You'll Never Walk Alone

You'll Never Walk Alone

In this 5 week series from Equipper UK, Ps Mark and Monica Collard and Ps Neil Harvey teach from Psalm 23.

The series explores the relationship between the sheep and the Shepherd. Understanding how we are likened to sheep in our un-redemptive humanity (messy, needing care and direction) only puts a greater demand on us requiring the leading of a shepherd.

Week OneWeek TwoWeek ThreeWeek FourWeek FiveWeek SixWeek Seven

WEEK ONE

Key thought: 

Jesus describes Himself as the Good Shepherd in John 10; trustworthy, taking ownership and the One who gives us hope so that we can rely on His leadership when we give Him lordship in our life. This is not just a one-time commitment, but a daily decision too!

Key Scriptures: 

Psalm 23 (TPT)

1 Yahweh is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough. 

2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace near the quiet brook of bliss. 

3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me the right path
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honour to his name. 

4 Even when your path takes me through
the valley of deepest darkness,
fear will never conquer me, for you already have! Your authority is my strength and my peace.
The comfort of your love takes away my fear.
I’ll never be lonely, for you are near. 

5 You become my delicious feast
even when my enemies dare to fight.
You anoint me with the fragrance of your Holy Spirit; you give me all I can drink of you until my cup overflows. 

6 So why would I fear the future?
Only goodness and tender love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterward, when my life is through,
I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you!”


John 10:14-15 (NIV)

“’I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

Question 1

What are the qualities of the Good Shepherd, and how are we, like sheep, in need  of the Good Shepherd? 

Question 2

David boasted that he had given lordship to God who was his Shepherd, Ps 23.1. In which way can we boast about God being our Shepherd? 

Question 3

Have you got any stories of God's provision in your life? 

Question 4

In Philippians 4:11-13 the Apostle Paul says that whatever his circumstances he has learned the secret to be content. In other words, Paul said that the presence and power of his Shepherd – God helped him face everything life could throw at him. Share ways you are coming to a place of dependence in your lack. Reference also Isaiah 64:4. 

Pray

Take time to pray together. Does anyone want to give Jesus lordship of their life? 

WEEK TWO

Key thought: 

Jesus the Good Shepherd wants to provide an abundant environment for us to flourish in and lead us to live life from a place of peace and rest. Ps 23:2-3a. 

However, often challenges come which can steal our rest. Like sheep, in order to fully rest, we also need to be free from fear, from tension, from aggravation and from hunger. Time with the presence of the Holy Spirit helps bring us to that place of peace. And just like the presence of a shepherd brings reassurance to the sheep, so does Jesus; He doesn’t leave but is continually with us to cause us to rest in pastures and by quiet waters. 

Key Scripture: 

Psalm 23:2-3 (TPT)

2 He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace near the quiet brook of bliss. 

3 That’s where he restores and revives my life.
He opens before me the right path
and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honour to his name. 

Question 1

Having peace with God is about being forgiven of our sins and being in relationship with God. Having the peace of God is a fruit of the Spirit which is about having a deep-seated peace inside (Gal 5:22-25).

How does the Shepherd bring you peace in your daily life? Are you experiencing both of these amazing gifts? 

Question 2

Being replenished in our soul means to have rest in our whole being. Where are you in the journey of being restful in your soul? 

Question 3

What can we do to learn how to rest well? 

EXTRA – GO DEEPER

Question 4

In Hebrew thinking, being refreshed in the soul means to be refreshed in our whole being/person. Discuss why it is important not to separate body from soul? 

Question 5

Discuss the concept of the sabbath related to both our physical and spiritual being. 

Question 6

What is the difference between Justification and Sanctification (discuss both) - and why is it important to understand the difference?

Pray

Take time to pray together. 

WEEK THREE

Key thought: 

Remembering that God sees the entire picture (we see in part) can help us trust Him as he leads us. Like a good shepherd who knows when to rotate sheep in fields, God knows when to take us forward so we don’t remain stuck in old habits, poor choices, ‘stale’ food and we can rely on Him leading us to new places so we can flourish. 

Key Scripture: 

Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.”

Question 1

When you need guidance do you seek God's wisdom (which often comes through people) or do you isolate and try to go it alone? Be honest!

Question 2

Have you got any stories of how God has guided you or you have heard His voice?

Question 3

What does David mean when he says that “God guides us for his names’ sake”?

EXTRA – GO DEEPER

Question 4

In what ways does God speak to us?

Question 5

In which situations of life would God want to guide us?

Question 6

What are the benefits of following God's guidance and what could be the consequences of not following God's guidance?

Question 7

How can we grow in maturity by being shepherds for others? Jer 3:15.

Pray

Take time to pray together. 

WEEK FOUR

Key thought: 

We all face times when our faith is challenged and we question if God is ‘with’ us in our season and trial. It is often in these dark and painful experiences where we reach out to the Shepherd, resulting in our trust being strengthened. The Psalmist encourages us that along every path and valley, His Word is our guide and His Holy Spirit is our comfort.

Watch: Watch ‘Session Four’ of the video series.

Key Scripture: 

Psalm 23:4 (NIV)
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Question 1

What does it mean to have God the Shepherd with you?

Question 2

Have you had a time when you sensed / experienced Jesus in the valley? Have you emerged with a new-found treasure? 

Question 3

What is the rod and the staff used for? How has this been evident in your life? 

Question 4

What do these objects tell us about who God is as a person? 

EXTRA – GO DEEPER

Question 5

God ‘with us’ is a covenantal promise. What does covenant mean in the Bible? 

Question 6

In Genesis chapters 12 - 50 we find many references to God being with the Patriarchs, because of his covenant with them. Explore one of these stories that shows how God was with them.

Question 7

Do you have any testimonies of God being with you, how he has intervened or has given you supernatural strength to go through the valley? 

Pray

Take time to pray together. 

WEEK FIVE

Key thought: 

In our last week of discussing this Psalm, reflect on how you’ve grown in understanding of Psalm 23 and your relationship with God as The Good Shepherd. 

Key Scripture: 

Psalm 23:5-6 (NIV)

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Question 1

The shepherd would anoint the head of the sheep with oil to protect from parasites. What is the spiritual application and meaning for us everyday? 

Question 2

It is amazing to think that God gets us to sit down at his table in the presence of the enemy. What does this mean? 

Question 3

David said that God's love and goodness would follow him all the days of his life. Do you remember the Hebrew word for 'follow'? Talk about this. 

Question 4

Have you experienced God's love and goodness? Do you believe it and when it’s not going well? How and when do you reflect on God’s goodness? 

Question 5

With all we have looked at, would you like to have God as your shepherd over your life?

Pray

Take time to pray together.