Confidence For The Future - From Dark Times to Feasting Times

What is the meaning of Psalm 23:5, and do we apply it to our lives today?

Ross Sawyers
Jun 14, 2020    1hr 28m
In this sermon Pastor Ross Sawyers answers the question, "What is the meaning of Psalm 23:5, and do we apply it to our lives today?". He takes this passage of scripture and unpacks it line by line, giving us historical meaning and practical applications that we can use in our lives right now. Video recorded at Grapevine, Texas.

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Ross Sawyers: 00:04 Good morning. I'm so glad you're here and I love the opportunity we have to worship together, it is a gift and we're grateful.

Ross Sawyers: 00:10 I'd like to pray before we jump back into Psalm 23. And this is a Proverb that I read the other day, that in thinking about our nation and some of the things going on right now, and this is Proverbs 1:16-19. And these early Proverbs, by the way, if you read the Proverbs are really about a father's instruction for children in how to function well in this world. And this is one of the things it says, "My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path." And he's talking about people that are running to evil, "For their feet run to evil and they hasten to shed blood. Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net in the sight of any bird; But they lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush their own lives. So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; it takes away the life of its possessors." In Proverbs 4:23, however, he says, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life."

Ross Sawyers: 01:22 Let's pray together. Father, we thank you today and humble ourselves before you, you really are our confidence today, you're our hope in this day, you're our peace, and our joy, you're our love, and you're everything to us. And Father, when people miss in their hearts what it means to know you, then they miss wisdom. And when they miss wisdom, then they head sometimes to violent paths as described here in your word. And Father, I pray today for our nation. And God, I pray that what can emerge out of this good, I pray would. And Father, where prejudices and racism and different sins of our heart can be confessed and repented of, and where there can be genuine and real change in places where that would be effective guide in these realms, I pray that that kind of good would emerge. I pray Father, that we can have humility to search our own hearts and allow you to do that in us, and whatever that might mean to root out things that we might not even see or be blinded to. Help us, God, to be good listeners. And then Father, I pray, you tell us in your word to pray for our leaders, and so I pray for President Trump today, and for Mike Pence, and Mike Pompeo, and Father, for governor Abbott, and for the mayors of our cities, and the judges, and Congressmen and women, and school boards, and city councils, and so many crucial positions today, making decisions. And Father, I pray that in this time, would you give them a wisdom that only you can offer? And Father, I pray that each leader be led in a way that we might have lives of tranquility and peace, that's what your word tells us as to why we pray for them and so we thank you for that. God, I pray today for police officers, and military, and national guard, and people who are protecting and in dangerous spots across the land today. And Father, I pray that you'll give them the courage to do their jobs well. And Father, give them the strength and the wisdom in each situation to respond rightly, and so we thank you for that. Father, where there's a misuse of authority in any position, I pray God, that that would be removed and that heart would be eliminated. And so we thank you, but we're grateful for authority that you've given us to restrain evil and to make it where things can be good, so I pray that's how things would be done and used. Father, I pray, you will show each of us our part, and I pray God that you'll help us to know just how to love really, really well, and to love those who are difficult for us, as well as those who are easy for us to love. And we pray these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Ross Sawyers: 04:46 Imagine, what is your favorite time at the table? What is your favorite time to gather with people, or to gather with one or two, or to just be alone, or to be with extended family or friends, but what are those moments in your experience that the table is a favorite place and something you anticipate and look forward to? I think most of us enjoy the kind of gatherings that happen around a table. And if you'll turn your Bibles to Psalm 23, we want to think about the table that's described in the 23rd Psalm. We've been working through this Psalm over the last few weeks. And just for clarity, the reason for this Psalm is with so much uncertainty in our world right now, this Psalm is just a Psalm of confidence. And we wanted to go to a place for a little bit, just to make sure that we're reset in a confident place in God himself, and this Psalm provides that kind of confidence.

Ross Sawyers: 06:12 We've seen the first four verses so far, and we'll be in verse 5 of the 23rd Psalm this morning. And in those first few verses, we see the metaphor of shepherd and sheep in verses 1through 4. And it's very personal between the shepherd and the sheep. We think about God and us, he's a very personal God. And then we're content in God himself, just like a sheep is content with the shepherd. And the shepherd provides and protects, make sure that the sheep are in the quiet waters where they can drink well, where they see the green pastures where they can feed well. And this last week actually, Lisa and I, our family, we've been staying at a friend's lake house. And driving in this morning, it's just incredibly peaceful at 6:00 AM, driving past the Lake that's perfectly still. And then to see that the pastures, and there was one pasture that was just stunning to me, it was just several white cows that were just spread out grazing this morning, just so peaceful. And then it was also a reminder of the brevity of life, right? Because there was a mist, just a really cool mist above the ground, and it'll be gone when I go back later today. And that's a reminder of life, but what a beautiful picture of this Psalm that the shepherd takes us to those peaceful places. And then he restores us, doesn't he? When we're cast, or upside down, or out of sorts, then the shepherd comes and he takes care and gets us back right. And he does that to guide us in the right path, and that right path is so that we'll honor his name. The sheep and the shepherd, the reputation of the shepherd, is tied up with his sheep and he cares for them well.

Ross Sawyers: 08:20 And then we found ourselves in the fourth verse, in the dark valley. And not only does God take us to these spaces that are really quiet and peaceful, but he also carries us through the valley of the shadow of death. And he carries us through with his presence. So no matter what the circumstances are, God's presence is always with us. So now we move from the dark valley, it's interesting in this Psalm because he's taken us from this contentment and peacefulness and provision, to we wander off and we're prone to do things that mess things up, and he restores us. And then we find ourselves in dark valleys along our lives, and then he walks with us through that dark valley.

Ross Sawyers: 09:07 And now he brings us to a place of feasting. And the idea I'd like us to think about is moving from dark times to feasting times. And we just see the whole experience of life flowing through this 23rd Psalm. So let's go to the feast. Now, some people would take the 23rd Psalm, all six verses, and maintain the shepherd and sheep idea, and that certainly plausible. And then there are a number of people that would suggest that the first four verses are the shepherd sheep idea, and then the last two verses are more that of a host and a guest. I'm going to run with the idea of the last two being a host with his guest, and I might put in a little bit in there about the shepherd and the sheep if it were to go that route.

Ross Sawyers: 09:57 But when we think of it from the host and the guest perspective, he says, and we'll go phrase by phrase, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies." Now the word preparation means to arrange or to set, to put in order, and I would assume that you're this way when you are preparing for guests to come and you're the host for the party. And this is what happens in our house, it becomes a really long event. And Lisa starts thinking about once we've invited someone over, she's already thinking about, okay, now what will be the right food to serve when they come? And she puts a lot of thought into making sure that the meal is an appropriate meal for whoever our guests might be at that particular time. And then she starts making arrangements for how we're going to make sure that the house is totally clean, and that starts involving me. I'm thinking, can't we just invite somebody over? Why does this have to get so complicated? But they're guests, and she wants to be as hospitable as possible for them. And then I start looking at the yard and I think, well, doggone it, we've got to get the yard right also for our guests when they come. And seldom do our guests ever comment on the yard, so I think I'm going to bail on that idea in the future and just see if they comment the other way. But we do everything, we get the yard right, and then the house is right. And then she goes to the store probably multiple times, and making sure and getting the food. And then when she's got all of it, then I don't know how long it takes to prepare it because I'm no good in the kitchen, but I know she spends hours prepping.

Ross Sawyers: 11:46 And that's what God does for us, isn't it? In this Psalm, he's preparing a table for us to feast with him, "You prepare a table before me." The idea of the table before me is an indicator of intimacy. There's something intimate when we gather around a table. There's the idea of acceptance when we have a meal together, it's acceptance, it's welcome, there's an intimacy. "You prepare a table before me.", the host has prepared the table, it's a welcoming place.

Ross Sawyers: 12:30 Now in God's experience with Israel, his people, he chose them as his people. And in that choosing of them, it's interesting because he invites them to the table to feast with him. And yet, throughout Israel's history as his people, there's oftentimes they doubt Him, or they complain about what the table might be. In Psalm 78 we see one of those experiences of doubt, and they're doubting whether he can take care of them or not. He's brought them out, they’ve seen the miracles, they've seen him deliver them from slavery, they've seen him deliver them from the enemies chasing them, they've seen him part the Red Sea, and now they're doubting whether he can take care of their basic needs of food and water. And in Psalm 78 it says in verse 18, "And in their heart they put God to the test by asking food according to their desire." Then in verse 19, "They spoke against God; They said, “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?" Is God able to prepare a table. In other words, is he able to provide for us now that he's brought us out of slavery and into relationship with himself, in being his people. It says in Psalm 78, and we know in the story of the Exodus, that God not only prepare the table for them, He rained down manna on them, and he rained down meat to them, more than they could ever eat, so much so, that they got sick from eating so much. Can God prepare a table? Yes, God can, and he is preparing a table for us to feast.

Ross Sawyers: 14:31 The Psalmist believed he could do so. And when he thinks about the table, he's thinking about it in some different ways. In Isaiah 25:6, we see a little bit of a picture that it says, "The LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, and refined, aged wine." God has a table for us to come to regularly and often, and he's preparing a really lavish banquet for us in the future. We get glimpses and tastes of it now, and then there'll be this lavish banquet later. When we think about feasting at the table, we think about food primarily. But there's another way to think about the way we feast, and that's simply time alone with God, and we come to the table to spend time alone with him. And the language that we use in our church, we've used for years, it came from a book I read by Calvin Miller called The Table of Inwardness. And in that book, he talks about our relationship with God, and the way he speaks of it, it's a table for two in the wilderness. And I've just always loved that imagery because I love hanging out at a table and talking with people. I love meeting with people in our church at lunch, and around a table, around a meal, talking. I love it when people are in our home. I love hanging out with my wife at the table. I love hanging out with our family, we'll spend hours just talking at the table when we're all together.

Ross Sawyers: 16:33 But I also love the idea that it's a table for two for me and God, that is a table where I come to feast on God, and on his word. In Psalm 19:10 it says, that God's word is more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb." God's word is like honey, sweet to the taste. There's this time we come alone with God. And when we talk about time in the word and in developing our relationship with God, it's at the table that we develop it, and God prepares the table for us to come. Just think about the empty chair being God, he's there, it's just me and him. But do you know what's cool about the table? When you think about it as that time alone with God, and then when we think about our small group communities, our life groups, the table starts to expand. It's the family of God, and there's more of us that gather around the table. And we feast on God's word together, and feast in prayer together, and we just feast his brothers and sisters in Christ together. And we invite people to our table that don't know him, so they might see the richness of the feast at the table, so the table expands the number of people.

Ross Sawyers: 18:08 And then I like to think about what's happening right here when we gather for worship, it expands even more. And here we are gathered at this giant feast with the Lord, and it's all of us together, brothers and sisters in Christ, people who don't know Christ. And then we're at a table together, even through a camera lens, as people are joining us that way. All week we come to the table, and it's a large table of worship.

Ross Sawyers: 18:42 This week, I was watching a documentary of Harriet Tubman, and there was a movie put out on her a few months ago, and I thought it was really well done. And so I watched the documentary just to see how close was the movie to the documentary, and I think it was pretty close. But one of the things that they talked about is that in the time of slavery that the slaves would worship. And the slave owners, they liked it that the slaves were in church worshiping because they believed it made them more docile. The slaves, however, that's where they found their strength. And they had these kind of buildings they've met in to worship. But do you know where it really broke loose for the slaves? They would sneak out during the night and go into the forest, into the wilderness, and they would let loose in their worship of God. A table, if you will, in the forest where they could just freely express themselves and worship God.

Ross Sawyers: 20:08 Oh, there's a table that we come to when we feast with God. It's at this table, by the way, that in this season of time in our country, this is where we go to biblically, thoughtfully, carefully, and prayerfully seek out what is God doing right now? How does he want us to be a part of it? When we think about race relations, what does God have to say about it? And it's here that we sort out the noise, and there are some things that are distractions that will take away from the real good that can happen in this time, but it's at the table and it's with God and God's perspective that we can sort through, and not get distracted from, the things that need to happen in this season of time. I've sat at a table at least half the week, alone with God, overlooking a Lake. Zoom calls with different persons to talk about race and God, what does this look like for the church? It's at the table, they've been fantastic conversations with different people, different ethnicities, listening, learning, filtering through God's eyes. That's for all of us to do at the table. What is God saying, and how do we increase our love for each other as we hear what God is saying.?

Ross Sawyers: 22:04 I've said it before, but I just want to keep it before you. In July, we're going to do a deep dive into race and what God has to say, and what does God have for us at 121 as we move ahead? We'll continue in the dialogue as we go, but we'll deeper dive when we come into July. If you'll keep praying for me, please, and I'll pray for you. Thank you, many of are sending in me things that are really helpful, and so I'm just gathering those up, and taking time to read and listen, and just to hear your different perspectives, it's really helpful. And this is the table where we do that.

Ross Sawyers: 22:41 See, God prepares a table for us. There's a lady in our church and she described this table for her family. And she said, it's a cool memory for her because in her family, her mom has between the kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and great, great-grandkids, they're like 52 of the grandkids, and the great, and then the great, great-grandkids. Now that's quite a preparation when you gather the family together. She said, we sometimes have up to 75 people at a family gathering? And she just remembers her mom who would take all this time to prepare and awake early, I don't know how early you have to awaken to prepare for 75 people in the home. Then they had a couple of dining rooms, so that they made sure they had enough room for all the family. She's just loved those celebration times. It's a beautiful picture of what the Psalmist is saying here, "That you prepare before me a table, in the presence of my enemies." Now that's interesting, isn't it? It's not just a table and a feast that's set, but it's in the presence of the Psalmist's enemies. King David had enemies. And this feast that God is preparing, the shepherd would prepare, is in the presence of his enemies. And he's telling him, and he knows that he'll be vindicated because of his enemies, and his enemies will actually see God's favor on him.

Ross Sawyers: 24:09 Now, if we went to the shepherd and the sheep, do you remember that when the shepherd is taking the sheep through the valley to the highest mountain, that the enemies are lurking in the shadows, they're literally watching the shepherd care for the sheep as they feast. And that's what God does with his people, we feast right in the midst of our enemies lurking around us. That same lady that described her family, and the 52 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great, great-grandchildren, and how fantastic those times at the table were. Then described what happened 27 years into her marriage when she was going through a divorce, and now it's just her and her son sitting at that table. And as she described that table and the enemies that were now at that table, as a single mom in a really hard spot. And this is what she described as her enemies as she sat at the table, a place to feast, yes, in front of our enemies. And she found herself feasting on depression, self-pity, fear, anger, resentment, hopelessness, hypertension, and she listed more of those enemies lurking around the table, and she was feasting on her enemies. We do that, don't we? God has his feast for us, and it's easy for us to feast on our enemies instead. And then she said, I realized I actually choose who I'm inviting to the table. Now we can choose to invite our enemies to the table. And by the way, in loving our enemies, there is a time to invite enemies to the table. These kinds of enemies just need to be watching, as we feasting safely at God's table on him, his word, and his spirit. But do you know what? Satan is an enemy that is lurking around every one of our tables, and our flesh, and all the things in us that are prideful and selfish, all this stuff is just lurking all around us. And then there are people that are in opposition, but you know what God is with us, we're safe in him, and he gives us a place to feast, even in the midst of the opposition.

Ross Sawyers: 27:26 I've mentioned Nigeria a few times and I'll say it again, this week another 81 were people were killed by Boko Horam. It doesn't feel like a very pleasant table to sit around right now if you're a Christian in Nigeria. But there is still a joy in the Christians because they're feasting at God's table, and he'll carry them safely through to an even more lavish table in the midst of their persecution, and they'll be vindicated before their enemies. God carries us through the darkest of valleys to bring us to feasting times on him.

Ross Sawyers: 28:19 "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil." That word anointing can mean to rub or to smear. And he's saying, you've rubbed her smeared my head with oil. If we went with the shepherd-sheep motif on this, that the idea would be that on the nose of the sheep that the insects come and they start flying around, they're really bothersome. And the shepherd would put an ointment on the nose, that kind of anointing of that oil on the nose, and that would prevent the insects from irritating the sheep. And you know what, with the way mosquitoes are, I've probably got to put some on my own nose now that I think about it. But that would be the way that they would protect the sheep. If we stick with the host and the guest idea, When a wounded and weary traveler would come, or whoever the guest was, one of the things the host would do would be to anoint their head with oil. It's a combination of a fragrance and olive oil, and they would take that and it would get rid of the grime, and the dust, and all that was on the person. It'd be very refreshing to a person who had made that journey and walk. It's an act of hospitality. "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, You anoint my head with oil." Now I come in, and you're giving me the very best, you're making sure I'm refreshed at your table.

Ross Sawyers: 29:48 Jesus hung out with some of the most unlikely of people. In Luke 7, he was invited with a Pharisee, a religious leader, the Pharisees were not a joy to be with. And this is how the scripture describes Luke 7, a sinful woman in the city heard that Jesus was hanging out with this Pharisee, and somehow she made herself welcome in that Pharisee's home. And she standing behind Jesus and she does something, an incredible act of humility. And she starts to wet his feet with her tears, then she wiped them with her hair, which means she would've had to get down on the ground. And with her hair, she wipes his feet with her tears that are on them. She kissed his feet, and then anointed them with perfume, she rubbed perfume on them. You see, the Pharisee wasn't very hospitable, he didn't do that. That's what the host does for the guest. But somehow this sinful woman makes her way in, and does even more so, what the host did not. Do you know what the Pharisee was thinking, the scripture tells us? If Jesus knew what sort of woman this was, he would never have allowed this. I think he knew, don't you? Because he values every person made in the image of God, and that is every person made in God's image.

Ross Sawyers: 31:42 And then he tells a story about forgiveness. And he says, you know, the one that's forgiven much, is the one that's even more grateful. This woman understood the grace lavished on her in the presence of Jesus, and forgiven much, she gave back much to him, humbled herself before him. In Luke 7:46 it says, “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume." Because the Pharisee was saying, why did you let this happen? And Jesus let him know why it just happened. And then he reassured the woman, you're forgiven, your faith has saved you. You anointed my head with oil.

Ross Sawyers: 32:42 When we invite people in, we have an opportunity to be a refreshment to the wounded and weary traveler. In that same documentary on Harriet Tubman, when she was in her early days as a slave, she met a Quaker woman. And this Quaker woman told her, which by the way, Quakers were some of the first to the party to help free slaves. And this woman told Harriet, she said, if you ever need a place to stay, you're welcome in my home. She described her home to her, let her know where it was, and Harriet walked away knowing that what she was saying is if you ever escape slavery, you have a safe place in my home. And God led her to that home when she escaped, and that woman was waiting for a wounded and weary traveler, to refresh and renew her as she moved into freedom. We have that privilege. And by the way, one of the best things you and I could do in this season of time, if you're not already doing it, would be to invite someone that is different than you into your home. Just be a refreshment to someone that's a different skin color, a different culture, a different ethnicity. It's called hospitality, and it's vital, man. That's what this Quaker woman did.

Ross Sawyers: 34:37 And then he says, "My cup overflows." "You prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You've anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows." Now the cup in scripture has two different ideas. One of the ideas is of wrath, and the other is of blessing. So a number of times you read about the cup, it's the idea of blessing or salvation, and it's sharing that cup with one another. Other times, it's a cup of wrath. Now I don't know about you, and I don't do it as much anymore because I try to be healthy except every other day, and then something gets in the way of it. But I keep rebounding, so it's an ongoing deal. But I loved, when I was at least growing up, I loved a Coke and pouring it into a glass and just trying to aim it just right on the fizz. Do you know what I'm saying? You kind of let it fizzy, you take it all way to the top, then you watch it sink a little bit. And then you get again, and then it kind of goes, and then sometimes you miss and you don't have a little tray to catch it when you're growing up, then your mom has something else to do. But I just love drinking a Coke and watching the fizz come up, and then I actually liked it when it brimmed over the side. I'd try to catch it, or I'd reach down and slurp it, I spared you that. He says, my cup overflows, it's just brims over with life. He's in the presence of the shepherd, the sheep is if we go that way. And the host and the guests, when go that way. He's with people he enjoys, and someone that's caring for them.

Ross Sawyers: 36:33 So how do we get to this table, the one where we feast with God, how do we make our way to that table? And we get to that table through the cup of God's wrath. What does that mean? Well, Jesus, in John 14, 2 and 3 he says, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you." Jesus goes to prepare a place for us, he says. He's telling us to stop us before he's crucified, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also." I'm going to prepare a place for you. And the way Jesus prepared that place we find in Luke chapter 22 verse 42, and it was a treacherous path that Jesus went so that we could come to the table. And in Luke 22:42, he says, he's in The Garden of Gethsemane, "Saying "Father, if you're willing." He's praying to God, this is the night before he'll go to the cross. “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” What cup was he wanting removed? Not the cup of blessing, not the cup of salvation, he didn't want that cup removed. He's asking God to remove the cup of God's wrath. That's how serious your sin and my sin is, that God's wrath is coming down on our sin.

Ross Sawyers: 38:11 But the beauty of what Jesus did, is on the cross not only did he take our sins on the cross, but he took his own Father's wrath for our sin on the cross. He first had to drink of the cup of God's wrath. And then when we believe what it is that Jesus did, there's a cup exchange. We no longer have to experience the cup of God's wrath, rather we get the cup of God's salvation and his blessing. Salvation comes, our sin is taken care of, God's wrath is appeased through what Jesus did. This is justice. People cry out for justice, by the way, a quick apologetic for you. The very fact that people cry out for justice today says, there's a God. Where does justice come from, if not? And who gets to decide what justice is? And yet everybody believes today, there's some kind of injustice being done. If there's injustice, there must be justice. If there's justice, it has to come from somewhere. God is a God of justice, and he justly took care of sin, and that's why he's a God of mercy and love. Justice was taken care of on the cross, but mercy and love was given to us. We're not getting justice, we're getting mercy and grace. None of us on our own probably feel worthy to receive what God did.

Ross Sawyers: 40:18 In Second Samuel chapter 9, we see a story about a young man named Mephibosheth. King David had a deep friendship with Jonathan, and later after Jonathan had died King David was asking, is there any other relatives left in Jonathan's house? And he was told there was a son named Mephibosheth, who had become lame in his feet at five years old because in haste, his nurse had run with him and then he fell and hurt both his feet. He was lame for the rest of his life. And David said, bring him to my table, and they went and they found Mephibosheth. And because of David's relationship with Jonathan, he wanted to do a kindness to his family. Mephibosheth is standing before David, and this is what he said. He said, what are you doing with a dead dog like me standing in front of you. I'm not worth being in front of the King. And David extended his kindness, and he said from now on, you'll eat regularly at the King's table. Not just once, regularly at the King's table, as if you are a son of the King. Not deserving, invited into royalty to feast at the King's table. And that's the invitation God has for all of us, to come to the King's table as sons and daughters, and that's what you and I are today if we've had that exchange of cups, and now we have the cup of God's salvation. And that cup brims over with abundance and overflows with blessing in the presence of our enemies.

Ross Sawyers: 42:54 Early on, I started in Isaiah, and talked about a lavish banquet that was coming. Not only do we get the privilege of sitting at the King's table now, there is a day in Revelation chapter 19 verse 9, where people from every tribe, every tongue, every ethnicity, every nation, will be gathered around the table. And it's called the marriage supper of the lamb, and forever we'll be feasting with all peoples of all cultures together that are part of God's family through Jesus Christ and Christ alone.

Ross Sawyers: 43:47 Let's pray together. Father, thank you for the goodness of your presence. Thank you, Father, for the table today, and the gift it is to be invited to your table regularly and to be called a son and a daughter of the King. So we can say with the 23rd Psalm, "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you've anointed my head with oil, my cup overflows." Today, Father, I pray as Christians that we would brim with gratitude to you, that our hearts would overflow with praise like that sort woman that's described in Luke 7, who knew your mercy and that you'd given[inaudible]. Father, help us to be the most vibrant of people today, even in the midst of difficult circumstances. I pray Father, where those enemies, lurk and pound away at us, that we'd find refreshment in your presence. God, will you free us and put us in safe places, and help us to have our eyes on you and feasting at the table. And not feasting on those things that take us down, but feasting on those things that are good, God. So we thank you and pray in Jesus' name. Let's be quiet before the Lord. I love to be able to do this, just to be quiet at the table, and we just want to listen for a moment. And anything that God might've said to you today in a song, or imagery, or the word, whatever it is that could just really refresh and sit in your heart today, and that we'd respond in a way that that would be pleasing to our host.

Recorded in Grapevine, Texas.
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