look. Ask for the ancient path. I’m sure there’s all different directions you can go with that, but what I got out of that is asked for the original path, the path that you started out on.
The path we first started saying yes to Jesus. Ask for that path. Go back to that original path.
Ask where the good way is the good way and walk in it and you will find rest for your soul.
You will find rest for your soul begins with decision. Ask where the good way is and walk in it.
But you said we will not walk in it.
Again, the decision is made. People were saying no to God, then people are still saying no to guy today, but we can make the choice and we could say yes to God.
I’m going to walk in the good ways I want to follow your path before before I get up. This morning I said all the time the kids before I my feet hit the ground today I can make the decision to follow you.
Today, God today this day is yours. Every day we can start off and what I’ve been saying, we used the whole series on purity.
And I said, you know what?
Purity is a process.
Winners arrive pure.
We don’t wake up and say OK, we do wake up and say, OK, God today this day is yours.
When I see one of the illustrations that I used is.
The Holy Spirit is not a fairy isn’t sprinkle fairy dust on you and say, OK, you’re OK now go.
It’s a process. The Holy Spirit prompts our heart.
To follow God.
And we’ve got to make the decision in it, but it’s a process. It’s a daily grind. We wake up in the morning.
We say OK today God before my feet hit the ground I’m going to choose here I am at the crossroads. What’s the good way? I’m going to choose to go that way.
It’s a process.
Someone said, I think I someone.
Said it’s a pursuit. Christianity is a pursuit, not an arrival.
So it’s a daily grind, but we can trust God. We can trust him trying to proverbs.
If we choose to follow, we’ll find rest for our souls. But we’ve gotta trust him. Turn to proverbs chapter 3.
I love this verse.
1st 3 verse. Five verse 3/5 Best Buy.
Like an auction.
OK, there’s three cups of water up here. I’m going to drink one of them.
I just caught a cold. I know it.
I know it.
Any meenie miney Moe?
There’s so many colds going around.
We can trust in God and this this first for the most part, sums up everything we’ve been talking about this morning.
First five trusting the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him.
In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight. Why do we need to acknowledge God?
Why does it say he guides me in paths of righteousness for his namesake?
I mentioned the big at the beginning of this whole thing.
That we can’t handle the credit. Thank you.
Two of them.
Wow, thank you very much.
There’s no infectious cold on that one.
What am I talking about now? Oh, acknowledging his namesake, master Kato, in his book traveling light? He’s got a whole chapter called get over yourself.
Well, that’s about.
It’s about arrogance and how God hates arrogance and the reason why he says for his namesake and all your ways acknowledge him is because we’re not geared to receive the praise. We’re not geared to be be arrogant.
We aren’t, we aren’t. We aren’t made to handle that. We’re made to deliver that to deliver praise and what I thought about was my dad.
Today is a special day. My dad would have been.
59 Mommy in the audience. 59 she’s not in. Yeah, he had been 59 years old today. He had a history.
Of medical issues if you will. I guess that his medical record probably was a stack, probably multiple stacks. He had his heart opened up many, many times.
He had heart transplants, two of them in the early 80s. You know they removed that. Put the other one in multiple heart 2 heart.
Transplants, you know. He’s had some of the best surgeons in the world.
Operating on him.
It drew a lot of attention to himself, drew a lot of attention to what happened and.
We had we had news crews in our home. You know interviewing him. I found myself on the news quite a bit. Really feeling cool. Was about 10.
I’ll sneak, I stick my head in the camera.
I was interviewed a couple times.
I am he was actually interviewed by 60 minutes once and I was there had a blank due to miss me. That’s on record somewhere.
And never once.
Never once, and this is going to sound ludicrous, but never once did the scalpel.
That cut cut him open, jump up and say.
I was feeling particularly sharp that day. It’s all about precision, baby.
It didn’t get up and gloat.
Why not? This is going to sum it up.
Because the scalp was just a tool.
In the hand of a master surgeon.
It’s really that simple. The scalpel is just a tool in the hand of a mastered surgeon, and that’s all we are.
We’re tools in the hand of the master technician and we get the privileges saying here I am, God use me.
Use me to do your your miraculous work. Use me. We get the privilege of making that choice of saying hey, here I am. God use me.
You know what he’s going to lead us down those paths of righteousness where we can be used.
In those precise ways that only he can use us.
And those in those.
And this pinpoint ways that he can use this.
Just a hand in the master. Just a hand.
Tool in the hand of the master Sergeant.
We get the privilege.
That’s my message.
We get to say yes.
We get to say yes. We get to say yes, I’m going to follow you. We get the privilege of saying yes.
One of the.
One of the things that come along with.
Following or being LED is that act of following and for a lot of people that’s where we get hung up because we are called to follow. We are called to be followers and if you are like me.
I don’t know. I was I was. I was raised by parents who constantly told me my whole life son you need to go out.
In this world and you.
Need to be a leader? You need to go out in this world. You need to be a stand up guy.
And that’s good. That’s what that’s wisdom. Never once did they tell me, son, you need to go out in this world. You need to be a sheep.
OK, go out there and be a follower around the crowd.
Never once did they say that to me.
But Paul said it Paul was someone who recognized that he was a lead.
He recognized that when he spoke, people listened and he had the ear of thousands of people and he said it, I think his first Corinthians Chapter 11, he said. Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ, ’cause he recognized that if he was ever going to be the leader that he was called to be, that he had to be like the Good Shepherd himself.
And the more that we expose ourselves to using illustration by Wayne Cordeiro he says what we expose ourselves to is what we develop into. And the more we expose ourselves to Jesus, the more we’re going to develop into Jesus.
And if we’re going to be the leader, we’re going to lead people from the right path. Paul experienced both sides of it.
He experienced let people from both paths both the wrong and the right path, and he said take follow my example as I as I follow the example of Christ and if we’re ever going to be the leaders that we’re called to be, and each one of us are leaders.
If you are.
If you’re a police officer, if you’re a fire fireman, paramedic, leadership roles. If you’re a teacher, if you work with kids at all, you’re a leader.
If you are a grandparent, what an amazing shepherd role you get apply. If you’re a parent. If you’re an older brother, if you’re an older sister.
They’re all leadership roles, all of them.
And if we’re ever going to lead in the right path, we’ve gotta follow. We’ve gotta follow the Good Shepherd.
And he’s going to lead us down the right path.
As for his namesake, not ours, let me pray.
Lord, thank you for being our leader.
Thank you for giving us the privilege of saying yes, I’m going to choose to follow you.
And thank you for being faithful for putting us on the right path and giving us the instruction and the guidance from your word.
Thank you for the direction.
Lord, I pray that we will leave here today with a better understanding.
Of what happens when we follow you?
That better understanding of what things? What things can lead us off the path that you have for us.
I pray that the seeds we planted a lot. I pray that you would stamp that on our hearts Lord what it means to follow you and that we can be great leaders that you called us to be. But we can only do that if we’re following your example.
So I pray that you take this time that we have this morning.
And you’d shape us as we leave here today. We leave here saying yes.
We’re going to follow you.
They give you that in Jesus name.
Hey man, we’re going to take communion, so Pastor Brent.
You would want.