Share about a favorite house or apartment you lived in or visited a lot growing up. What made it special to you? Share about one positive memory that is tied to that place.
The world, our untransformed self (flesh) and the devil, all give us an opposite view of reality about the Lord and his role in our lives.
Read the Enemies’ Version of Psalm 23
The Lord is NOT my shepherd; I am constantly lacking what I need from him.
He makes me forage from painful sticker bushes and drink from dangerous and polluted water.
He leaves me to face my challenges in MY OWN strength.
He tells me to go on the wrong paths because he DOESN’T CARE about me.
When I walk through a very dark valley, I will be afraid, because you are always FAR AWAY when I need you most.
You DON’T protect me with your rod and you DON’T rescue me with your staff. You DON’T comfort me in my fears.
You invite me over for dinner, but you serve me a moldy crust of bread and invite my enemies to come and get me. You invite me over to humiliate me and mistreat me.
You hunt me down with guilt, shame, rejection, and disgust.
After my miserable life without your presence is over, you’ll abandon me forever to an eternity without you.
Which of these wrong statements seems most believable to you right now or in dark valleys of your life at other times?
Read Psalm 23:6 in multiple versions
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (KJV)
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (NASB)
Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life, and I will remain in the LORD's house for days without end. (GWT)
Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD as long as I live. (CSB)
Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I'm back home in the house of God for the rest of my life. (Msg)
Surely/ Truly/ Certainly
Exodus 33:18-19 (ESV)
Moses said, "Please show me your glory." And he said, "I will make all my GOODNESS pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.'
Why do you think the LORD’S goodness is his first trait that displays his glory? What is one way that the LORD has shown his goodness to you this week?
Lovingkindness/ love/ faithful love/ unfailing love/ mercy
Hesed essentially means “help to the needy” and has no precise English equivalent. It refers to a situation where a needy partner depends on another for deliverance, and the deliverer does so freely out of all his finer spiritual and sensitive instincts (i.e. kindness, mercy, love, and loyalty). –OT Scholar Bruce Waltke
Of kindness, mercy, love and loyalty, which one do you most sense a need for now?
Will chase after me/ will follow me/ will pursue me/ will be with me/ will stay close to me
12:00 In Front of Me and Future (The LORD as a Guiding Shepherd)
6:00 Behind Me and Past (The LORD as a Pursuing “Blesser”)
When David looked back at his life, he could focus on the wrong paths he ended up on, the times he needed rescuing, his foolishness, his sin, his regrets, and the sins of others. Instead, in the midst of all of that, more than anything, he sees the LORD’s goodness and merciful, kind, committed love chasing after him overcoming all of his life and pursuing him until he makes it all the way home.
What does it feel like to be PURSUED with goodness and love?
All the days of my life/ all my life/ every day of my life
I will dwell/ I will live/ I’m back home/ I have a place/ I will remain
In the house of the Lord
Genesis 28:16-17 (NLT)
Then Jacob woke up and said, "Surely the LORD is in this place, and I wasn't even aware of it." He was afraid and said, "What an awesome place this is! It is none other than the house of God” (Beth-El)
How could every place you find yourself become a place where you are at home with the LORD?
Forever/ all my days/ as long as I live/ for days without end
John 14:1-6 (NCV)
Jesus said, "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to Jesus, "Lord, we don't know where you are going. So how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.
How does seeing our ultimate destination as our Father’s House affect your view of this life and eternity?
Benediction (Pray this in unison over one another in your group)
Hebrews 13:20-21 (NLT)
May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.