Monday, February 18, 2019

The Shepherd

Submitted by Lara Cook
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalm 23:1
Good shepherds care about their sheep.  They watch over them, protect them, and guide them.  Sheep need a shepherd. They stray from the shepherd and flock and get lost, can’t find their way back, and consequently may find themselves in dangerous places. The Bible refers to us as sheep in many places and Psalm 23 talks about Jesus being our shepherd.  We are fickle people who, like sheep, stray easily from our Shepherd, and we cannot find our way back to Him on our own.  We need a shepherd too.  We were made to need God, yet we spend a lot of time and energy trying to live our lives without Him.  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  The Lord is myshepherd.  He is mine. He belongs to me and I belong to Him.  I cannot find safety in any place without my Shepherd.  Not in circumstances, people, or things, money, or job.    
The Shepherd Keeps Us SafeOur shepherd knows exactly how we feel.  He knows what is in our hearts and minds, and He knows our greatest fears.  It is not only His job as our shepherd to take care of us, it is His heart’s desire. In the Bible study, Psalm 23, author Jennifer Rothschild points out some things that Jesus specifically told the disciples not to worry about:
Do not fear death or people who can hurt you or those you love… Luke 12:4“I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that have no more that they can do.
Do not fear being abandoned, inadequate or ashamed.  Luke 12:11saysWhen they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Do not fear not having what you need – physical things.  Luke 12:22saysAnd He said to His disciples, “For this reason I say to you, [j]do not worry about your [k]life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.
Do not fear that you are not loved and accepted by God   Does He really love me??  Does He really care about me?  We may fear His judgement more than we accept His love and care, but He loves us and truly desires to give us all good things.  Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

Our Shepherd does not promise all this because we have earned it or deserve it.  It is His desire to give us all good things, to take care of us, to give us comfort, peace, meet our needs, and to protect us. The things I think I want that I go chasing after are never good for me.  The good things that the shepherd gives are the right things for me. His word tells us not to worry about our needs - our basic provisions of what we will eat, wear, etc.  He has it all under control.  We just have to follow Him. The shepherd always guides the sheep, and our Shepherd is no different.  He leads us, and when we stray, He will come for me like any good shepherd would. There is no place we can go that He won’t come after us.  And no matter how big the flock is, He cares about every single one of us.
Scripture to Claim:

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I say unto you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.  Matthew 18:12-13

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