Sheep are timid defenseless creatures. People have been compared to sheep. They are defined as meek, unimaginative, or easily led.
God calls me a sheep. My Shepherd is Jesus. He is the one who leads me. Every day He leads me. Every situation in life, whether I think it is good or not, He knows the path for me. Blessings or hardships, He leads me. He chooses my pasture, not me. He knows what is best for me.
Try to wrap your head around that concept. As you read this devotional, keep this in mind.
The sheep do not choose their own pasture!
(Francis Bourdillon, “Bedside Readings” 1864)
“He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still waters.” Psalm 23:2
“He makes me lie down in green pastures.” That is, He supplies the needs of our souls. He . . .
gives us the food of the Word of God,
strengthens us with His grace, and
makes us to find our rest in Him.
“He leads me beside the still waters.” That is, He . . .
refreshes us when we are weary,
revives our hearts by His promises,
cheers us by His presence,
gives us His Holy Spirit, and
enables us to rejoice in His salvation.
Amidst all our trials and troubles–He comforts us and gives us fresh hope.
Some may say, “Why should I have trouble at all? Why does the good Shepherd send me anything besides comfort and pleasure? Why am I poor or sad or sick?”
The sheep do not choose their own pasture–the shepherd chooses for them. In the same way, the disciple does not choose his own lot in life–it is appointed for him. His Shepherd knows best what is good for him. The best is not always what is the most pleasant at the moment–but what is most profitable in the end.
Our Shepherd sometimes leads us through what seem to us dry and stony places–but they lead to the Heavenly pastures! And even along the way, He feeds us and comforts us with all a shepherd’s care. Never is our Shepherd nearer to us, than when we are in need or danger.
“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!” John 10:27-28
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Jesus is always taking care of our needs. He is the Great Shepherd and he is my Shepherd.
He is your Great Shepherd too! Think about what Jesus is doing for you right now. Thank Him for being your Shepherd.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001