By Mark D. Roberts | Friday, October 5, 2007
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep of his hand.
Gracious Lord, I remember once hearing someone complain about the biblical imagery that pictures us as sheep. “Sheep are stupid and needy,” the complainer said. I must admit that, to the contrary, I find this image comforting. Sometimes, Lord, I feel just like a sheep . . . stupid and needy. Sometimes I do really silly things. Sometimes I act like a fool. More often than I’d like to admit I think like one. And at other times I am needy. I can’t make it on my own strength. I need, well, a shepherd who will care for me, guide me, protect me, and make sure I get what I need in this life.
How grateful I am that You are my shepherd! I’m quite glad to be one of Your sheep. With You I don’t have to put on airs. I don’t have to pretend that I can handle life on my own. I don’t have to be strong or smart or all the things people expect of me. I can be who I really am. I can be sheep-like because You are my Good Shepherd! Thank You, Lord!
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”
Topics: Psalm 091-095 |