“Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They 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. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 1The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing 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 10:7-15
Like the sheep in Psalm 23 you should be one satisified sheep! I have spent the better part of this week reminding you of how good your Shepherd is! So, if there is still anxiety or discontent stirring in your soul it could be that you are not following Him as well as you should!
May I share a true story to further illustrate the blessings and benefits of following this Shepherd Who is a personal shepherd and a powerful shepherd and a promising shepherd?
Here it is:
In 1972, a shepherd had brought his sheep into a walled-off, enclosed area for the night, and he had just gone to sleep when he heard a commotion. He quickly rushed over to where the sound was coming from and to his horror he discovered that a wolf was in the process of dragging off one of his sheep through a hole in the wall. He was mauling this sheep and blood was flying.
The shepherd quickly began hitting the wolf, and the wolf turned on him and began attacking him. He bit him over and over while the shepherd was striking him with his staff, and finally with one final blow of his staff, he killed the wolf as he himself collapsed into a bloody heap.
He managed to crawl over to the half-dead sheep, and began to bandage its wounds.
He gave it some water, and then took it in his own bloody arms, and shepherd and sheep went to sleep together. The next morning the shepherd was found dead, his body literally draped over the sheep to comfort it and keep it warm. The following day the headline in the Jerusalem paper said, “Sheep Alive, Covered in Shepherd’s Blood.”
That is the testimony of every sheep and lamb who is under the care of the Good Shepherd. Why would you not follow Him closely? Why would you not completely trust a Shepherd like that?
Any other shepherd is a hireling who comes to steal, abuse, or kill the sheep. There is no comparison between the Good Shepherd and any other. There is really no comparison between sheep under the care of the Good Shepherd and those who are not. You can tell the difference by looking! There is a noticeable difference!
As the storm clouds gather and the threats increase and the world becomes significantly more dangerous, you cannot afford to be led or cared for by anyone other than the Good Shepherd because no matter how perilous the times that lay ahead - IF THE LORD IS YOUR SHEPHERD, YOUR FUTURE IS YOUR FRIEND!