A Look at 23: And Now, Seriously Folks…
Psalms 23 (A Psalm of David)
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
3 He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.
4 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.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
This is serious business.
Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin. #3
Hamlin’s shocking collapse on “Monday Night Football,” along with an unprecedented outpouring of love, support and even public prayer for the 24-year-old, has riveted the country. After all, when is the last time you saw a sports analyst, along with his colleagues on ESPN, bowing their heads and calling out to the Lord in prayer?
Damar Hamlin’s recovery proves ‘we’re seeing God answer prayer in real time.’
Faith and family were key to our nation’s founding and are still our way forward.
When you first begin to look at what the number 23 means in scripture its shocking because its not an, “Oh, Yaaay” kind of message. It’s a sobering, serious kind of message.
Words mentioned 23 times in Scripture include:
Hell (all in the New Testament)
The word “Death” is in the Bible 138 times or 6 x 23
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Just like in the national headlines when you see death, you can also see resurrection life and it only happens when we stop our games and humble ourselves for Him.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
this is also what it means to walk in the Fear of the Lord
The fear of the LORD IS WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND…
Your the sheep He’s the shepherd
Your the child He’s the Father
Your the bride He’s the husband
Your the servant He’s the King
Your the steward He’s the owner
Your the employee He’s the boss
Your the disciple He’s the Lord
Your the investment and He’s investor and He wants a return
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
The fear of the Lord
Exodus 20:23 – You shall not make anything to be with Me—gods of silver or gods of gold you shall not make for yourselves.
THE TITLE OF TODAYS MSG IS CALLED AND NOW SERIOUSLY FOLKS
1 Peter 5:8 (NASB) – Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 4:7 (ESV) – The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.
Let me talk about what sober-mindedness is not. It’s not the lack of ability to have fun, to laugh, an absence of sense-of-humor. Sober-mindedness is knowing what to take seriously.
Sober Spirit or Sober Minded: Intentional Seriousness
“fear Him” (with reference to God) appears 23 times, “fear the Lord” appears 23 times IN THE BIBLE
The fear of the Lord
The FEAR OF THE LORD is actually a SPIRIT that can rest upon us if we go after it:
The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him,
The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might,
The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
Benefits of the fear of the Lord – Wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge are part of the fear of the Lord package!
Some consider the fear of God to be an Old Testament concept, no longer relevant now that we understand God’s love and are under grace. However, this is simply not true.
The apostle Paul, writing in the New Testament, told believers to be “perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Corinthians 7:1).
Again, in Ephesians 5:21, Paul instructed believers to be “submitting to one another in the fear of God.”
In fact, walking in the fear of God was something that characterized the church in the book of Acts, where we read that the churches were
“walking in the fear of the Lord” (Acts 9:31)
The fear of God is so important, that the phrase “fear of the Lord” appears 27 times in the Bible (NKJV), “fear of God” appears 8 times, “fear Him” (with reference to God) appears 23 times, “fear the Lord” appears 23 times, “fear God” appears 17 times, “feared God” appears 5 times, “feared the Lord” appears 10 times, “feared Me” (with reference to God) appears once, “fear Me” (with reference to God) appears 8 times, “fears God” appears 4 times, “fears the Lord” appears 7 times, and “fears Him” (with reference to God) appears once. So that’s at least 144 references to fearing God in the Bible, with 19 of those appearing in the New Testament.
144 IS THE NUMBER IN THE BIBLE THAT REPRESENTS THOSE WHO FAITHFULLY DEMONSTRATE AND LOYALY CARRY OUT THE AGENDA OF THE KING IN HIS KINGDOM
THE FEAR OF THE LORD = CONSTANT AWARENESS THAT GOD IS WATCHING EVERYTHING WE DO AND KEEPING COUNT. HOW WE LIVE OUR LIVES AND EVEN HOW WE ARE WILLING TO THINK IS CONFORMED TO THIS.
THE FEAR OF GOD MEANS TO PRIORITIZE GOD AND TO PRIORITIZE WHAT GOD PRIORITIZES
…Walk [habitually] before Me [with integrity, knowing that you are always in My presence], and be blameless and complete [in obedience to Me] (Genesis 17:1 AMP).
The Fear of the Lord is when you establish the habit of being in love with God The work walk means to progress intentionally or to make a habit of living this abundant life.
THE FEAR OF GOD MEANS TO MAKE YOUR AGENDA ABOUT THE KINGDOM’S AGENDA
“NOT MY WILL BUT YOURS BE DONE”
THE FEAR OF GOD MEANS TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF WHAT GOD MAKES A BIG DEAL OF.
THE FEAR OF GOD MEANS TO LOVE WHAT GOD LOVES AND TO HATE WHAT GOD HATES
If you are somebody who walks in the fear of God, you are somebody like KING DAVID, a man after God’s own heart.
THE FEAR OF THE LORD WILL PROTECT YOU AND SAVE YOU FROM THE TRAPS DEATH WILL SET UP FOR YOU THIS YEAR
Proverbs 14:26-27 – In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, To turn one away from the snares of death.
We have to grow in the fear of the Lord this year
God expects us and is inviting us into the fear of the Lord this year
THE IMPORTANCE OF A GROWTH PLAN
It doesn’t happen randomly
Just like a ranger who loves walking through nature and observing all the beauty they find there, you love experiencing God through His creation by being observant. A sunset or an amazing landscape fills you with awe for your Creator. And hopefully, you also enjoy proclaiming the goodness of God in His creation to those around you.
EXPLORE, ACKNOWLEDGE AND DOCUMENT GOD’S PRESENCE AND INTERVENTION, AND NEVER LET GO OF IT.
Proverbs 3:3 – Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart
Romans 5:3-4 –…trouble produces endurance, which produces character says Character produces hope…
A big part of your character is how you keep track of where God is at what he is doing and how He is bringing things expected and unexpected into your life.
Thank you God for all the good things you are bringing to me that I don’t have a clue about
We have rescued 4 kids
I was invited to do two shows on A&E network.
pray.com is featuring our first message of the year all day today.
The Damar Hamlin incident is a nationally witnessed resurrection and demonstration of answered prayer that
Jesus is moving!
Judy Montgomery miracle
Our president has finally decided to visit the border!
Have you had a a family breakthrough, miracle in your health, your finances…. Have you been blown away yet with something amazing that you didn’t know was going to happen?
Robin Kwon shot a hole in one yesterday on the number 8 hole with a number 8 iron on a hole 160 yards long.
It requires character to keep track of these things and determination on your part to acknowledge the presence of God in your life and Grow in the fear of the Lord because you know that God is with you.
It will produce bravery and hope.
Proverbs 3:6 – …in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (direct your forward progress)
I declare in Jesus’ name that I am alive in Christ and dead to the world in 2023.
The life of Christ will be on me.
His resurrection power will flow through me, and goodness and mercy will follow me.
The gates of hell will not prevail over my family or me, and I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
In Jesus’ name!