Invitation to a Journey
I. The SHEPHERD and what he PROVIDES. (v.1-3a)
A. EVERYTHING that I NEED. (v.1; 2 Peter 1:3)
B. SPACE for GROWTH. (v. 2; Hos. 2:14)
C. A RESTORATION of WHOLENESS. (v.3a; Acts 17:28)
This week we look into probably the most well known of all the Psalms. There’s a danger in approaching a text we have heard repeatedly. We can often just hold to what we think it says instead of listening to the truth of what God might be saying through it today.
1. Kid’s question: Have you ever played “Follow the Leader”? Which did you like best, leading or following? Why?
2. Which of the things listed that the Shepherd provides is the most reassuring for you? Which is the most challenging or difficult to believe?
II. The shepherd and WHERE he LEADS. (v.3b-5a)
A. A LIFE that does RIGHT. (v.3b; Ps 1:3)
B. The REALITY and PURPOSE of difficulty. (v.4; Jas. 1:2-4)
C. To JOY in SURPRISING locations. (v.5a; Hab. 3:17-18)
If the Lord is our Shepherd, what can we expect? Where exactly is it that we are going? The Psalmist describes the places we are led to as we follow the Shepherd, and it’s not always where you would expect or choose to go.
3. When you think of the term righteousness do you think more of your status before God or a way of living life?
4. When things get difficult or go wrong, what is your usual first reaction? How does this text impact that?
III. What HAPPENS when we FOLLOW. (v.5b-6)
A. HEALING that flows TO and THROUGH. (v.5b; 2 Cor. 1:3-5)
B. A LIFE that bears FRUIT. (v.6a; Gal. 5:22-23)
C. A life with AWARENESS of God’s PRESENCE. (v.6b; Ps. 139:7)
Why follow? What are the results? This is the good part of the story. As we follow the Shepherd where He leads and when He leads, we are transformed to look like Him. Our wounds are dealt with, our lives leave a trail of beauty, and we grow in awareness of God’s constant presence with us.
5. How aware are you of wounds you have that need healing? How open are you with God and others about those needs?
6. Rate yourself on your awareness of God’s presence throughout your day? What can you do to grow in increasing your awareness?
IV. Embracing our FAITH as a JOURNEY. (v.1)
A. Everything is ORIENTED around the SHEPHERD. (v.1-6; Col. 1:16-17)
B. Following is ACTIVE and PARTICIPATORY. (v.2-5; Heb. 12:1-2)
C. Being LED where we might not CHOOSE to go. (v.2-4; Acts 9:10-16)
D. There are SIGNPOSTS along the WAY. (Ps. 23)
Far too often our faith is seen as something we know about. It’s a theological understanding of God and the Bible. While that is vitally important, we need to view faith as a journey. Each day we surrender to the leading of the Shepherd. And as we follow, we are changed.
7. How can you tell if your life in more consistently being oriented around Jesus? What role to others play in that for you?
8. Will you plan to engage in our Journey of the Soul series at GBC? If so, in what specific ways?