Tag: good shepherd

Paths of Righteousness!

Scripture reading for August 29th:  Ephesians 5, Psalm 23, Proverbs 19

Key Scriptures:  Ephesians 5:8-11 ” . . for at one time you were darkness, but now your are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.  Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  

All believers were once sinners, walking in darkness and doing deeds of those who live in darkness and ignorance of God’s will.  But now believers have been made “children of light” and are called to walk in the light of God’s Word and life.  We are to study God’s Word to find out what pleases Him and do that.  We are to expose the darkness by letting our light shine brighter each day as we follow our Good Shepherd in His paths of righteousness.

Faith Confession:  I am light in the world because Christ lives in me.  As I walk in the light of Christ’s love and Word, I please God and expose the fruitless deeds of darkness that I once lived in.

Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”  

 

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The Good Shepherd!

Scripture reading for April 18th:  John 10, Psalm 78, Proverbs 16

Key Scriptures:  John 10:7-11 “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and 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.”  

Jesus, still speaking to the Pharisees, who were struggling to believe that He was the Messiah, told them that He alone was the ‘Good Shepherd’ and also the ‘Door’ that God’s sheep may enter and find safe pasture and care.  Jesus said that others had come before Him, but they were only thieves and robbers.  The thief came only to steal, kill and destroy.  The ‘Good Shepherd’ came to bring abundant life.

Faith Confession:  Jesus, I believe that You are the Good Shepherd who laid Your life down for Your sheep.  I am one of Your sheep.  You are the Door that I go through to find provision and safety and eternal life abundant and free!

Psalm 78:70-73 “He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, Israel His inheritance.  With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”  

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The Good Shepherd

Scripture reading for April 18th: 2nd Samuel 7-9, John 10

Key Scriptures:  John 10:9-11 “I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and 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.”  

Jesus claimed a title that was in the history of His family line going back to King David.  As David was a shepherd who was willing to lay down his life for his sheep against the lion and bear, so Jesus declared His intention of laying down His life for all the lost sheep of mankind.

2nd Samuel 7:8-9  “Now, therefore, thus you shall say to My servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of Hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over My people Israel.  And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you.  And I will make your name great . . .”

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for shepherding me today.  Deliver me today from my enemies and lead me to green pastures.  Amen.

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Thankful for One Shepherd!

Scripture reading for November 6th:  John 8-12

Key Scriptures:  John 10:14-16  “I am the  Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep 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 are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to My voice, and there shall be one flock and one Shepherd.”

Jesus took the Book of Ezekiel and used an analogy there applying it to Himself.  He told the people that He was the good Shepherd who would lay His life down for them, the sheep.  He was talking to the Jews but also told them of other ‘sheep’, not of the Jewish fold who also belonged to Him as the good Shepherd.  Gentiles would also be included in the Good Shepherd’s flock!  In the end there would be one flock and one Shepherd!  Praise our Lord one and all!

Thankful for Jesus our Shepherd:  “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says to them:  See, I Myself will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.  Because you shove with flank and shoulder, butting all the weak sheep with your horns until you have driven them away, I will save My flock and they will no longer be plundered.  I will judge between one sheep and another.  I will place over them One Shepherd, My servant David, and He will tend them; He will tend them and be their Shepherd.””  (Ezekiel 34:20-23)

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Thankful for our Shepherd!

Scripture reading for June 2nd:  Psalm 20-23

Key Scriptures:  Psalm 23:1-3  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”  

David was a shepherd in his early years.  His training taught him about God’s character and His tender care for each of His ‘sheep’.  David experienced the leading of His Shepherd and the provision of ‘green pastures’ and ‘quiet waters’.  This restoration of his soul made a deep impression and caused David to worship and write it down for us!

Rejoicing in our Shepherd:  “I am the good Shepherd.  The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. . . .I am the good Shepherd:  I know My sheep and My sheep know Me–just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.”  (John 10: 11, 14)

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The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

Scripture reading for April 20th:  John 10

Tending sheep and caring for them is an occupation that is common in most places around the world.  Sheep are very docile animals that cannot defend themselves and sometimes they wander off.  They need someone to care for them and protect them.  They will willingly follow a shepherd and get to know his voice.  The shepherd also knows his sheep and calls them by name.   Jesus took this very common job and applied it to His own life and ministry.

The Jews who saw the healing of the man blind from birth asked Jesus if He thought they were blind too.  In response to this question, Jesus told them about sheep and shepherds and gates, making some strong statements to help them understand who He was.

“I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate; whoever enters through Me will be saved.  He will come in and go out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (John 10:7-10)

“I am the good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me–just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.”  (John 10:14-15)

At these statements, the Jews were divided.  Some said Jesus was demon-possessed or mad, but others recognized the miracle and were wondering.  Jesus had said that only “His sheep” would recognize His voice and follow Him! Have you heard the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for “His sheep?”

 

 

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The Shepherd and Gate!

Scripture reading for May 18th: John 10:1-21

Jesus taught using illustrations that were familiar to the people of that day and time.  One of the teachings recorded by John was that of the shepherd, sheep, and gate.  Jesus used this illustration to help those understand that were teachable and to confound those who were convinced that He was demon possessed.

“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” (John 10:2-5)  Jesus told this story about the sheep and the shepherd to illustrate how a good shepherd and his flock relate to each other.  The good shepherd of the sheep knows each one by name.  He leads his sheep, he doesn’t drive them.  They follow him because they know his voice and it is comforting to them.  They run away from a stranger because the voice is not familiar.

“Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.” (John 10:7)  The good shepherd, after gathering his sheep for the night, placed them inside a pen with one opening.  This opening was the “gate” into the pen and the shepherd then laid down in the opening, becoming the gate or door to give access to the sheep.  Jesus went on to tell them that only by entering through Him could they be saved.  (John 10:9)  Through Him they could go in and out and find safe pasture.

“I am the Good Shepherd.  The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”  …”I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me–just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father–and I lay down My life for the sheep.” Jesus further identified Himself as the Good Shepherd who would lay down His life to save and protect His sheep!  Jesus would willingly do this because He loved the Father.  Have you entered by the Gate who is the Good Shepherd?  Jesus Christ is His Name!

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God speaks our language!

Scripture reading for June 8th: Psalms 19-24

God wrote two books:  nature and the Bible!  Psalm 19 tells of God speaking to all mankind through the glory of His creation!  (Psalm 19:1-4)  Creation cries out concerning the goodness of God to all people of every language and culture.  It is evident to those who will listen and learn that creation did not just ‘happen’.  It was created with order and precision that could only come from high intelligence and great wisdom and power.

In addition to nature, God also gave man His law or word.  (Psalm 19:7-11) The law of the Lord is perfect and right revealing God’s holiness and glory.  Those who will be instructed or warned by it will find revival of true life.  Light will enter their souls and wisdom for right living will bring joy to each heart.  It is able to discern hidden errors and keep man from willful sins that would cause him to be lost forever from the Lord.  God truly has spoken our language and understands what man needs most.

Psalm 20 and 21 remind those who trust in the Lord that He will protect them and that they will ultimately triumph over their enemies.  Life on earth is warfare.  Our enemies trust in ‘chariots and horses’!  God’s people  trust in the name of the Lord our God!  (Psalm 20:7-8)  God is our strength and the source of all victory and blessing!  We can only praise Him who will defeat our enemies! (Psalm 21:8-13)  We are confident and will stand firm in His unfailing love!

Psalm 23 tells of a great Shepherd who will lead and protect his people.  This Shepherd will provide safety and green pastures to His people.  They will not need to fear, even when the ‘valley of death’ is ahead of them.  God our Shepherd is with us and leads us forward to a table of eternal blessing!

Psalm 24 tells of God’s ownership and rulership over all the earth and universe.  He is the King of Glory!  This King wants all who come to Him to have clean hands and a pure heart! (Psalm 24:3-5)  When we go humbly to the Lord and ask for forgiveness, He shows us mercy.  He has provided the sacrifice for our sins in His Son, Jesus Christ!    The doors of heaven open for the King of Glory!  Will you open your heart’s door for this amazing King to come in?  (Revelation 3:20)

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Sunday rest and reflection:God’s promises!

Dear friends,

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd of His sheep!  I am sure glad that I am one of His sheep! I want for nothing today because of His bountiful provisions in the green pastures and beside the still waters.  I am comforted by his rod and staff protecting and guiding me.  He is leading me and I fear no evil because of His watchful care.  I can rest and enjoy safe pasture!  This is what the day of rest is all about and we can enjoy it today and each day of the coming week in Jesus!

As I think back on this week’s reading in Ezekiel, I think about a passage that I wanted to write about but didn’t.  Ezekiel 34 was a message to the shepherds of Israel who have been mistreating the flocks.  In this passage, God stated that He would remove these shepherds.  Then, in a series of “I Will” promises, He stated how He would shepherd the flock that belonged to Him!  God would search for His lost sheep!  He would rescue them and bring them out of the nations.  He would pasture them on the choice mountain fields of Israel.  He, Himself, would tend to their wounds and bind them up.  He was going to place over them ‘one shepherd’, from the house of David, who would truly care for them and He would live among them forever!

Wow!  What a vision and word from the Lord!  All His promises are “Yes!” and “Amen!”.  He has already fulfilled this promise to those who have received Jesus Christ as their Good Shepherd.  He’s now about His business of rounding up the lost sheep and bringing them into the fold.  He is binding up their wounds and leading them to the green pastures and still waters!  Take time on this day of rest to thank your Good Shepherd for His wonderful care.  Sit under one of His undershepherds and spend time with His people in worship and adoration, preparing for the glorious fulfilment of these wonderful promises!  Jesus is coming soon!    In Eager Anticipation,  Pastor John

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God speaks our language!

Scripture reading for June 8th: Psalms 19-24

God wrote two books:  nature and the Bible!  Psalm 19 tells of God speaking to all mankind through the glory of His creation!  (Psalm 19:1-4)  Creation cries out concerning the goodness of God to all people of every language and culture.  All mankind draws it’s existence from what God has provided through creation.  It is evident to those who will listen and learn that creation did not just ‘happen’.  It was created with order and precision that could only come from high intelligence and great wisdom and power.  The sun in it’s daily circuit performing it’s duty of warming the earth and providing heat and light with dependable accuracy is but one example of God’s glory!

In addition to nature, God also gave man His law or word.  (Psalm 19:7-11) The law of the Lord is perfect and right revealing God’s holiness and glory.  Those who will be instructed by it and warned by it will find revival of true life.  Light will enter their souls and wisdom for right living will bring joy to each heart.  It is truly more precious than pure gold and sweeter to the soul than honey.  It is able to discern hidden errors and keep man from willful sins that would cause him to be lost forever from the Lord.  The psalmist prays for acceptance of his words and meditations of his heart to the Lord who is his Rock and Redeemer!  God truly has spoken our language and understands what man needs and His love has provided it to those who will partake!

Psalm 20 and 21 remind those who trust in the Lord that He will defend and protect them and that they will ultimately triumph over their enemies.  Life here on earth is warfare.  It often appears that the wicked and our enemies have power and equipment stronger than ours.  They trust in ‘chariots and horses’!  We, however, trust in the name of the Lord our God!  When we do, we will enjoy victory!  (Psalm 20:7-8)  God is our strength and the source of all victory and blessing!  We can only praise Him who will defeat our enemies! (Psalm 21:8-13)  We are confident and will stand firm in His unfailing love!

Psalm 23 tells of a great Shepherd, the Lord, who will lead and protect his people.  This Shepherd will provide safety and green pastures to His people.  They will not need to fear, even when the ‘valley of death’ is ahead of them.  God our Shepherd is with us and leads us forward to a table of eternal blessing!  Oh, what language of encouragement to God’s own!

Psalm 24 tells of God’s ownership and rulership over all the earth and universe.  He is the King of Glory!  This King wants all who come to Him to have clean hands and a pure heart! (Psalm 24:3-5)  When we go humbly to the Lord and ask for forgiveness, He shows us mercy.  He has provided the sacrifice for our sins in His Son, Jesus Christ!    The doors of heaven open for the King of Glory!  Will you open your heart’s door for this amazing King to come in?  (Revelation 3:20)

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