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Dwelling In The House Of The Lord

Psalm 23:6 - "Surely goodness and mercy will pursue me all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever
."

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.

And I shall dwell in the House of the Lord forever;
And I'll feast at the table spread for me.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life
."
-- By John W. Peterson and Albert B. Smith

David died at the age of seventy.
He reigned as king for forty years.
His psalms have blessed millions, and they have served as a testimony to God's love
in the difficult times of our lives.

In the last two verses of the twenty-third psalm, David presents a picture of his life
when he writes, "Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever
."

With these verses, the Psalm moves from the pasture to the banquet table.
with David sitting at the banquet table in the Father's house.
God had provided David with the necessities of life, such as forgiveness, redemption,
healing his diseases, and then giving him eternal life when his days on earth were over.

He describes these blessings from God as God "anointing his head with oil."
His cup was not only full, but "over-flowing."
Now David is resting mentally and spiritually.
He has remembered how faithful God has been to him.
And in verse 6, he experiences the powerful presence of God as he says,
"Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me (will chase me) all the days
of my life..and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
."

David was an old man when he wrote the Twenty-third Psalm.
He had seen tragedies and disappointments, but he also had come to know God
as the good Shepherd who gives His children more than they deserve.
The good Shepherd provided all that he needed.
He provided David rest from his weary journey, and safety from his enemies.
He gave David guidance through his life, and then, David was taken to the Father's house.

In our study of Psalm 23, we know that we are sheep, and this psalm is about us.
Those who belong to the Lord; those who are the sheep of His pasture,
those who are pursued in this life by His goodness and love;
those are the ones who will live forever in the house of the Lord in heaven.

"...And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

The word, "dwell," means to reside or to live at home with the Lord forever.
The psalmist is saying that his greatest desire is to dwell in God's presence
all the days of his life.
In Psalm 27:4 the psalmist says, "One thing have I desired of the Lord,
that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in His temple
." (Psalm 27:4)

As Christians we know that Heaven is our real home -- we are just pilgrims here.
"A pilgrim was I and a-wand'ring,
In the cold night of sin I did roam.
When Jesus, the kind Shepherd, found me,
And now I am on my way home
."

For every Christian going home means going to heaven.

"We are but travelers on earth.
We are not here to stay.
We're traveling to a land where God
Shall wipe all tears away.

So weary pilgrim, don't despair;
Look up with courage bright,
You'll find the Master standing near,
To guide you through the night.

Let us reach up and grasp His hand.
He is the Truth -- the Way;
And He will lead our faltering steps
To life's eternal day.

Then, as we enter heaven's door,
All cares and burdens past,
We shall be travelers no more --
We shall be home at last."

"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."


The mention of the house of God is prominent throughout the book of Psalms.
The phrase, "the house of the Lord," occurs seven times.
Also mentioned is "the Lord's house" and "the house of the Lord our God."
There are three references to "the house of God," one to "the house of my God,"
and one to "the house of our God."
Then, "thy house" is mentioned eleven times, making a total of at least 25 explicit references
to the house of the Lord in the Book of Psalms alone.

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you
." (New International Version)

The King James Version of John 14:2 says, "In my Father's house are many mansions:
if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you
."

The NASB it 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
."
The word for "mansion" is "monay."
It means a dwelling, an abode.

Jesus is telling us that our Father's house is where the extended family of God lives.
It would be like our present day illustration of a loving, close, family community.
Jesus is saying that He is preparing a place for us in heaven where we will dwell with God.
We will be in close communion with Him.
He is also saying that there is room in heaven for all who have received Jesus
as their Lord and Saviour.
Jesus is saying that there is a individual dwelling for each one of us.
This will be our eternal home.

When we get to our Father's house, we will have perfect bodies.
We can run, and not be weary.
In all of our activities in heaven, we will never be tired.

When we get to the Father's house, we will regain many lost opportunities,
and find many new ones.
On earth, the smartest person in the world may never have learned to read
because he or she never had the opportunity to do so.

There are many gifted people who will be able to sing and play musical instruments
because they never had the opportunity to do so while they were living on earth.
It could be that the greatest athlete in the world has never competed in a game.
The sport in which you are best may be a sport that you have never tried.

Author Victor Hugo thought back on his life's work, he spoke of what he anticipated
doing in heaven:
" I feel within me that future life.
I am like a forest that has been razed; the new shoots are stronger and brighter.
I shall most certainly rise toward the heavens the nearer my approach to the end,
the plainer is the sound of in mortal symphonies of worlds which invite me.
For half a century I have been translating my thoughts into prose and verse:
history, drama, philosophy, romance, tradition, satire, ode, and song; all of these I have tried.

But I feel I haven't given utterance to the thousandeth part of what lies within me.
When I go to the grave I can say, as others have said, " My day's work is done."
My work will recommence the next morning.
The tomb is not a blind alley; it is a thoroughfare.
It closes upon the twilight, but opens upon the dawn
."

Hugo was saying that every Christian's life's work, though not always his or her vocation,
will continue when they get to the Father's house.

Wilbur Smith adds: " In heaven we will be permitted to finish many of those worthy tasks
which we had dreamed to do while on earth, but which neither time nor strength nor ability
allow us to achieve
."
It is true that our best work is ahead of us.

Heaven will be a wonderful time of reunion with our loved ones and dearest friends
who were also members of God's family.

In his song, " Thank You," Ray Boltz pictures us in heaven, meeting people who touched
our lives.
They will say, " Thank you for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave."
I believe that will happen in heaven.

There are so many people who have blessed my life and made a difference in my life,
and I want to see them in heaven and thank them for their love, and their influence
and the difference they made in my life.

Every time we witness to a person needing Jesus, and seeing them come to Jesus.
there will be someone in heaven who will say, "Thank you!"
Every time we lift someone who had fallen, there will be someone in heaven
who will say, "Thank you!"

Every time we give to missions, there will be someone in heaven who will say, "Thank you!"
Every time we feed the hungry, there will be someone in heaven who will say, "Thank you."
There will be so many wonderful reunions in heaven.

"Friends will be there I have loved long ago;
Joy like a river around me will flow;
Yet just a smile from my Savior, I know,
Will through the ages be glory for me
."

The most wonderful moment will be when see Jesus.

"When all my labors and trials are over,
And I am safe on that beautiful shore,
Just to be near the dear Lord I adore,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

When, by the gift of His infinite grace,
I am accorded in heaven a place,
Just to be there and to look on His face,
Will through the ages be glory for me.

O that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me."

-- By Charles H. Gabriel, pub.1900 -- Title: O That Will Be glory!

Soon we will be home in our Father's house.
Many of us have cried out like Paul who said that he "would prefer to be away from the body
and at home with the Lord
." (2 Corinthians 5:8)
We can't even imagine all of the blessings of heaven.

Helen Keller, who was blind from birth, said:
"For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me
knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith;
deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to
-- a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song
."

"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

David closes the Twenty-third Psalm with a mighty intensity of faith when he declares,
"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23:6 NIV)

When we die in Christ, we will be at home with Him forever
I love the word, "forever."
It is the Hebrew word, "olem".
In the New Testament, it is translated eternal, everlasting life, forever, and forever and ever.

The word is found 27 times in the New Testament, and the word expresses the essence of God.
It states that God is forever, that God's love is forever, and that the Lord God rules
forever and ever.
And all those who are sheep -- saved by grace are known by God shall also live,
and will be loved by God forever.
Forever is God's plan for every Christian.

In just six verses, David has moved from eating in a pasture, to being invited
into the Lord's house, and also moved to being a resident in the Lord's house for all eternity.
Praise God, we are not going for just a few days, or for a few weeks or months,
and not even for a few years, but forever.
Our final destination is to spend all eternity in our Father's house.

"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Heaven at last and forever, is the highest and sweetest note that our Psalmist could mention.
David had loved the House of God on earth, but now he looked beyond it to the House of God,
not made with hands, eternal in heaven.

Heaven is forever.
Living in the house of God is forever.
We will live "forever with the Lord."
Psalm 23:6: "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

"We shall dwell forever; we shall never more go out,
Never more be weary with wandering about;
Never more be seeking for a place in which to rest,
Never more be dreading "the stirring of the nest."

How our hearts are turning, turning ever as we roam
Toward the shining portals of our everlasting home!
Is any promise sweeter in our Father's steadfast word?
"I shall dwell forever in the house of the Lord."

We shall dwell forever where warfare never comes,
Shrilling of the trumpets or boding roll of drums;
In a quiet resting place and in a land of peace,
Where all pain and sorrows forevermore shall cease,
In that abiding city of the rainbow-jewelled wall,
Set on sure foundations that shall never shake or fall.

Oh, the joy of looking past the things that pass away
To a habitation where our tired feet may stay!
Is any promise sweeter in all our Father's Word?
"I shall dwell forever in the house of the Lord."
-- Annie Johnson Flint

"Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God,
an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord.
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body
and at home with the Lord
."
2 Corinthians 5:1,6,8 (NIV)

Robert Browning wrote:
" Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made."


It is sad to say that on this earth that statement is not always true.
On this earth we face disease, senility, being incapacitated, or suffering through an accident,
or many other such things that will eventually bring death.
With death there comes a separation from our loved ones.

For Christians, we can truly say, "The best is yet to be,
The next of lives, for which the first was made
."

After Columbus discovered the New World, Spain issued coins with the Latin slogan, Plus Ultra,
which meant, "More Beyond."
This message was to people who had always believed that the world they knew was all there was.
As Christians, we can always say that there is more beyond.
If we know Jesus, there will always be and endless revelation of the wonders of God's glory.

Heaven will never be boring.
In heaven we will laugh, rejoice, and experience endless pleasures.
If you have already experienced the invigorating stirrings of God's Spirit -- you have already
had a taste of heaven.
In heaven we will experience God's infinite creativity, goodness, beauty, and power.
We will experience the childlike delights of His gracious kindness,
and then we will know that God is exciting and heaven is exhilarating.
We will enjoy His companionship.
To be in His presence will be the very opposite of boredom.

C. H. Spurgeon said it so beautifully:
" Who chides a servant for taking away the first course of the feast when the second consist
of far greater delicacies?"
Who then can regret that this present world passes away when he sees
that an eternal world of joy is coming?
The first course is grace, but the second is glory,
and that is as much better as the fruit is better than the blossom
."

Heaven is waiting for us.
David ends this Psalm by saying "We're going to heaven!"
Jesus saves the best until last.
With God it just keeps getting better and better.
The best is yet to come.

"We know that our body will be destroyed. But when that happens,
God will have a house for us. It will not be a house made by human hands;
instead, it will be a home in heaven that will last forever
." 2 Cor. 5:1

Someday our body is going to die, but we will never die.
Our body is going to die, but that's not going to be our end..
"We look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies.
And we are not afraid, but are quite content to die,
for then we will be at home with the Lord
." 2 Cor. 5:6, 8.

Death, for Christians, is a promotion.
It is moving on to better things with no more problems.
You're not ready to live until you're ready to die.
You don't know how to live until you're ready to die.

Only a fool would go all through life, totally unprepared for something
that everybody knows is inevitable.
You're going to die - someday.
If you don't have Jesus as your Saviour, then you will die forever in hell.
If you have accepted Christ, then you're going to go to heaven.

In heaven there will be no more pain -- no more sorrow or from suffering.
There will be no more depression or fear.
"He will wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death,
nor sorrow, nor crying, nor pain. All of that has gone forever
." Rev. 21:4
Doesn't that make you a little homesick for heaven?

How do you know that you are going to heaven?
If you were to die tonight, are you sure you'd go to heaven?

I don't have an ounce of doubt in my mind that I would.
Not that I deserve it but because I've done what the Bible says to do to get ready.

John Newton who gave us the great hymn, Amazing Grace, once said:
" When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there.
The first wonder will be to see many there whom I did not expect to see;
The second one there will be to miss many people who I did expect to see;
The third and greatest of all will be to find myself there."

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

When we've been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun
."
-- John Newton (1725-1807)

How do I know I'm going to heaven?
Jesus said so; "My sheep listen to me and they follow me." (John 10)

Are you doing that?
Are you listening to what God says to do with your life?
Are you following Jesus Christ?
Is He your Shepherd and your Savior?

If you say, "Yes," then you can say with absolute confidence,
"Surely, I know I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

You can say, I will dwell - not I might dwell or I wonder if I will..
I know I'm going to heaven because I believe in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

We can face the future knowing that God will be with us and His goodness and His mercy
will pursue us all the days of our life.
And we can truly say, "Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever
."

"Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and blessed
He'll prepare for us a place.

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.

Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we'll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We'll sing and shout the victory
!"
(When We All Get To Heaven)

Sermon adapted from many sources by Dr. Harold L. White