daily devotional

In John 10: 11-14 Jesus said “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing 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.

If you study sheep, you see how helpless they often are. How they wander off and find themselves in danger. Yip, that’s us. We lose our way and we end up in a mess. Sweet little sheep we are. And this is why we have a shepherd. This is our Jesus.

To learn about a shepherd is to learn about our Jesus. I don’t suppose there are too many modern day shepherds around here out living with their sheep, so perhaps it would do us some good to have a little study to understand what Jesus is telling his sheep today.

A shepherd lives with their sheep. He has 2 main jobs – Protect the sheep and guide the sheep.

Sheep are rather helpless and without the shepherd guarding them, they will quickly fall prey to predator. I simply can’t imagine trying to go through this life without my shepherd. It is our personal relationship with Jesus that can give us peace in the middle of life’s greatest storms. Hey, if you’re trying to do this thing on your own, listen to me, you don’t have to. You were never made to do life on your own. You have a protector, and whether you acknowledge him or not, he has been watching out for you. Wow, if we only knew half the things God has protected us from that we never even saw coming. The enemy’s intended harm never even came into our awareness because our mighty shepherd was protecting us. I wonder how many disasters we were spared from just yesterday!

Jesus is our protector and he is our guide.

A shepherd guides his sheep to pastures where they will find exactly what they need. Our shepherd guides us and it’s a good thing because much like sheep, we sure have a way of messing up directions, don’t we? Why don’t we just stick close to Jesus and follow him instead of running off and trying to make our own way. That just never ends up good, does it?

But thankfully Jesus knows our tendencies and he has already prepared for our wandering nature. When we get ourselves in trouble, all we have to do is call out to him and he will find us. Isn’t it amazing to know he cares so much about us that he will come hunt us down and pull us out of whatever mess we’ve gotten into. He won’t stop until he finds us. There’s nothing he won’t do for us. I mean he’s already proven that – he died for us to save us.

We are his sheep. Remember this. We are not his pigs.

Here’s the difference between a sheep and a pig. A sheep and a pig can fall in the same mud, but they have a different nature. When the pig gets in the mud, he wallows in it. When the sheep gets in the mud, he cries – “Help me, get me out. This isn’t where I’m supposed to be. SHEPHERD!!!!!”

Stop acting like a pig. Stop hanging out with pigs. You were never meant to wallow in your mess. You were never meant to get stuck and stay stuck. Stop settling for your current situation. You’re not a pig. You are a sheep. Cry out for help to your shepherd and watch him come running for you.

You aren’t meant to wallow. Get up sweet sheep, get up.

Now, one last thing I would like to share. This week I’ve spoken to many mamas who are going through tough times with their teen or young adult children. Our kids are wandering off, going down the wrong path, on the wrong course making some majorly stupid choices. First, let me say, mama, drop the guilt and shame. This happens to the best of us. Your wayward child is a sheep, a sheep lost – a sheep with a Shepard who is relentless in his pursuit for your child.

Ezekiel 34: 15 & 16 says “I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.”

Cling to that for your child. God is seeking the lost and he will bring back the strayed. God’s got this!