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My God is … The Good Shepherd John 10:14

John 10:14 – I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me

John 10:14 - I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me

John 10:14 - I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me

He knows me

So being called a sheep may not be the most flattering thing in the world. They’re not the brightest animal on the farm, and I’m not super in love with their smells either. I am grateful for the wool, and there’s almost nothing as sweet as seeing little lamb-i-kins bouncing across the British Countryside (Right Rachel?). But when being a sheep means that Jesus is your Shepherd  Good Shepherd, everything changes.

Not the brightest animal on the farm

We may not always make great decisions, say the right thing, or do the right thing, but like a Shepherd, God is watching over us, herding us back to safer ground. Ground filled with blessings and closeness to Him. When I’m in the midst of bad behavior (insert sin of choice here), I find myself lost, confused and unsure of myself. It’s in  weakness and insecurity that I’m no longer stubborn and going my own direction. I start looking around for a way out, a safe place to go, and I realize my Shepherd has been near by at all times, ready to lead me home.

Going my own direction

Have you ever made a wrong turn? You were sure you knew your way, but still ended up someplace other than where you wanted to be? In the song “The Good Shepherd” By Dave Horn (find it here #23 on the list), Dave sings about the Good Shepherd from the devil’s perspective. The devil says everything the Good Shepherd does; knowing their name and carrying their blame, shows how he, the devil, has lost this game. That’s a comforting thought.

God knows my name and carries me and my blame

The Good Shepherd lays down his life for His sheep. We are not in a relationship with a God who sets things in motion and then leaves us there floundering. He is there to help guide us out of trouble. He’s come to keep me from being separated from Him for eternity because of my sin. He’s laid down his life so that I can be free from blame. When we are weak, we find Him when no one else cares about us anymore. When we have burned all our bridges, Jesus became the Bridge to God the Father, allowing us a way to salvation, when all we deserve is utter destruction. Not only does he keep us from harm, keeping away the devil, but he also leads us towards His Father, while drawing us closer to Him. He seeks us out when we’re straying away from Him.

Embracing my Sheepishness

I said it earlier, I don’t think the description of us as sheep is very flattering, but it is accurate. I do make mistakes and end up taking the wrong path. Sometimes I don’t listen to my God and I end up in deep do-do. I find myself floundering, having separated myself from my support system, and ignoring the warnings of friends and family. I hear the devil trying to lie to me, telling me I’m not worthy of being used by the God I love, but like the Good Shepherd that He is, Jesus is right there to guide me back to safety in His arms, His word and His church.

Are you Sheepish?

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2012 in God is my Shepherd

 

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My God is … My Shepherd Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, 
he leads me beside quiet waters, 
 3 he refreshes my soul. 
He guides me along the right paths 
   for his name’s sake. 
4 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.

 5 You prepare a table before me 
   in the presence of my enemies. 
You anoint my head with oil; 
   my cup overflows. 
6 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. Psalm 23

Do I believe Psalm 23?

Even if I believe it, do I live like I believe it? Let’s look a little closer at this very familiar Psalm.

The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing. 

It’s true. Never in my life have I lacked what was really needed, hope. God gives me hope. No matter how bad things are getting in my personal life, My Lord has a greater promise for me. Eventually I will end up with Him in Heaven, and these temporary troubles will be remembered no more.

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. 

This verse is especially meaningful to me. I’m currently going through quite a transformation. God is changing me. Sometimes it seems fast, sometimes it feels slow. Since my move to Oregon, I feel like the Lord is calling me to take off some old hurts, some insecurities and to move on to truly living in His Grace. I’ve opened myself up to change, asked for forgiveness from those I haven’t always treated so well (yes, that’s you mom) and have started to give Him control over something I thought was out of everyone’s reach… my eating.He is refreshing my soul. Scary what’s next, because I have a feeling with this blessed transformation comes responsibility. We’ll see where I end up with that! Should be an interesting ride.

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.

To be honest, this is an area I still need to work on. Overcoming fear. Living Boldly because He is with me . Have I not commanded you? “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 God is commanding us to be strong and courageous. I need to step out of my box a bit more. How about you?

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 

I don’t know about you, but I’m not that excited to have a table next to my enemies. But in reality, I think this is more about the Lord taking us under His protection, keeping us from our enemies evil plans. I pray I don’t have enemies like that, but I’ve not always been bright, so I may not be aware of all the wrongs I’ve committed. Lord forgive me for those. The Lord has blessed me beyond all measure. I have a mug with my name on it, and the Christian meaning of my name. It’s a mug that is generally smaller than the other mugs in our home. When my husband brought me a cup of tea in it, it was right to the rim. He handed it to me and said your cup overfloweth! My cup – my name on it. It is truly overflowing. Not just with tea, but with blessings. I have too many to write them all here. I’m guessing if you started listing them you’d have a lot too.

In a book called Pivot, by Dr. Zimmerman, he tells us how one small change in attitude can lead to success. I love this book. I really think it’s worth reading. One of the first things he has you do is list your blessings. That exercise took a lot longer than I expected, each blessing I listed made me think of two or three more. If i remember correctly, I stopped out of exhaustion, not material.

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.

It is an amazing blessing to hear this promise. To know God’s love will follow me all the days of my life, and even into the afterlife. I’m truly blessed.

What are some of your blessings? Is your cup running over?

 
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Posted by on October 6, 2011 in God is my Shepherd

 

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