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Watch 2022 online sermons » Robert Morris » Robert Morris - He Protects

Robert Morris - He Protects

Robert Morris - He Protects
TOPICS: The Good Shepherd, Protection

Alright, we're continuing our series called The Good Shepherd. And if you don't know, we're in a devotional for the whole month of January called The Good Shepherd from Psalm 23. And we're talking about how Jesus is our good shepherd and last week it was, He Provides. And this week it is, He Protects. I told you last week that sheep are dumb animals. Now some of you might have taken up an offense. I hope you didn't, but it's just a fact, okay? and I don't think any sheep heard me and got their feelings hurt, but the same breath will say "porpoises are smart animals". Well, if there are smart animals then there are dumb animals, too. See, and I'm just telling you what science says, and someone sent me a video this week that I just thought I'd show you. Jesus talked about if your sheep falls in a pit, you pull him out even on the sabbath. I want to show you a video of a sheep that falls into the ditch. they pull it out, but I want you to watch carefully what the sheep does afterwords, so watch this.

Now the reason that's funny is because it reminds me of me. That I fall in a ditch, Jesus pulls me out and I fall into the same ditch again. And you've done it too. So don't, you're in church. Don't look at me with religious eyes right now and the shepherd comes up and gets us out again, okay. So we're talking about that. I want to also encourage you to memorize Psalm 23, and we've only got one more message on it next weekend. So maybe you might not have it memorized by then. If it takes three or four months, it's only six verses. I remember the first time I memorized it, I was probably in my twenties. And after that I went to the dentist and sometimes I can get freaked out. In other words, it hurts because I think it's going to hurt. I don't know if any of you have that problem. And so I literally thought to myself, I'm just going to quote, you know, in my mind, Psalm 23. And so I quoted it the whole time he's filling, you know, 47 cavities or whatever he was doing, you know, it's odd sometimes because you see and smell smoke coming out of your mouth.

So you know, there's something going on that isn't right even though you can't feel it, but anyway, so I want us to memorize it. So here's what I'm saying. Last week, we did the first three verses. We talked, He Provides. Now we're going to do verses four and five, but I actually want us to read all five. We'll read verse six and we'll read all six next week, but I want us to read them together, out loud. Every campus, every Gathering, every person online, okay? So the words will be on the screen. So let's read it together, Psalm 23:1. "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 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. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over".

Now, so we're talking about verses four and five, even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. I don't know if you know this, but the number one fear humans have is death. Number one, and you might disagree. I've had people even disagree with me and say, "I am more afraid of snakes than I am of death". And I say, "no actually you're afraid of getting bitten and dying". And then others have said to me, "I'm afraid of heights". No, you're afraid of falling and dying. That's, and again, it might not be your number one fear, but overall it is the number one fear humans have. Here's what I want to tell you about our shepherd. He takes the number one fear that we have and annihilate it. there's no fear of death anymore for a believer. there's no fear of death because it's only a transition. It's only a change of address. One of my friends, when his wife passed away, sent me a text, I'm sure he sent it to many people, but he said, "She has changed addresses". So Jesus does this, so he protects us.

So I'm going to give you three reasons he protects us and we'll look at the scriptures. Here's number one, He is with us in the battle. And I could have just put, He's with us, and then could have done it the same way. But I put in the battle, that little prepositional phrase on the end because you're going to see there's a battle going on. And it's in the battle. He is with us in the battle. Now, let me read verse four again. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for..." Remember, "for" is a preposition that you can substitute the word because, so because. Here's the reason I don't have any fear, because "...You are with me, Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me".

Listen, he is not cheering for you from the stands, He's with you, and I'm going to explain how he's with you although he's seated at the right hand of the Father. And maybe you've never understood this theologically, but it's actually easy to understand, and you'll see it. You'll see it easily in your, in Scripture in just a minute. So he is interceding for you at the right hand of the Father, but he is actually with you. It's in John 14, right before he leaves. By the way, if you remember right before he ascended, He said, "Lo, I'm with you always, I am with you even until the end of the age". And then he ascends. So how was he still with them? See. Think about even Emmanuel, Pastor Josh preached on Christmas. It means "God with us". So God is with you, but here's how he explains that Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you, that Jesus is with you, even though he's at the right hand of the Father, Alright?

John 14:16, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate", that means someone who fights for you, "who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads you into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and does it recognize him". Now watch this statement. "But you know him," watch this carefully, "because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you". Okay, here's what we need to understand theologically. God, the Lord our God, "Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one". Yet he expresses himself in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So what you have to remember is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. Here's what Jesus said, "I'm going to send to you God, I'm going to send God to live in you, the Holy Spirit. But you already know him because he lives with you right now". In other words, he's talking about himself, but we get hung up on, "Well, is it the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit"?

Well, it's God. It's God. That's what we need to understand. He's saying, God is living with you right now. See, you already know God. I'm just going to send God to you. When I leave, God's going to come. But you know him because you've been living with him three years. So he's still God. But again, he expresses himself in three persons, but "Hear O Israel: the Lord our God is one". So he's saying the Holy Spirit is coming. He is going to be with you. He is with us, and he says, "I will not abandon you. I won't leave you as orphans". And then he says this, "I will come to you". So many times, again, we misunderstand scriptures and we think that many scriptures in John 14, 15, and 16 are talking about the second coming. But they're talking about the coming of the Holy Spirit. And there is a second coming. But I think sometimes we get so focused on it that we don't enjoy that the Holy Spirit came. In other words, even though we live in a fallen world, I don't have to sit around and wait for the rapture bus. I can enjoy my life right now. And I am safe and protected because the Holy Spirit is with me right now. God with us.

So if Jesus comes today, great, but if it's a thousand years from now, I'm okay, and I'm going to live like it. I'm going to look for him today, but I'm going to live like it's a thousand years from now. And I'm going to try to win my generation and the next generation to Christ. So we've got to live that way. Then I want you to notice, he makes this statement: "Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me". Now why would his rod, the shepherd's rod, comfort us? It's very simple: because he doesn't hit the sheep with the rod. See, I never ever said to the principal, "Your paddle comforts me". "I just want you to know every time I come in your office, which is often, every time I come in and see that paddle on your wall"... They used to put it on the wall when I was in school. And they used to put... Trying to think of how I could say this and it be churchy.

They used to, you know, what they used to do. And it was legal, and they had a whole lot more control of the student's, too. And if it didn't work with the principal, then they call one of the coaches, too, like the wrestling coach would come in and he'd bust you a few times. I debated whether to tell you this, but I tell you stupid things that I did before I got saved so that you'll understand God can use you, too. Okay? So I was really stupid. In the sixth grade, there were three of us. We got, licks is what they were called back then, licks the first week of school, first week. And I remember the principal said, "What a way for y'all to start the school year". You know? So we got three licks each. When we walked out, we were talking about how it didn't hurt and how tough we were. And so we decided to have a contest to see who could get the most licks. And I don't know if I'm proud or ashamed to tell you I won. And you know what I found out at the end of the year.

See, one guy just dropped out after about a month or two, the other guy kept going. But then after about two or three months, he started making up that he was getting licked so I would get more licks. And then he told me about it at the end of the year. And so I beat him up. But anyway, my rod and my staff comforted him, so. But the reason that it says, "Your rod and your staff comforts me". You need to understand, Jesus the shepherd is never, never going to hit you. But he will, if I can use Texas terms, beat the snot out of the enemy, out of the wolf. Though the rod and the staff is for the wolf, That's what it's for. I got in a fight in fourth grade.

I don't know why these illustrations just came to me. I'll tell you, another one just came to me, I'll just... You know, I'm looking at the time thinking, "I don't have time to go into all the fights". But I will tell, I'll go ahead and tell you this one. Debbie in junior high... You know how kids say, "Fight, fight, fight"! And so she went the other way... And here's what she thought, "It's probably Robert Morris". And she went around the corner and there was a fight. And obviously it was Robert Morris and some guy, and she thought to herself, here's what she thought. She thought, he's never going to amount to anything. And the Lord spoke to her in junior high and said, "No, he's actually going to get saved and become a great pastor". But he didn't say, "And you're going to to marry him". Because she probably wouldn't have liked that part at that time.

But I got in a fight in the fourth grade and I bloodied this guy's nose, and then when his father got home from work, his father got mad. And his father was one of those bullies and probably very insecure. And he came and brought his son down, and his father, and I was scared to death, and his father was holding me from behind telling the son to hit me, to do to my face what I did to his face. And I'm scared to death. I'm eight or nine years old, you know, maybe 10. And I mean, I'm crying, I'm scared. The boy's crying. He's scared. His father was a bully. But I'll never forget that all of a sudden I heard the screech of tires, and I heard my father say, who just got home from work, "Let go of my son". And my father came over, and this guy said, "Your son did this". He said, "I don't care what he did. You don't ever threaten my son". And he said, "You get out of my yard and don't ever come back".

And my father, you know, he's 86 now, but he was 36 probably at the time. And he played full back in college. So he had some guns, you know, and he told this guy, "You get out of my yard and don't ever threaten my son again". And this guy turned around, and then he turned around when he'd almost got to his car, and he said, "This isn't over". My dad said, "Well, let's finish it right now". And the guy said, "Okay, it's over". I actually wanted to see it. I wanted to... Here's the point: my shepherd showed up. You need to know that when the enemy attacks you, your shepherd's going to show up. He will protect you. He'll protect you. Here's number two, number two. Number one was, He is with us in the battle. Number two: He blesses us in the battle. He blesses us in the battle. Look at this, verse five, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies".

Now, why would he do it in the presence of our enemies? You want know why? Because he's not afraid of them. Jesus is not afraid of the devil. He's not afraid of demons. He's not afraid of the demonic forces. We get this thing where we get so afraid of them, and he's not afraid of them. And it says, "You prepare a table before me". So I want you to imagine some movie you might've seen of olden times, like, you know, 15th, 16th century, maybe eighth century, whatever, of a sword fight. You know, no guns back then. I mean, just swords, and it's bloody, you might even have to look away, and some you might say, "I don't like movies like that, or I don't like those scenes". And you know, but I mean, it's bloody. Imagine a bloody battlefield, and in the middle is a table with a white tablecloth, flowers, candlesticks, and you and Jesus are having dinner in the middle of the battle. That's what it says. You prepare a table in the battle, in the midst of my enemies.

And you know how you see these superheroes, and you know, they've already killed everybody and then one enemy, he didn't die, you know? And he comes from nowhere, and of course the superhero just goes, without even looking, you know. He just knows. Okay. That's Jesus. They can't get to you because he prepares it right in the battle. Not after the battle. Now, Matthew 6:6 says, "When you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private". I want to say something. Do you know why I think we do have fear in the battle? Because we're not sitting at the table. Because we're actually trying to fight the battle that is not ours, but the Lords, instead of sitting at the table with Jesus. Now, two ways you sit at the table: private and public worship. Private worship, go in a room, shut the door and pray. Public worship, let me read you what David said about it. Psalm 73:1. "Truly God is good to Israel", in other words, I know he's good, "to those whose hearts are pure. But as for me, I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness".

And I don't have time to read the whole Psalm. you can go back and read it, Psalm 73, but look down at verse 16. "So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper. But what a difficult task it is! Then I went into your sanctuary, O God, and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked". He didn't understand until he went into the sanctuary. I want to say something. there are some good things that came out of COVID. I see people slowing down. I see people instead of getting on planes and going across the country, having Zoom calls. I see more people in the park with their families and walking and things. I'm not saying COVID was a good thing, but I'm saying God can turn things for good. But I see some good things. But one bad thing I see is that people have gotten used to going to church in their pajamas.

Now, please hear me. If you're online, don't turn it off and say," That just does it for you pal". I want you online. But if you can come to a campus and if you feel safe and if you want to wear a mask, and I want to just everyone. I want everyone else to agree here. If someone wants to come and wear a mask and do a sanitizer after they shake your hand or say, "I don't want to shake hands". Let's all say, "Okay, great". Is that a deal? Let's let people do what they feel because we don't understand what health situation they may have. I have a friend of mine right now that just talked to me yesterday on the phone that said, "my wife has asked me right now to attend online, not to attend church. My wife's asked me". And he said, "I feel like I'm supposed to honor my wife". I said to him, "You're not just honoring your wife, you're honoring God". So that's honoring God.

So if that's what you feel, that's great. But there are others of us that like, have got to where we like going to church in our pajamas. And I'm just saying, I'd like to invite you back because something happens in the sanctuary. Something happens when we come together, and I want you somehow to get involved, make sure you're involved. Even in a small group that meets online. Just somehow make sure you're involved, because which sheep does the wolf catch? The ones on the fray. You guys have seen me do this illustration before, and I debated whether to do it 'cause some of you have seen it, but many of you haven't. But let's just say, there's the sheepfold, and you're on the fray. Well, that's when the wolf's coming after you and the shepherd's right up here. Here's what you need to do. You need to, "Excuse me, excuse me. Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me ,excuse me. Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, excuse me. Hey Jesus". You need to get right in the middle of the sheepfold. Right up to Jesus in your personal and your public worship, okay? You need to to get so close to Jesus, you're like one of those stupid cats that rub...

Okay, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said stupid. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. If you're a cat lover, dogs do invade your space too, but cats! You go to someone's house, what does a cat do immediately? Comes over and just rubs its back on your leg and gets hair, you know, all over you. And then, you know, here's what the lady will always say to you. "Oh, he likes you". Well, I like you, too. I'm not rubbing my back against your leg though, lady. Put the cat out when I come over, will you? I didn't know, I actually didn't know. When you're young, you don't know that you're allergic to some things. And now of course you know by the time you're three that you're allergic to everything, you know now. But when we were growing up, we didn't know we were allergic to stuff. They'd just, "He's got peanuts? Give him some more peanuts. He'll be okay".

So when Debbie and I were traveling, we'd go to small churches. You go to small churches, you stay in homes. There are no hotels. There are no motels, you know. And the people were wonderful, but every now and then you just stay in a home and you know, they'd have cats. And I didn't understand that that's what was messing me up. I just thought it was allergies, you know? But we were in this home and every day Debbie and I just kept seeing a new cat. I mean, there was just another... "Did you see the brown and white one"? I said, "I haven't seen that one yet. It has been three days, and every day". So finally, one morning I said to the lady at breakfast, I said, "How many cats do you have"? And she said, "Seven". And then she said to me, "And you know, Fluffy is mad at you". I said, "Uh really, why's Fluffy mad at me"? She said, "Well, because that room where y'all are sleeping, that's his bedroom and you're sleeping on his pillow". I said, "Well I'm pretty mad at Fluffy, too, now that"... Alright, so, He's with us in the battle. He blesses us in the battle.

Third one is short: He refreshes us in the battle. Look at verse five, "You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over". No, oil obviously represents the Holy Spirit, but two things just on this representation: the effects of the Holy Spirit are refreshing and strength. You know, we receive power when we receive the Holy Spirit, and we've been anointed with fresh oil. You receive refreshing and strength. But here's the great thing. My cup runs over. He doesn't just give you a little sip from a canteen in the battle, Your cup's running over. I'm telling you, he will protect you so much even when you're in a battle If you'll let him, and he will refresh you and he will anoint you with power and strength to go through the battle. And this is all through Scripture that the shepherd provides and protects. So I have two sons and a daughter. All three are married and they all have kids, they're all doing great. I realized it was different though when my daughter got married, than my two sons.

When you're, sons say, you know, "I found one," I don't mean this wrong, please don't take this wrong. But it's almost like as a father you're like, "Way to go, son! You caught one". You know. You went out, lasso'd her and you got her. And you know what I mean. Way to go. You know? And you just pat them on the... You raise sons to send. You raise daughters to give. They even ask you in front of everybody, "Who gives this woman to this man"? I remember pastor Preston in Scottsdale did the ceremony for Ethan and Elaine, Elaine said, "I just want you to be dad. I don't want you to", I did the ceremonies for Josh and James. she said, "I don't want you to be... Hope you're not offended, but I just want you to be dad". I said, "I probably need to be because I don't think I could handle it". But when Preston said to me, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man"? I got choked up, and I couldn't say anything. And Elaine said, "Dad"! Then finally I said, "Her mother and I". But I know there's a giving there, but I told Josh, I told James, and I told Ethan, "You are not the provider of your home, nor are you the protector. The shepherd is. And if you try to take that stress on, it will stress you out".

And some of you men and some of you ladies need to hear that. You are not your own provider. Okay, think about this. We have, I don't know, I know over a hundred thousand that watch online. And the latest thing we got on television was 21 million just in America that watch. And we don't know how many in the 190 countries around the world. But I'm a shepherd, but is there any way, just our own active attendees, over a hundred thousand, is there any way that I can provide for all of you? Is there any way I can protect you? No. You want to know why? Because I'm a shepherd, but I'm not the shepherd. But the shepherd can. I can't even protect and provide for my own family.

The first time I realized this in a really big way, I was on a mission trip and I was halfway around the world. And I talked with Debbie on the phone, and the kids were small and she told me, one of our kids had a high fever. And she was thinking about taking him into the ER, didn't know whether to wait, go to the doctor the next day or go to the ER. And here, I'm halfway around the world and I walk out, my heart's just so heavy. And I said to the Lord, "I can't take care of my son". And so gently, the Lord said, "I can". "I can, I can take care of him". Psalm 23, most memorized Psalm, probably the most popular Psalm. But if you'll dig into this and really believe what it says about the good shepherd and that he is your good shepherd, it can change your life.

I want you to bow your heads and close your eyes. Now, I want you to just ask the Holy Spirit, like we do every weekend, "What are you saying to me through this message"? Because the Lord has the way to direct the message directly to us. And it may be three or four things. And he may say some more this week, but just ask him. And maybe you don't even hear anything right now, but maybe a thought comes to your mind and the Lord's giving you an impression, but just ask him, "Holy Spirit, what are you saying to me through this message"? And remember last week, it's He provides. And this week we talked about, He protects. In the midst of the battle, he is with us. He blesses us even in the battle, prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies, and he refreshes us.

Lord, we want to tell you, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you that you are the good shepherd, and you take care of your sheep, in Jesus' name, amen.

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