Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Lord Is....

Psalm 23

The Lord is.......
Today I want to especially stress the first three words of this wonderful portion of God's Word. 
The Lord is.............
Not the Lord was or the Lord will be (although both are true)
but, He is......

 Here is the greatest fact in all the universe....The Lord is

 The Lord is a reality. 
 The Lord is alive! 

Were it not for this reality our faith would be in vain. 
Hebrews 11:5 says, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."  
Praise God!     The Lord is...... 
The Lord hears the cry of His people and He meets their every need.  The Psalmist David believed this.  Verse 1- Psalm 23 - David says, "The Lord is.........I shall not want."

The 23rd Psalm sets the Lord as a very present help.....not a past or a future help. 
Again, He is a helper of the past and of the future but, today we will emphasize the present
In fact, every verb in Psalm 23 is in the present tense.  God is a present tense God.  
He was the Lord yesterday, He will be the Lord tomorrow but, bless His great name, 
He is the Lord - TODAY!  

All we need to do folks is live one day at a time.
The One who made this day is the Lord of the day.

I shall not want................because He is my Lord today.
I will fear not evil..............because He is my Lord today.
           He prepares a table before me today.
           His goodness and mercy follow me today.
           He anoints me today.
           My cup runneth over today.
                      All because The Lord is.........
Psalm 23 is for today!  
We are living in valley days.....perilous days.  
But, The Great Shepherd is caring for His sheep, because The Lord is
The Lord is the Lord and He always will be The Lord!

He is not going to leave us here in the valley.  
Bless God, He is going to lead us through.

I'm listening for His voice.  I'm no longer listening or looking for the signs.  I am listening for the sound.  I am listening for the voice of the rapture.  Amen?

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17King James Version 

"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."


Thank God we won't stay in this valley.
There is a higher place for us in the hills of glory.
These valley days shall be victory days!

The Lord is......
He is the lily of the valley
the bright and morning star
He is the fairest of 10,000 to my soul.

My - if I tried to tell you all that He is we would be here forever.  This is the difficulty that the Psalmist David had also.  So, he just put it in all inclusive terms and said, 
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

The Lord is.....
Isn't this the message of the Christmas season?
The angel said to Mary in Luke 1:28, "And the angel came in unto her, and said, 
Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women."
The angelic hosts said to the shepherds in Luke 2:11, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

The Lord is......The Lord is with you.
Immanuel (Hebrew: עִמָּנוּאֵל‎ meaning, "God with us"
The Lord is with us.

Prophets, good men, teachers all appeared on this earth before.  But, this time the Lord took off His royal robes, clothed Himself in human flesh and laid Himself upon the straw.

A miraculous incarnation of deity!

The Lord is with us!

Companionship... The Lord came to share our surroundings and earthly life.  
Yes, with its tests, trials and its troubles.  
He has not left us alone to pioneer this valley.  
He is touched by the feelings of our infirmities because He tried the way before us.  Hebrews 4:15 says, "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
He is with us. 
The Lord is with us.
The Lord is.... 
It would NOT be strange to think of the Lord with angels.  But, the Lord came to be with us.  You and I.  The Psalmist said to the Lord, concerning men in Psalm 8:4, "What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  That visitation climaxed when God became man and walked the earth in the person of God's Son so that redeemed man could one day walk in Heaven and dwell in the house of the Lord forever.  

Long before Bethlehem, the Psalmist David said in Psalm 23, "The Lord is......"
You see, His beginning was not under the Star of Bethlehem.  
He always was and ever shall be!
He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end......
and everything in between!

Jesus said, "Before Abraham was.......I am."
(John 8:58Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.)
David said, "The Lord is......." (Psalm 23)
Jesus says, "I am......"
"I am the bread of life"  (John 6:35)
"I am the living water"  (John 4:10-14)
"I am the door"  (John 10:9-16)
"I am the way"  (John 14:6)
"I am the truth"  (John 14:6)
"I am the life"  (John 14:6)
"I am the resurrection"  (John 11:25)
"I am the good shepherd"  (John 10:11)

The Bible says in Matthew 18:20, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
The Lord is......
The Lord is here, right now to meet your need.

He does not want you to want.  He wants you fed.
He does not want you to fear.  He wants you to rest.
He wants to lead you in to green pastures.
He wants to lead you through your valleys.

Will you trust Him?
Reach out today and take His hand.
Let Him lead you.
Today, let Him be your Lord.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

3 Important Words From Psalm 23

Psalm 23: 1-3  (King James Version)
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

When we think of David as a shepherd we immediately have a vision 
of our Lord Jesus Christ....The Good Shepherd of our souls.

There are several thoughts that stand out to me in these words from this wonderful Psalm.  I would like to share them with you.
They are based on the words:         He MAKETH
                                                              He LEADETH
                                                       and           He RESTORETH

There is the thought of MASTERY.
"He MAKETH ME to lie down in green pastures."  
Sheep do not lie down wherever and whenever they please.  The lie down when and where the shepherd see fit.  The shepherd is the master of the sheep.
Jesus is the great shepherd
 and master of the soul!

To try and live independently of Him is a lonely and hazardous life.
The person who rejects and refuses to allow Jesus to be Lord and Master of their life and says "I am my own master" is the person who is making a shipwreck of their life.  No man is fit to be their own master.  The Psalmist David is saying here:  "The Lord is my shepherd and master of my life.."
Even people who have lived good lives, if they have lived it apart from Jesus Christ it has all been in vain.  
We have only one life and it will soon be past....
only what is done for Christ will last. 

There is a mastery which is brutal and degrading to a person....such as the mastery of the devil. BUT, to be mastered by Jesus is to be mastered by divine love.  This kind of mastery is uplifting and rewarding.  
Eternal life in the house of the Lord forever 
awaits the soul who is mastered by Jesus!

There is also the thought of LEADERSHIP
in these words "He LEADETH ME beside still waters."  
Jesus is the leader of the soul 
who always leads to peace! 

There is no real peace outside of Jesus Christ.  You can search the world over but no real peace can be found apart from the peace of God.  This peace will only come when you make peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  
He is the only master of the soul that will give you peace.....a peace that passes all understanding.
The devil and the world have nothing to offer but turmoil and unrest. 
But, Jesus says, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.  (Matthew 11:28)
And in John 14:1 He says, "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me."

Lastly I would like to share with you from the words of the Psalmist, 
"He RESTORETH MY SOUL"..... the thought of RESTORATION.
David knew from personal experience what these words meant.  
As you remember, David had a life of multiple mistakes and transgressions against God. But, David's soul was restored.  If you are reading these words and you have gotten away from God, know that restoration is available for your soul.

Let the love of God and the love of The Master take mastery over your soul and life today.  Give everything over to Him and surrender to His heavenly leadership.  

You will find restoration!  
You can only be restored by Jesus Christ - The Master of the soul.  

  Won't you accept Him today?

John 3:16                                                                                                                         "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Friday, August 25, 2017

Psalm 23

What a delight to share these original handwritten sermon notes 
from the late Rev. David A. Raynor Sr.

The Lord Is My Shepherd 

Monday, August 7, 2017

In The MIDST Of The Storm

Matthew 14:22-33  (KJV)
"22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.
24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
26 And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
27 But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
28 And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
32 And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.
33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God."

Some folks get the mistaken idea that this Christian life is always smooth sailing. 
But, you sure can’t use this passage of scripture to prove it.  
These scriptures show us the Lords followers 
in the midst of a storm.

I’ve heard it preached that the storms only come to those who are out of the will of God.  They use Jonah as an example.  (The Book of Jonah - 4 chapters) He didn’t want to go to Nineveh as the Lord had directed him.  Jonah disobeyed, he ran from the will of God and found himself in a great storm that the Lord sent his way.  There is no doubt about it – storms do come when we find ourselves out of the will of God.  BUT not all storms come because we are out of the divine will of God.
Storms also come when we are “in” the will of God.  As we find here in the 14th chapter of Matthew.  These disciples were in the will of God.  They were where they were in obedience to Jesus.  They were doing exactly what He told them to do. 
And yet, they found themselves
 in the midst of a storm. 

No one is exempt from the storms.  "The Lord makes the Sun to rise on the evil and on the good.  The rain falls on the just and on the unjust." ( Matthew 5:45)                                                                  But, let me tell you one thing, when the storms do come I want to know that Jesus is my Savior and my Lord.  That is what makes the difference!  Amen? 

Let’s notice the ministry of Jesus in the times of storm….times of testing and trails.  Verse 23 says that when He had sent them away He departed into a mountain to pray.  While the disciples were battling the winds, waves and the elements of bad weather Jesus was praying for them.  He told Simon Peter in Luke 22:31-32, ”Satan desires to have you, to sift you as wheat but I have prayed for thee that they faith fail not."

The Bible teaches us that He is our great High priest, touched with the feelings of our infirmities. (Hebrews 4:14-15)  He intercedes for us at the right hand of God the Father.  Let me tell you, He sees and understands what we go through in our lives.  
He knows and He cares.  
He loves us.  
He prays for us.

Not only does He pray for us, He comes to us. Verse 25 says “in the 4th watch of the night sometime between 3am and 6am Jesus went out to check on them.  (Did you ever notice, it always seems to get darkest just before the dawn?)  Jesus went to them walking on the water.  Jesus comes to us in the times of storm, in the times of darkness, and in our times of need.  He not only prays for us and takes us on His heart.  But – He does come to us!
 He is never too early
He is never too late.
He is always right on time.

Jesus prays for us.
Jesus comes to us.
Not only that, He ministers to us.
Verse 27 says, “He came walking on the water to them and they were afraid. “ 
But, Jesus ministered to them – saying unto them, “Be of good cheer.  It is I, be not afraid!
Notice……..He came to them walking on the water.  
He came to them walking upon the very thing they feared.  
We serve a Lord who is over ALL and walks over ALL of our circumstances.  
ALL things are under His feet.  
He comes to us walking over our sickness, over our trials, over our storms, over our failures, over it ALL. 
The Bible says in Nahum 1:3, ("..........the clouds are the dust of His feet.” 
He is Lord of all!
He is Master of every situation.

He prays for us
He comes to us
He ministers to us
And  - where His presence is there is His power.
Peter said, “if it be you Lord bid me comes unto you. (Verse 28)
Jesus said, “Come.”
On the WORD of God, Peter in the midst of the storm put his fears under his feet and walked on the thing he had feared.  He walked on it.  Instead of being under the circumstances he was over them   …… stepping out on the authority of God’s WORD.
As Christians, we live in Him.  We are in Christ.   Acts 17:28 says, "In Him we live and move and have our being." We are His body. (Ephesians 5:30 and 1 Corinthians 12:27)                                What is under His feet is under our feet!  
In Him we are victors.  
In Him we are more than conquerors.!(Romans 8:37)

Christ is ministering to you and I today.  He says to “Come.” 
He asks us to “Obey His Word.” (Luke 11:28)  
Put your fears and your obstacle under your feet today.  Walk on the water. 
Don’t be under your circumstances!  However, understand that we are all under command.  We are to step out upon His Word and see miracles happen.
God’s power is seen in the midst of the storm. 

In the midst of the storm  Peter walked on the water.  
He walked on his fears.  He was above the circumstances.
Many people like to talk about Peter sinking.  Peter didn’t sink.  The scripture says that Peter began to sink and called on the Lord.     Jesus set him to walking on the water again.  “And when they were come into the still the winds ceased.” (KJV)

I’ll say again………..when the storms come, I want to know that Jesus is my Savior and my Lord.  

How about you? 
The devil has a plan.  He is out to destroy you and I.  
He comes to steal, kill and destroy
but, Jesus Christ came to give us life – eternal.

It is in the storms that we recognize the power of God.  We "see" God’s great ability to do ALL things.

Let me close with this thought from Verse 33.  The storm resulted in worship and praise. 
Then they were in the ship they worshipped Him and praised Him…….saying of a truth that “thou art the Son of God.”  The storm they had just experienced brought them to the place of worship and praise.  
They realized and recognized His worth.  
They “witnessed” His great presence and power 
and “saw” Him worthy to be praised.

Do you know that Jesus is your Savior and is He your Lord?
If not, I invite you to open your heart today and ask Him in.  
He bids you to "Come."

Preached in Avon, North Carolina  6/11/1983