Come to Me and Rest - Psalm 23, Matthew 11 - sermon notes
Sermon notes about rest, renewal and restoration.
- Because this is the second sermon in a new series of messages, it would be helpful to review the "merger plan" of putting this psalm within the words of Jesus during his ministry. This review should be done during the sermon introduction. Consult the notes of last week to recapture the intent of this merger.
- To understand the intent of this portion of the psalm and Jesus' words, hearers must get in touch with the high level of agitation that happens in our lives and communities. Describe and visualize what agitation is-perhaps by looking inside the washing machine (there is a vigorous agitator there!). David experienced that; you can select illustrations from his life to verify that. Sheep also experience it often. Jesus faced many people with all kinds of agitations during his ministry. Pick up some illustrations of agitations that we encounter today, many of which may have been brought to worship today!
- Now your hearers are ready to focus on the care of the shepherd who does not minimize such agitations, does not command us to "get over them," but gently comes to take charge of our renewal process. Let your study and research illumine the concepts of "green pastures," "quiet waters," and "restored souls." Now we can better understand the depth of what Jesus was intending to say in Matthew 11:28-30 where he calls us to come to him for "rest." Use a concordance and study the frequent occurrence of "rest" on the pages of Scripture.
- The message of this psalm can become transferable into our experiences for "take-home" benefits if we conclude this sermon with a rehearsal of some of God's biggest and best promises, such as Romans 8:1; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13, 19; Matthew 28:20; John 10:27-28; John 14:1-3; and Romans 8:37-39. Others can be found. Be selective and include some at the conclusion of the sermon, and be prepared with others for the closing of the worship service-see Liturgy Notes.