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The Good Shepherd

            “I am the Good Shepherd…and I know My sheep… I call My sheep by name …and they hear My voice … and they follow Me because they know My voice… I am the Good Shepherd and I know My own and My own know Me even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10).

            This scripture reminds us how much the Good Shepherd, Jesus, loves His sheep, you and me, and what He was willing to do to ensure our safe passage home from the evil one. “Like a Shepherd He will tend His flock, in His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom …” (Isaiah 40:11).

            The Good Shepherd is the Creator and Sustainer of all life. He is All-knowing, All- present and All-powerful, and He knows exactly what you need physically and spiritually. He knows your strengths and your weaknesses. He knows your thoughts and intentions. He knows if you are listening to His voice or if you are distracted by the voice of the world. He knows if you have wandered off the path of safety and onto the path of darkness and destruction where Satan roams as a roaring lion seeking your soul to devour.

            The Good Shepherd knows His sheep and calls them by name (John 10:3) where He provides, protects and has purchased His sheep to rescue us from the evil one.

The Good Shepherd Provides for His sheep.

            The Good Shepherd Provides the light to come home – “I AM the Light.”  He Provides the only door to safety – “I AM the Door.”  He Provides our daily bread and He Provides the bread of Life – “I AM the Bread of Life.”  He Provides direction – “I Am the Way.”  He Provides a solid foundation that will never be shaken or compromised – “I AM the Truth.”  He Provides an eternal reward where we will never die – “I AM the Resurrection and the Life.”  He is the Source of All Life where we are completely dependent upon Him for everything, for without Him we will perish – “I AM the Vine.” The Good Shepherd ALWAYS Provides a way of escape from temptation and from the evil one.  He is the Good Shepherd and the Good Shepherd Provides for His Sheep.

The Good Shepherd Protects His sheep.

            Satan’s goal is never to build up or care for the sheep. Satan always seeks to destroy. But the Good Shepherd’s purpose is to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him (Prov. 30:5), and He Protects us with not just any armor but with the Armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18). He Protects our hearts and our minds as we walk with Him and as we let our request be known unto Him in prayer (Phil. 4:6-7). The Good Shepherd is faithful and will Protect us against the evil one (II Thess. 3:3) and He will rescue us from every evil deed and will bring us safely into His heavenly kingdom (II Tim. 4:18).  He will never forsake us or leave us alone. The Good Shepherd Protects His Sheep and calls them by name, and they know His voice and follow him Home.

The Good Shepherd Purchased the sheep.

            The value of your sin-stained soul is far more valuable than any gold, silver, bull or goat – not even the best of the best of anything or anyone could redeem the soul of mankind.  The Good Shepherd redeemed and reconciled the wandering sheep back to God.  Isaiah 53:6 reminds us, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him”.  Nothing can cleanse you and set you free from your sin - nothing but the Blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God (Hebrews 10).  “He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter…” (Isaiah 53:7). He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

            The shepherd, upon finding one lost sheep, lays it across his shoulders and rejoices. The Good Shepherd descended from heaven, seeking to save the lost, and laid the cross upon His shoulders and in pain and agony became the sacrificial lamb of God. He not only gave His life FOR the sheep but gave New Life TO the sheep.

            May we walk with the Good Shepherd and say as the Psalmist did in Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is My Shepherd, I shall not want;” for The Good Shepherd Provides, Protects and has Purchased our sin-stained souls and set us free from the bondage of sin.  May each of us hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow Him to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.