Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Good Shepherd

I was reading in Psalm 23 the other day and thought/studied a lot about shepherds. There is a very special relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. A shepherd is a manager and a caretaker. He is the owner of his sheep…and he loves them.
One of the things I learned is that a shepherd marks his sheep with an instrument called a “killing knife.” Now, it may not sound very loving, but sheep do not instinctively take care of themselves. It may hurt them, but the shepherd knows the temporary pain is ultimately good for the sheep. So, he makes a distinct mark in their ear that identifies them as his own and cares for them almost like children.
In much the same way, many of the trials and tests we go through can be quite painful while “killing” the flesh. However, the Holy Ghost knows what He is doing in us is working toward our spiritual maturity. The question is, which do you think is worse: the pain of change or the pain of never changing?
In John 10:11(KJV), Jesus says, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 
There is so much we can learn about our relationship with Christ from the lesson about shepherds and sheep.
In the first verse of Psalm 23, David says, The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (KJV).

He lacked nothing because he knew that God was with him, always working in his life, changing and maturing him. It doesn't mean that we will always have every little thing we want. But while we are waiting on things we’re praying and believing God for, we can be content knowing that He is always with us and will provide exactly what we need.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. This is talking about entering into the rest of God. Not resting from activity…but resting in activity. There is a peace that comes from trusting in the ability and power that God gives us to do what He’s called us to do. It is this rest that causes us to step out in faith and do great things in His name. It’s faith in God’s faithfulness. 
Learn to rest in Him. He will lead you along the right paths for his name’s sake. As we rest in God, He works in our lives, and renews our minds. The scriptures have the power to change us. One of the things I studied, is that the sheep will choose the soft ground, the comfortable and easy places to wander into. But they can get into trouble and become easy prey for other animals. They will stay in the same pasture forever unless the shepherd moves them. And he will move them regularly so they can stay healthy.
Be open to change, a challenge…a new pasture. 
Even when you walk through the darkest valley…  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.
A shepherd carries a rod and a staff, which he uses in different ways for different reasons. The rod is just a big, long stick with a little knob or bud at the top of it. A staff has more of a hook at the end of it.
The shepherd will practice endlessly so that he’ll be able to accurately chuck that rod at a predator or even at an unruly sheep to keep it in line. Sometimes an animal will wander off too far from the others. The staff is used to hook a wayward sheep and lead it back into the fold. At other times, it’s used as an examining tool to check the animals for parasites or other ailments.
It's comforting to know that whenever we lose our way, He will use His staff to lovingly and gently guide us back onto the right path.
Those are just some of the ways a shepherd takes care of his sheep. And to think we have the Good Shepherd who takes care of us. What are you asking God to do in your life? Whatever it is, know that He will always be with you…and He will always provide just what you need. He is the Good Shepherd and He has already laid down His life for us!!

Labels: , ,


At April 16, 2015 at 5:23 PM , Anonymous annabelt said...

Seems like you can draw a lot of strength from your faith :)

At April 20, 2015 at 9:25 PM , Blogger Shannon Hall said...

I love this. Such a great reminder.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment on my blog!

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home