Line Upon Line with Lawrence Yap
22 September 2020 | Psalms 23
Psalm 23:6 (NKJV)
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
“Surely goodness will follow…” What does that mean? Obviously David had disappointments in life. Not everything good happened to him. He’s not saying, “Surely, only good things is going to happen to me?” That’s not true. In life we go through good and difficult things.
The focus is –“only goodness will follow”. Goodness can come out of whatever happens even the bad, the evil, the difficult.
The great promise that God has given to believers: Romans 8:28, “We know that all that happens to us is working for our good! IF we love God and are fitting into his plans.”
All things do not work together for good for everybody in the world. But if you’re a believer and has committed your life to Him, the Bible says all things are working together for good — not all things are good — but God is working all things together for good. That’s what it means “goodness will follow me”. There is no difficulty, dilemma, defeat, disaster in the life of a Christian that ultimately God won’t bring good out of. Eventually, He’ll bring good out of it.
Often it’s difficult to see God’s goodness when you’re going through a difficulty. There are times when you don’t feel like God is good. Sometimes you feel like God’s goodness cannot be seen.
Even Jesus, on the cross, said, “My God, my God, Why?” We go through those experiences sometimes in life and we ask “Why?” It’s only later, looking back, that we see God’s goodness and how He was working for good.
Paul was put in prison in Rome. Was that good? No. He was kept as a prisoner in Rome. While he was there, he wrote some books that we now call the New Testament. He led the guards and others in the palace to know Jesus. Goodness followed as a result of his imprisonment. Today we’re benefiting from Paul’s problem, pain, difficulty. Goodness follows.
Not only goodness will follow you but “…mercy or love will follow me all the days of my life.”
These 2 words – love or mercy are used in different version.
-Love is easily understood. Let us understand the word “mercy”
Question: What is ‘mercy”?
“Mercy” may simply mean ‘compassion” or “favour”.
With life’s tough challenges and with a Godly standard that is required of us, we certainly need God’s mercy.
Isaiah 60:10 (NKJV) “I will have mercy on you through my grace.”
What is mercy and what is grace?
Mercy is when we don’t get what we deserve.
Grace is when we get what we don’t deserve.
Justice is when we get what we deserve.
Why do we need mercy? It is because we are imperfect. We stumble and fall, make mistakes. So you need not only God’s goodness, you need His mercy. You need His forgiveness, pardon, healing.
When you really understand God’s grace and mercy, that God isn’t out there trying to get even with you, if you’ve given your life to Jesus Christ, Jesus has taken the penalty for everything you’ve ever done wrong or will do wrong, on the cross. He paid for it, you don’t. So when a bad thing happens you don’t have to think God’s getting even with you. God doesn’t “get even” for things that have already been paid for on the cross.
That’s grace, mercy. When you understand God’s grace and mercy then you have no need to fear the future. Ps. 103 “I will… not forget the glorious things God does for me. He forgives all my sins. He heals me. He ransoms me from hell. He surrounds me with loving-kindness… He fills my life with good things … He is merciful and tender toward those who don’t deserve it; He is slow to get angry… He never bears a grudge … He has not punished us as we deserve for our sins for His mercy is as great as the height of the heavens. … He is like a father to us, tender and sympathetic to those who reverence him.”
Mercy means that when I’m going through a tough time, a valley, a difficulty — even one that I’ve brought on myself — God is there to help me out. “…we can come before God’s throne where we can receive mercy and grace to help us when we need it.” Heb. 4:16.
Mercy, like goodness, follows us in life.
“Surely goodness and mercy will follow all the days of my life“ — not some of the days, but all the days. God doesn’t turn His goodness and His mercy on and off. He doesn’t treat you nice one day and the next day treat you badly.
All the days of my life, I’ll have God’s goodness and God’s mercy. You’re going to experience many different kinds of days in life. Happy, sad, sick, depressing, lonely, difficult
You will never face a day without God’s goodness and mercy with you if you’ve given your life to Jesus Christ. He will be with you all the time. Some days you won’t feel it, some days you won’t see God’s mercy and grace and it may be hard to determine. But surely, certainly, without a doubt God’s goodness and mercy are going to be there even in the tough times in the future.
How can you be sure? The Cross is the proof. It says surely!
Relax, trust. God will be with you no matter what happens. He will help you out. God’s goodness will provide and protect. God’s mercy will pardon and forgive.
“… and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” That’s one of the most important connections we see in the Bible. It connects yesterday and today with tomorrow. God says, “I’ve got this great life planned for you and
surely goodness and mercy will follow you through it, BUT that’s not the end! I’ve got something else at the end!”
The best is yet to come. 2 Cor. 5:1 “We know that our body will be destroyed. But when that happens, God will have a house for us. It will not be a house made by human hands; instead, it will be a home in heaven that will last forever.”
Why are Christians the most confident people about the future? “We look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies. And we are not afraid, but are quite content to die, for then we will be at home with the Lord.” 2 Cor.5:6,8. Death, for Christians, is a transfer, a promotion. It’s on to better things. No more problems.
We’re going to be released from pain, from sorrow, from suffering, from depression, from fear. Rev. 21:4 “He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever.”
“You are only visitors here…your real home is in heaven…”
Live in light of eternity.
How do I know I’m going to heaven? If you were to die tonight are you sure you would go to heaven? I don’t have an ounce of doubt in my mind that I would.
Not that I deserve it but because I’ve done what the Bible says to get ready.
John 10 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
How do I know I’m going to heaven? Two things: Jesus says, “My sheep listen to me and they follow me.” Are you doing that? Are you listening to what God says to do with your life? Are you following Jesus Christ?
Is He your Shepherd and your Savior? If you say, Yes, I’m listening to God and I’m trying to let Him lead my life, letting Jesus Christ be my Savior; I know I’d never get to heaven on my own and I’m trusting Him. Then you can say with absolute confidence, Surely I know I will dwell in the house of the Lord
We’re concluding Psalm 23 today. In Psalm 23 we have seen how much God loves you.
What have we learned? If I summed it up in one sentence it’s this: Jesus is all you need. You don’t need anything else. As I looked at the psalm I summarized it like this: If I know the shepherd, I don’t have to fear anything. I don’t need to fear poverty because the Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need. I don’t need to fear loneliness, for He is with me. I don’t need to fear mistakes, for He guides me on the right path. I don’t need to fear failure, for He restores my soul. I don’t need to fear the future, because goodness and mercy are going to follow me all the days of my life. I don’t even need to fear death, because I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. God is beneath me in green pastures. He is beside me in still waters. He is with me in the valley. He is around me in the presence of my enemies. He’s upon me anointing my head with oil. He is before me leading me in the right paths. He is behind me, surely goodness and mercy will follow me. He’s even beyond me in heaven. I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
What more could you want? That covers it all. Jesus is all you need. The Good Shepherd provides protection, provision, peace, providence, companionship (His presence), and paradise.