'He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul?' (Ps 23:2,3).

Did you know that the only creature that has more trouble sleeping than we do is a sheep? Everything must be just right: no wolves, no insect pests, and no hunger. Since sheep can?t find pasture, spray insecticide, or protect themselves, they need a shepherd. So do we! Listen: ?He makes me lie down in green pastures.? (Psalm 23:2 NIV). Note: our Shepherd chooses the path, prepares the pasture, and protects the sheep. What?s our part? Just follow, eat, rest, and stay close! David said, 'He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul?' (Ps 23:2,3). Those things only happen in His presence. Ponder these three scriptures:
(1) 'Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God' (Dan 6:10 NIV)
(2) 'in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation' (Ps 5:3 NIV)
(3) 'Very early in the morning, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed' (Mk 1:35 NIV).
Jesus understood that solitude was necessary for intimacy with God, and intimacy with God was necessary for giving out to others. Job said, 'the breath of the Almighty hath given me life' (Job 33:4). Until God breathes His thoughts into you, you’re just recycling the ideas of others. In Genesis God said, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish?' (Gen 9:1). Have you learned yet how to 'replenish' your flagging emotions and drained energies? The message is clear you need more time alone with God!
Friends, the Shepherd is here today for you…and you and you….and me.

Most of what I want to say is about Sunday, the Sabbath Day…Sabbath means rest.…The fourth commandment: REMEMBER THE SABBATH. KEEP IT HOLY. EXODUS 20:8 Discussing his coming vacation to The Holy Land, a Scotsman told his pastor, ‘When I get to read the ten commandments on Mt. Sinai, I’ll feel close to God.’ His pastor replied, ‘Jock, if you want to feel close, just stay home and keep them!’

‘REMEMBER THE SABBATH and KEEP IT HOLY’. shouldn’t be interpreted:
1) In a legalistic way! Because God said, ‘Keep the Sabbath holy,’ people have made it heavy. In fact, by Jesus’s time there were over 1,500 things you couldn’t do, like bathing, walking too far or scratching a flea bite! The Sabbath’s for rest and celebration; a time to recharge your spiritual battery, not drain it. It should be the milestone, not the millstone of your week!
2) In a loose way! This is our problem The pendulum has swung so far the other way that now anything goes. People go everywhere on the Sabbath except to God’s house, and excuse it by saying, ‘I’ll be there in spirit,’ . Last time I was preaching at Scotter, there was me going South along Scotter bottom, and streams of cars going North, where to? St Tesco.
3) In a limited way! Do you attend church on Sunday, then ignore God the rest of the week? Is your Christianity so irrelevant to daily life that it’s just a one-day-a-week affair? Remember, He’s not just the Lord of the Sabbath, He’s the Lord of life. So stop confining Him to a church and start taking Him to a world that needs hope and salvation.

We’ve considered what the Sabbath isn’t; now let’s look at what it should be.
1) A day of rest! A man who went to his doctor suffering from burnout, was told he’d have to slow down. ‘Doctor,’ he replied, ‘I didn’t come for a lecture on burning the candle at both ends, I came for more wax!’ God meant life to have a definite rhythm, like work, worship, labour, rest. Why? Because the bow that’s always bent will eventually break! A group of African explorers hired some native guides. For six days they were up at dawn and ready to go. So on the seventh morning when the guides didn’t rise the explorers asked why. In broken English the head guide replied, ‘We not go today. We rest. Let souls catch up with bodies’. That says it all! The Sabbath was designed to let your soul catch up with your body. Of the ten commandments God gave to Moses, which one do you think required the most words? Adultery? Five words. Murder? Four words. Taking a day off - 94 words! (Exodus 20:8-11). God knows us so well: He knew the workshop proprietor would say, ‘Somebody’s got to work that day; if I can’t, my son will.’ So God says, ‘Nor thy son.’ ‘Then my daughter will.’ ‘Nor thy daughter.’ ‘Then an employee.’ ‘Nor thy manservant.’ God says, ‘One day a week you’ll say ‘no’ to work and ‘yes’ to worship. You’ll slow down, sit down, lie down and rest. After all, I rested on the seventh day and the world didn’t crash. So, my child, repeat after Me, ‘It’s not my job to run the world.’ Spurgeon said, ‘Even the sea pauses at ebb and flood; earth keeps the Sabbath of the wintry months and man must rest or faint, trim his lamp or let it burn low, burnout. In the long term, we shall do more by sometimes doing less.’ Today, if you allow Him, God will bring rest to your mind, your body and most of all your soul. With some airlines, before an aeroplane takes off the attendant tells you that if the plane gets into trouble, secure your own oxygen mask before attempting to help others with theirs. That's wise! Unless you get enough oxygen, how can you help anybody else? To use a timely illustration, ultimately you have to make deposits where the world you live in seems to make endless withdrawals, or else face insufficient funds. Pretty soon those cheques are bouncing everywhere: morally, emotionally, and spiritually. In His presence God will supply everything we need to thrive, to experience abundant life. He is utterly devoted to our good !!
2) A day of remembering! Toward the end of his life William Barclay said, ‘I’m old, and I’ve learned that there are very few things in life that really matter, but those few things matter intensely!’ Worshipping with other believers matters because we are bringing to remembrance all God has done for us in Christ. ‘Do this in remembrance of me’, we here at each Communion. We are reminded as we gather of His grace and mercy, His constant care and provision for us, His wonderful promises in His Word, His call upon our lives and last but by no means least, that we are members of a family.
3) A day of resurrection! For Christians every Sunday is a mini-Easter, a time to celebrate new beginnings. It’s the beginning of the week… we are launched into the challenges of the week with resurrection power!
4) It is the day the Spirit came…..’Come, Holy Spirit, revive and renew us today. Fill us, empower us with your love’.

He makes me to lie down… in this Psalm words like leads and restores are used but here the word is makes.
Does that mean we have no choice in the matter? I don’t think so. We can fight back if we so wish. But who would want to do so?
The Good Shepherd is giving His total attention to me, little me, why would I want to run away. ‘I have come that you may have life, and life in all its fullness.’
Matthew 28:20-and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen
His presence will dispel the fear, the panic and the terror of the unknown.
Jesus is here. The outlook changes and suddenly there is hope.

So here we are. It’s the Sabbath. Rest, the best of food, refreshment, restoration. He restores my soul.
Do you want some of that? Then you have to let go, and let Him make you to lie down and enjoy the immense blessings He has for you.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul

Where are you just now in relation to the Shepherd?
You have heard me preach on worry and contentment. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
Some of you have been online for another look at those messages.

What is God saying to you through these messages? Why are you here? God said that to Elijah. What are you doing here Elijah? He didn’t know… he’d ran away. Hope was thin. Desperation had set in.
Who here today is worried, lonely, depressed, uncertain, empty, weak, troubled, overwhelmed, lost, etc etc. ?
If any of these caps fit, you’re in the right place today.
Maybe you heard the message, believed the Good News, lived and worked for Jesus, but you have come to a place where you are now self reliant and you’re not sure how you got here. The ground is hard and dry and you are tired. You don’t know what to do next, how to find the way again, how to recover the strength you once had.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul

Whatever you need God for today, He is here.
I’m tired
He restores my soul
I’m lonely
He restores my soul
I’m hurting
He restores my soul
I need healing
He restores my soul
I need replenishing
He restores my soul
I’m frightened
He restores my soul
I’m uncertain
He restores my soul
HELP !@*$”#?%
He restores my soul

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
O people …. you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.
ISAIAH 30: 18&19

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