In the Shadows

Psalm 23: 1-6 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 name’s sake. Even 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.  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 of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

The only line I want to say anything about tonight is verse 4.   Hear what it says?  It says even though I walked through the valley of the SHADOW of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me….

Ok so what I want to ask you tonight is this:  Would you rather be hit by an 18 wheeler or would you rather be hit by the shadow of an 18 wheeler?  I bet I know the answer!

If we are saved through the blood of the Lamb, then we are not hit with death but only the shadow of it.    We go from life to life.

This is what Jesus said.  It’s John 11:25-26.   25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

So I ask you- do YOU believe this?   Do you believe Jesus when He says that He is the resurrection and the life?  Do you know Him like you know your friends or your loved ones?  Do you spend time in conversation with Him?  Do you experience his intense love for you?   Let Him love you.

Dying is inevitable.  It’s just a matter of when. Life is short. The difference between 1 year and 90 years, relative to eternity, is almost irrelevant.   What is relevant is what happens to us when we die and move from this life to eternity.   That is the most important question of all.

Parents- if you and your children have accepted Christ, then 99.9% of your job is done.  Keep things in perspective and enjoy life more.

Young adults- you have so many doors open in front of you and they all seem so critical.  They’re not- not in the larger scheme of life.   As a matter of fact, those doors and which one you walk through is so much less important than the issue of salvation that the pressure can come off of you, too.   Make the decisions that ensure peace to the best of your ability.  Peace is important.

Children- keep your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow slowly dim in the light of His glory and grace.    Laugh, play, and have fun!  Be a child when you’re a child!    You will grow up soon enough.

Takeaway:    The shadow of death is not frightening.  It’s not knowing where you are going when you die is the most concerning question.   Surrender to Jesus and He will reveal the truth to you.    He will set you free from yourself.   And being self-involved and self-concerned and having a victim mentality are the worst bondages of life.    

Prayer:  Father, help me to surrender, to not see myself as a victim of anyone or anything or any circumstance.  Help me to take responsibility for my own condition and draw me unto you.  I don’t want to live being frightened of shadows or without any joy anymore.  Help me to die to self.    Help me to not want.   Help me to find peace and live there.  

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