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About-Him.Com Devotional 08-28-2010

I AM the Good Shepherd

A New Recording: The Beautiful Garden of Prayer      

John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  

In using the sacred unutterable name of God in reference to Himself, Jesus had the rapt attention of His antagonistic audience. In proclaiming Himself as The Good Shepherd, they understood that He was  equating Himself with the Shepherd of Psalms 23, who of course was the Lord God Almighty (Rev. 1:8).    

In Luke 15, Jesus described the duties of a shepherd. It was the shepherd’s job to take the sheep to pasture in the morning and furnish them water. He guarded against wild beast (I Sam. 17:34) and kept the sheep from straying. At night he returned the sheep to a common sheepfold which contained the flocks of other shepherds. The shepherd counted them to see that none were missing. If one were missing, it was the shepherd’s job  to find and return the sheep to the fold, where the rest of the flock was safely bedded down, safe from the perils of the night.  

In the morning the shepherd, would gather his sheep by calling to them. His sheep recognized his voice and gathered around him. The sheep of the other flocks were listening for the voice of their own shepherd and ignored him.  

Luke 15:4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?  

Jesus asked his listeners, "What do you do if you have a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away? Is there one of you that will not leave the ninety nine other sheep and go search in the wilderness for the lost one? Do you not lift this shivering lamb and hold him close to your body to give him warmth? When you see your friends, do you not say to them, 'Rejoice with me, I found my lost sheep, he's back safely in the fold now.' Of course you do."  

Aren’t you thankful for Jesus the Good Shepherd?  A great painting comes to mind of the Good Shepherd reaching down to the lamb who has been stranding on the side of a steep mountain. Another painting depicts  the Gentle Shepherd cradling a little lamb in His protective arms. I think we can identify with both.

Isaiah 40 is a great prophetic chapter which tells of Jesus appearing as Israel’s God who would gather them together as a shepherd does for his sheep. (See: Behold Your God!)  

Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry [them] in his bosom, [and] shall gently lead those that are with young.  

Do we remember where we were when Jesus found us?  

1Peter 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

All of us have strayed at one time or another (Ps. 119:176; Isa. 53:6). The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Perhaps we wanted a bit of excitement or we wanted to gratify our carnal lust. The Shepherd didn't berate the sheep when He found Him. No, He lifted him up and gave him warmth and shelter from the elements as He joyfully carried him back to the fold.  

We have another  picture of The Good Shepherd in Psalms 23. The shepherd led his sheep by walking before and leading them. They ordinarily followed him, he didn’t have to drive them. He led them to green pastures where there was plenty of water, typified as the paths of righteousness. However, there were times when it was necessary to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. The sheep looked to the protection of the shepherd who used his rod and staff to protect the sheep.  

Psalms 23:1 ¶  «A Psalm of David.» The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. {green…: Heb. pastures of tender grass} {still…: Heb. waters of quietness}
3  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. {anointest: Heb. makest fat}
6  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. {for ever: Heb. to length of days}  

Jesus said that He was the Good Shepherd, who was the door to the Sheepfold. His sheep knew His voice and would not follow another. We today hear many voices that would cause us to become self centered and to forsake self denial and discipleship. We ignore them because we know that it is not Jesus our Shepherd speaking. We also have many godly teachers who hold true to God’s word and who tell us, “This is the way, walk ye in it” (Isa. 30:21).  

The Good Shepherd was prepared to lay down His life for the sheep, which Jesus freely did for us. The apostle Peter called Jesus the Chief Shepherd and Bishop of your soul (I Peter 2:25).  

John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my [sheep], and am known of mine.  

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  

Jesus had compassion on the multitudes who were scattered and fainting because they had no shepherd. Aren’t we thankful that He had compassion on us when He saved us and continues to have compassion on us (Heb. 5:2) when we falter? We also have compassion of the multitudes around us who have no Shepherd.  

Matthew 9:36  But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. 

Ezekiel  34:11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, [even] I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
12 As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep [that are] scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.  

Friend, are you away from the Shepherd's fold and struggling against the elements of this world. Do you hear the howls of the roaring lion (I Pet. 5:8)  who seeks to devour you? Do you hear the voice of the Master who is seeking your return to the fold?  Simply call out to Him. He will hear your faintest cry and bear you up in His arms with love and compassion and return you safely to His fold.    
Somebody Has Said
The divine Instructor has taken us under his wing and he is putting us through our exercises so that hands which hang down can be lifted up, and feet are straightened out, and a lame man is helped to walk. The Instructor is saying such things as, now "Keep moving, don't let yourself get stiff, keep the joints moving, keep them as supple as you can. - Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Free Ebooks That You Can Download.

An Expository Study on the Book of Colossians  

The I AMs of Jesus   

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Don and Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries

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