He Is Still on the Throne Part III
Hello everyone and thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Roderick caesar the third on the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle in Jamaica queens new york and I’m so excited that you decided to join me for the full Gospel hour right here on Global seven. My prayers that you will be blessed, you would be encouraged and inspired by this message. Thank you so much for joining and God bless, I’m gonna be speaking from the book of psalms chapter 23 Today psalms chapter 23 the first four verses arguably one of the most familiar passages of scripture psalm 23 verses 1 to 4 and it reads the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want, he makes me to lie down in green pastures and he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me, your rod and your staff. They comfort me today. I’ll be coming from the topic or the title. He’s still on the throne. This is the third installment of um, this uh theme with the Lord being on the throne and I think it’s important for us to know this and be anchored in this fact as we move on from 2021 march into 2022. So let’s pray dear God, we thank you so much for this time. We thank you for who you are. We thank you for whose we are and we take uh faith and confidence in knowing that you are with us, you are for us. And because of that, we can walk into this New year confidently we thank you for where we’ve been. We thank you for where we’re going and we pray that you will continue to be with us. Show yourself mighty, show yourself strong. We ask you all of these things in jesus name, Amen, Amen and Amen. So, in the past installments of looking at God being on the throne, he’s on the throne. We looked at Isaiah chapter six where Isaiah says in the year, King josiah died, he saw the Lord and we realize that there are some things that are in our lives that maybe have to pass away or some events that are in our lives that we have to matriculate through in order to see God how he needs to be seen. So realize that yes, uh, the past two years have been insane. They’ve been mind blowing. They’ve been uh very turbulent. They’ve been difficult and sometimes it takes that difficulty for us to see the Lord. Then we looked at Acts Chapter Seven For us looking at Stephen’s stoning and seeing that as he was stoned and as he was right before he was being killed. The text says that the Lord, he saw the Lord standing at the right hand of God and even in dire situations, even when things are less than ideal, even when our backs are up against the wall and our situation is not going the way we would want it to is not going the way we would hope it go, it would go, God is still on the throne, still in control and we can trust him even if the outcome is not one that we desire. Why? Because we are not the what the main character of the story, right, God is the author of the finisher and the main character. Uh And so for us we need to hold on to that fact and take comfort in that fact as we march on through this life last uh No no no well not last sunday but we looked at uh the upside down uh Yeah last sunday we looked at the um the upside down kingdom, the upside down kingdom and looked at this God that came into earth and wrapped himself in flesh as a baby came in an upside down kingdom because he was king. But when he showed up the the way he ruled, the way he governed the way things were set up, he didn’t come in a castle, He didn’t come married to a physical king or excuse me, he didn’t come uh uh wasn’t the son of a physical queen or a physical king. His birth looked way less than ordinary. But what we see taking place was this king was taking what we thought normal and was turning it upside down. And so now we want to look at how this king can still be on the throne, sit high, but look low, still be on the throne, but be with us, not just from a distance, but uh, but really being involved intimately in our lives and to see him doing this, we have to see this king not just as king, but as a shepherd, as a shepherd uh to rule and to reign to be a good king, to care about the needs of our people. It’s important that if you want to be a good king, if you want to be a good ruler, you can’t just say, oh this is what I want to do. This is what I feel like doing this is what makes sense to me and not hear any outside sources, not here or weigh the pros and the cons and we realize that to be a good king, there has to be a care, there has to be a concern for the people that you’re leading, right? You have to love the people that you are serving, care for the people that you’re serving and give oversight to them. If there’s no care if there’s no concern, then oftentimes the way you lead does some damage to your people And we realize that a king that sits on the throne is similar to this shepherd that we call the lord this God that cares in order to have a shepherd and to realize that we have a shepherd, we must also realize that we are sheep, we must also realize that we are sheep. Often times in scripture, there’s many examples of sheep being referred to as God’s people. God’s people are, are called sheep in many different times. We’re looking a verse like we see in psalm 23 this imagery of the Lord being a shepherd and his people, we being his sheep. We see the illustration of jesus that leaves the 99 to go find the one. He’s not just talking about math here, he’s talking about sheep, right? We realized that at the end uh in the text that says, look, he’s gonna separate the sheep from the goats, right? Where jesus says, you must be harmless as lambs and innocent as does. And so for us, it’s, it’s, it’s important for us to realize that hey God has called us to be sheep. Now, there are some things, some traits about sheep that we have to really understand to truly know what it means to be a sheep. The first thing is this sheep, they follow a leader, they follow a leader, they are by nature animals that are followers, ah and this can be good or bad, This can be good or bad, uh whether the leader is good, they’ll follow the leader. If the leader is bad, they’ll follow the leader, if the leader walks right off the cliff, I guess what the sheep are gonna do, go right off the cliff, they will follow a leader depending on uh not even depending on whether or not the leader is good or whether or not the leader is bad. Second thing the sheep, they exist in a flock. They they exist in a flock and a group right there, not just solitary animals that uh that that go together, they exist, they’re not just solitary animals that exist alone, but they exist together in a group and there may be a couple that are stubborn that try to go it alone to try to walk it by yourself and we here in the text all we like sheep have gone astray. Each one is everyone, we’ve all turned to our own way, but the Lord has bared on christ the iniquity of us all. So sheep we know are prone to wander prone to going off and doing their own thing. But they, they exist in a group, exists in a group. And so the third thing is that sheep are valuable, they’re valuable, especially in biblical times. They provide meat, they provide milk, they provide wool and they produced offspring is a valuable animals. And so for us as God’s people, we too, we have value. We are built also to exist together in unity. No man is an island God has called us to function together in community and he’s called us to follow the leader. Him as the king. He is the shepherd surprise. He is the shepherd. Now let’s take a look at how shepherds were seen in biblical times. Shepherding was a lowly occupation. It was given to individuals who seemed or redeemed unqualified for other types of work. Individuals that were maybe the youngest. Let’s look at David, who wasn’t the oldest, wasn’t the middle. He was the youngest of all of his brothers. And he was given this task of shepherding. A task that no one wanted. A profession that was not desired by many people. Shepard were expected to put their lives on the line for the sheep, they were expected to protect the sheep. They were expected to put themselves in harm’s way to come between harm and the sheep. The shepard stood in the gap, The shepherd did what he had to do to be sure that the sheep were not harmed, were not taken, were not eaten. And the shepherd were also the third component. The shepherd were to lead the sheep to lead the sheep. And this is important as well because we just said that sheep what they naturally follow right, they follow. Sometimes they do want to go off and do their own thing and when they do this correction that’s involved. But naturally they’re, they follow within uh their group and the shepherd was to lead the sheep. And we see that Jesus comes on the scene and he has several I ams that we hear in scripture, but one of the I am is that he says in the book of John Chapter 10 is I am the good Shepherd. Not just the shepherd, but the good shepherd. John chapter 10 verse 10 through 18. The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroyed. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who was the hired hand and is not the shepherd who does not own the sheep. He sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. But I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me just as the father knows me and I know the father. I lay down my life for the sheep and I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd. There will be one flock and one shepherd. For this reason the father loves me because I lay my life down and I take it up again and no one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have the authority to lay it down. I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my father. So we see that jesus is not just a shepherd, but he’s the shepherd, not just the shepherd, but the good shepherd. And we see that this good shepherd says, hey I am laying my life down for the sheep. This is a rare thing because if you see a hired hand, not someone that owns the sheep, but someone that says, hey, let’s just come in, we’ll give you some money. You can watch the sheep when danger comes, are they going to stand firm and fight for those sheep know they’re gonna sell this money is not worth my life, that’s not this money is not worth these sheeps safety. This money is not worth me putting my weight in harm’s danger. So they abandoned the sheep, they leave the sheep, the false prophets of the day, the the Pharisees of the day or the individuals of the day that don’t have real stake in this. But jesus comes on the scene and says, yes, I’ve given this charge, I’ve been given this charge from my father to lay my life down for the sheep. The wolves are going to come and instead of them attacking the sheep, I’m going to have them attack me and I lay my life down. I’m the good shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know me one thing about leading and following is specifically sheep. They know the shepherd’s voice. The shepherd gives a command. The shepherd says, stay the shepherd says move the shepherd says, let’s go left, let’s go right, They know the voice of the shepherd. We too as sheep must know the voice of the Lord specifically moving from 2021 into 22. It’s important for us to know where God is guiding, know where God is leading, know how God is moving, know which direction God is speaking for us to walk in and go in. We must listen to his voice. The text says that jesus uh goes on to say I have other sheep that are not of this fold, I must bring them in also. They’ll listen to my voice. There will be one flock and one shepherd, jesus is talking not just about the jewish people, but those later the gentiles that will be grafted into this uh this faith as adoption as sons and daughters and will be one flock with one shepherd. He says, look you guys are just listening to my voice right? And so for us we realized that jesus is our good shepherd, not one that’s steering us wrong, not one that is just telling us to do something because it works out in his own favor, not one that isn’t invested in our lives, but he lays his life down and picks it up again so that we can find our life in him so that we can find new life in him and being his sheep. We must know his voice and he knows our voice. He hears our cries because he wants us unified under one voice. His voice. Why? Because he’s still on the throne. He’s the shepherd that’s still on the throne. He’s not going to lend his authority or power to another. He’s still on the throne and wants obedience from his Children. So because he’s on the throne and because he is our shepherd, David wrote this psalm that can be a source of peace and comfort to us as we move forward into 2022. He says, look, the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want I love this because even though we are in Christianity or faith that allows us to be partners with other individuals. Like I said, sheep are not solitary animals. They go in a flock, they go together and and uh David says, the Lord is my shepherd, not our shepherd. Yes, that’s true. He is our shepherd. But this song is coming from a personal place. The Lord is my shepherd. There’s something that, that David says right off the bat that lets us know, Hey, the Lord is my shepherd. It means this person has seen you already over me. He is the Lord. He is my ruler. I’m going to follow him. I’m going to go where he goes. He is the Lord. He is the head over my life. The Lord is also my shepherd. That’s double authority. You’re not just the Lord, but you’re the shepherd, you’re in charge in this way, but you’re also in charge in this way as the shepherd. The Lord makes sure that I do not want because the Lord is my shepherd. Now, it’s great to have a faith that you know you have because your grandmother prayed over you and you say, oh, this is what I’m accustomed to or faith that you have because of your parents said, oh, sit here in this pew and don’t get up, you’re gonna you’re gonna go to church, you’re gonna go to church. You know, you have that kind of faith and that’s fine. But there comes a point in time where you have to know God for yourself. It comes upon a time where you have to outgrow the, you know, the this is the faith of my grandmother or the faith of my parents and say, hey, this is this is my faith, this is my relationship. I’m hearing God for myself, I’m listening to God for myself, I’m following God for myself, because the Lord is my shepherd. And so because he is my shepherd. David says, look, I shall not want, I shall not want paul says, look, I know the secret of being content. I know the secret of facing hunger, but being satisfied. I know the secret of abounding with great financial prosperity and the secret of going with in want and being in need. I know the secret. The secret is being content in God. So he says, look, the Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want God, make sure that we are provided for God. Make sure that we are taking care of verse two says he makes me to lie down in green pastures and he leads me beside still waters. The text says, he makes me lie down, he leads me. Besides, all of this language clearly speaks of discipleship, clearly speaks of following, clearly speaks of following a leader. We go where he leads, we stay where he says to stay, we move when he says move, we rest when the Lord says to rest, this lets us know, hey, we are not in control, we are not in charge, just like Simon says, if Simon doesn’t say you don’t do simple as that. If Simon doesn’t say, oh Simon says, touch your head. If Simon says touch your head, okay, there you go. But if not you don’t go ahead, you don’t do that. And we realized that the shepherd makes the sheep lie down and then leads the sheep beside still waters. This means that for us we have to go where the shepherd leads us and we have to do what the shepherd says to do when we get to where the shepherd leads, he makes me to lie down, he leads me beside still waters. This means that he’s leading us, he’s shaping us. He’s pushing us. He’s prodding us. He’s saying, look, follow me and lie down here. Follow me and go beside the still waters. Where is he taking us? Where is he? Uh making us lie down. Where is he leading us? He leads us and makes us lie down in green pastures and he leads us beside still waters. He makes us to lie down in green pastures and he leads us beside still waters. How many of you can testify today that God is a provider? How many of you can testify today that God is a provider. Especially over this past year. He’s been faithful. He’s been faithful. He’s been faithful. Come on somebody if he has provided for you food on your table, clothes on your back, giving you strength in turbulent times. But watch where he leads it says he makes me to lie down in green pastures where I can eat and take care of my needs. And then he leads me beside still waters where I can drink and be refreshed, not where I’m stressed, not where the waters are turbulent, not where I’m trying to figure out how I can take a sip, but no, no, no. Where I can drink in the stillness of the water. Lay down, relax and be refreshed and as a result of this he restores my soul. He restores my soul restoration. The act of restoring renewing reviving. There’s a song that says, take me back Dear Lord to where I first believed God restores us in those moments when we’re depleted, God restores us in those moments when our tank is running on empty, come on. I can’t be the only one here, let’s be honest here. Through this pandemic, Many of us have been running on fumes. Many of us have have been really pushing and it’s, it’s been affecting us on fumes with our family, on fumes, with our jobs on fumes, with our, our finances, with our loved ones, with our relationships with our self care. Whatever the situation may be, we’re running on fumes barely making it and heading towards burnout. We’ve been coasting and running at max speed approaching empty, but we need to be restored. How many of you know that our God is a god of restoration, that we serve a god that sees us in a particular condition and breathes new life and restores our soul. The soul is the seat of our emotions. The sole is the seat of our feelings. The seat of our desires. The seat of what we want. The seat of how we feel. And we can oftentimes be so off kilter, we can oftentimes be so out of alignment and need to be realigned, needs to be re adjusted. We need to be restored. Saints of God need to be restored. Saints of God and it’s so uh important for us to lean into the restoration that God wants to bring to lean into the new thing that God wants to do and not stay stuck on the old thing that maybe brought us a comfort. But the new thing is the is the thing that will have us be restored and give us restoration. He leads me uh in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. So 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 and he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. There, that word goes again, he leads me this king that is still on the throne is one that is willing to get off of his throne to make sure we are being led in the right direction to make sure we are going to the right location as sheep. Oftentimes we want to do our own thing. Come on somebody give me some help that he wants to do our own thing. You don’t always want to go the righteous way. You don’t always want to go the righteous path, You want to do your own thing. And when that’s it. And when that happens, it’s so important that we realized, hey, I have to remain a disciple, I have to remain a follower. I have to remain sheep have to remain in this posture of following and being willing to be led. He leads me in the paths of Righteousness for his namesake. Oftentimes we can go down paths of righteousness and we think once again were the main character, we think once again it’s all about us, but God says no, this is for my name’s sake. You’re, I’m shepherd, I’m leading you down this path. This path will bring you a restoration. This path will have you lied uh sitting in by by still waters and have your store your soul restored. But at the end of the day, it’s so that I can be glorified. And then he says in verse four, even though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me. I don’t know about you. But these past two years have sure felt like the shadow of death. Sometimes. We’ve looked at it from a particular perspective, especially through last year, specifically when things were at their height, death seemed to be all around us. It hit our our city, it hit our church, it hit the nation and the world, many other churches were affected and everywhere was affected by uh, this pandemic and it felt like, and can even feel like sometimes that the shadow of death isn’t camped around us. But I’m so grateful that David wrote this reminder for us as sheep to not fear because we’re not alone, just as God told Joshua. Hey, don’t be afraid to not be dismayed. I will go with you, I’m never going to leave you. I’m never going to forsake you. Just as he told that to Joshua, he reminds us as well that God is with us, that God is with us through turbulent times. God is with us in the highs of life, God is with us in the lows of life, God is with us when things don’t seem that difficult and God is with us when things seem like, how, how, how could this possibly happen in your world is unraveling around you. God is with us in each and every season. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of death, I will fear no evil. Oftentimes we don’t give God props or praise or think about him when we were on the mountaintops, but I’m so glad it reminds us that even in the valleys when we’re running to God often times that he is with us, he’s an ever present help in time of trouble and I don’t know what next year holds, but I do know that God is going to be with us through next year’s valleys. I don’t know what next year holds, but I do know that God is gonna be with us through next year’s peaks. I don’t know what next year holds, but I do know that God will not leave us, will not forsake us. And yea though we walk through difficult valleys through turbulent times. We should not fear because God is with us and then we serve a God of comfort, he goes on to say your Rod and your staff, they comfort me. There’s two areas of comfort that we see here. There’s comfort in protection and there is comfort in uh correction. There’s comfort and protection and there’s comfort and correction the Rod was used for for protection. The Rod is a short straight uh and heavy club like tool. It was generally used for protecting the flock and protecting and defending the flock from enemies. So if a wolf would come, the Rod was used to defend the flock from the wolf, the, the animals that would pray against them. The Rod was used for protection and to protect the flock. It was used to defend. It was used to keep the enemies at bay and we love the protection of the Lord. Can I get an amen for the protection of the Lord? The protection from the enemy. Their protection from the weapons that are formed against us. No weapon that is formed against us will prosper. Protection for our families, for our hearts, for our minds, for our finances, for our loved ones were thankful for the protection of the Lord. But we’re not off. We’re not always thankful for the correction. We’re not always thankful for the correction. My Rod and my staff. The staff is a thinner device and it’s long with a curved top and it, it helps the shepherd to correct their flock. So it was used to draw the sheep together and it’s a symbol of authority and guidance. So if the ship, if the sheep maybe go off course, the staff was used to corral and pull the sheep in closer to the flock to manage them. Hebrews Chapter 12 says, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines those whom he loves. He disciplines those whom he loves and he chastises every son whom he receives. Hebrews 12 also says for a moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peace and fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. So we don’t necessarily all like the correction, but we give God oftentimes a lot of praise for the protection piece. But how many of you know, I’m grateful that I was corrected. I’m grateful that the Lord saw me going astray and brought me close. I’m grateful that the Lord saw me wanting to do my own thing, wanting to go my own way and said, no, my son stay with the flock. Because those are the things that kept that kept me grounded. Those are the things that kept me focused. Those are the things that ultimately allow the Lord to uh keep me and two allowed me to bring the Lord glory through my life. And so we’re grateful for that fact that the Lord comfort that says they rod and thy staff, they comfort me. So yes, we can take comfort and joy in the fact that God is a protector. But we can also take comfort and joy in the fact that God is a corrector as well, that God sees us, sees when we’re going off course, sees when we need to be brought into alignment and does that, it doesn’t always feel great. But in the end it says that the Lord uh for the moment, discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. For those who have been trained by it. That’s the discipleship piece that we need to plug into Saints of God. The point where the Lord needs to train us and steer us in the right direction. So as I close and as the team comes up, it’s important for us to see that God is our shepherd. We shall not want he makes us to lie down. He leads us beside still waters as sheep. God disciplines us as sheep. God strengthens us. He feeds us and restores us and leads us. The question is, are we willing to stay with the flock under his guidance and follow he is the shepherd that’s guiding us the Lord that’s leading us to king, that’s ruling us, we must submit to his rule and his reign. We’re thankful for where we’ve been. But we understand that he’s ordering our steps into the New year and beyond. Let’s be submitted and follow the leading of our shepherd who is still on the throne. God bless you. If you’re listening, you’ve heard this message. You realize you don’t know jesus christ as your Lord and Savior. I’m gonna ask you to text, save to the number of your bottom of your screen. Text saved to the number at the bottom of your screen. And if you have no jesus, I just want to pray with you. Dear God, I thank you Lord for those that know you and those that don’t. I pray Lord that we would come to understand who you are as sons and daughters. That as we walk from this year into next, we would know that you hold our future. We would know that you are our shepherd and you are still on the throne be with us. God strengthen us, continue to equip us uphold us with your righteous right hand. Help us to know that you are with us. You’re not going to leave us. You’re not going to forsake us, encourage us. God keep us Lord. As we walk from here into next year into a new year, Father be our strength uphold us Lord and help us to know that we can build our life with you as our foundation. Help us to know God that you are the solid rock on which we stand. Help us to know Lord, that you are still on the throne. We thank you, we praise you. We give you praise, honor and glory. We ask all of these things in jesus name and everyone said Amen, Amen and Amen. Hello again and thank you so much for tuning in to the message at Global seven. Once again, my name is Roderick caesar the third, the lead pastor of Bethel Gospel Tabernacle. My prayer is that you were blessed and encouraged by the message. And if you want to contribute and give to the ministry, you can text B G T F I 277977 again, you can text B G T F I 277977. We’re so thankful for you and my prayer is that God will continue to strengthen and empower and encourage you as you listen to this message, we hope you tune again later and God bless you. Thank you so much.