"The Emphasis You Need"


Text: Psalm 23

Title: The Emphasis You Need




quote: "Put the right emfasssses on the right sillaaable."

Emphasis is important.

Dad preaching on music and saying how things sound (emphasis or inflection) changes the meaning. "Mark is a great man!" "Mark is a great man?"


ill. Acting class teaching how to emphasize the most important word. But, it was somewhat subjective. The teacher and you may disagree on which word was the most important.


No matter which word you emphasize in our text this morning, you can not go wrong.


My message this morning is entitled, "The Emphasis You Need."


One phrase is our text this morning, "The Lord is my Shepherd." You can read it this morning, however you need it.


THE(E) Lord is my shepherd.

The LORD is my shepherd.

The Lord IS my shepherd.

The Lord is MY shepherd.

The Lord is my SHEPHERD.


We have the whatever emphasis we need this morning. At different times, we will need all of the above.


I. THE(E) Lord is my shepherd.

note: God is exclusive. He is one of a kind. He is unlike any other and all others are unlike Him.

ill.  Uniqueness is valueable and glorious.

Laurie Rimon: An Israeli hiker has found a Roman coin that is almost 2,000 years old and only the second of its kind found in the world, authorities say.

The coin, from AD107, bears the image of Emperor Augustus but was minted by Emperor Trajan.

The only other example of such a coin is held in the British Museum.

The hiker, Laurie Rimon, will be awarded a certificate of appreciation for good citizenship, Israel's antiquities authority says.

exp.  That was just a coin. If it was a gem, it would be more magnifiscent. If it was a treasure, the signficance would increase. There is nothing more amazing than God, and he is completely unique! There is none like him.

Isaiah 45:5  I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me:

ill. Moses speaking to the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 4:32-35  For ask now of the days that are past, which were before thee, since the day that God created man upon the earth, and ask from the one side of heaven unto the other, whether there hath been any such thing as this great thing is, or hath been heard like it?

33  Did ever people hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as thou hast heard, and live?

34  Or hath God assayed to go and take him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

35  Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.

exp.  The Israelites did not serve "a god" they served "THEE God."

app. We don't have "a god" like the many false gods of this world. We serve THE TRUE AND LIVING GOD.

ill. Elijah's duel with the prophets of Baal on top of Mt. Carmel.

            1.) the challenge is given.

I Kings 18: 21 ¶  And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.

22  Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal’s prophets are four hundred and fifty men.

23  Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:

24  And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.

            2.) the power of God is seen.

37  Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again.

38  Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.

39  And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.

exp. Notice the words of the people "The Lord, he is THE(E) God; the LORD, he is the THE(E) God." God is not just God - He is THEE God. He is completely unique!

app.  All religions are not equal.  We serve the God who is UNIQUE IN HIS DEITY.


II. The LORD is my shepherd.

exp. The Scripture before us reads, "Jehovah is my shepherd." The "Self Existing One" is my shepherd.

ill. Jehovah is the ALMIGHTY CREATOR.

Ps 100:3  Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

exp.  Jehovah spoke this world into existance. note: Jesus is Jehovah - John 1:3  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

app. The self existant one who created everything is the shepherd of every born again believer!

ill. The heathen nations feared Jehovah.

Jos 2:11  And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.

exp.  We don't have a little god on our side - WE HAVE THE GOD WHO PUTS THE FEAR OF GOD IN THOSE WHO RESIST HIM ON OUR SIDE.

question: Have you considered WHO is your shepherd?

Ps 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

ill. A policeman in the US was called out with a noise complaint. It was the middle of the day and kids were playing basketball on a quiet road. Rather than yell at the kids he played ball with them and told them next time he would come with back up. It made social media and he got a call from someone interested in being his back up. He went back to those kids with back up and Shaquiell O'Neal got out of the his car to play ball with the kids. Now imagine that he became those kid's coach. Other rich kids could boast on their coach and then these poor kids could say, "Shaquille O'Neal is my coach."

question: Who is your shepherd today? JEHOVAH!

app: Why are your worried about anything - if Jehovah is your shepherd?


III. The Lord IS my shepherd.

question: Is the Lord your shepherd this morning? He either is or He is not!

Psalm 23 is written by King David who was a "man after God's own heart." He had imputed righteousness by faith. Like Abraham, "He believed God and it was imputed unto him for righteousness.

note: Our world loves the Shepherd Psalm - because it makes a declaration that they think they can claim. But, if they are not HIS SHEEP - then he is not THEIR SHEPHERD!

ill. It's like an illegal immigrant rejoicing in the benefit system of the United Kingdom. Their boasting is false because they have no right to that benefit.

app. How about you - do you have a right to say, "The Lord IS my shepherd?"

            A. Have you turned to follow Jesus?

John 10:24  Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25  Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me.

26  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

exp. They hadn't turned to follow Jesus and were not the sheep of Jehovah.

app. If you haven't turned by faith to Jesus, the Lord is not your shepherd....but He is willing to be.

            B. Or is He still seeking you?

Luke 15: 1 ¶  Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.

2  And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.

3  And he spake this parable unto them, saying,

4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

app.  If you are not His sheep this morning, He is seeking you. He doesn't want you to continue to be abused by the elements and go through life without direction. He wants to bring you into His fold. He wants to be your shepherd.

note: Then you could move to the next statement, "The Lord is MY shepherd."


IV. The Lord is MY shepherd.

exp. The personal pronouns stand out in the Shepherd Psalm.


            I shall not want.

            He maketh ME

            He leadeth ME. (x2)

            He restoreth MY soul

            Thou art with ME.


def. Vicarious - experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person

ill. There are many things in life we can only experience vicariously. Often that is done through reading or television.

·         space flight

·         living in the wild west

·         being in battle etc.

exp. Christianity is not vicarious. If you are satisfied with vicarious Christianity - you are missing the blessing!

song: "It is No Secret What God Can Do"

            It is no secret what God can do
            What he's done for others he'll do for you
            With arms wide open, he'll pardon you
            It is no secret what God can do

app. Have you read about Salvation and wanted to experience it? Go ahead!

Ps 34:8  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

ill. Who is content to watch others find gold while he sits and watches? Get up and go to work and get you some gold!

app. A fool is satisfied with knowledge when he can have experience. The Lord can be YOUR shepherd. If you are saved, you can say this morning, The Lord is MY shepherd.


V. The Lord is my SHEPHERD.

exp. Jesus is my SHEPHERD. Are there any experiencial benefits to that?

            1. I will never be in want.

1  The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

            2. He will provide rest and food.

2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:

            3. He will provide refreshing peace.

he leadeth me beside the still waters.

            4. He will give me internal restoration.

3  He restoreth my soul:

            5. He will protect me from wickednesss.

he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

            6. He will take me through the darkness of death without fear.

4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

            7. He will protect me.

5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

            8. He will give me a home in Heaven.

6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

ill.  Have you ever had a "no brainer" opportunity. Getting invited to go to Disney World for 2 days. How hard do you have to think before you accept that great kindness?

exp: Only a foolish sheep would pass up such a wonderful privilige and stay outside of the fold of God?

app.  There are people today fighting to get through life not knowing how it is all going to work out - they are "scrawny, ill sheep, feeding in dangerous places without protection" The shepherd is willing - they are lost - but they can be found.

song: "Amazing grace - How sweet the sound - That saved a wretch like me - I once was lost...but now am found!" ARE YOU FOUND? ARE YOU FOUND? Is the Lord your SHEPHERD!


app. There is no wrong emphasis this morning. Emphasize whatever meets your greatest need. Meditate on each of these five words.


THEE Lord is my shepherd.

The LORD is my shepherd.

The Lord IS my shepherd.

The Lord is MY shepherd.

The Lord is my SHEPHERD.


Is the Lord your shepherd?