Day 34

I am the Good Shepherd

from the Lent 2016 reading plan


John 10:11-18, Jeremiah 10:20-21, Psalm 23:1-6

BY Debbie Eaton

Text: John 10:11-18, Jeremiah 10:20-21, Psalm 23:1-6

This is part of a 10-day series on the person of Christ in the 2016 Lent study.

After ten long years of infertility, I learned I was pregnant with our son.

The day I found out, I began praying for him, talking to him, and reading to him while he was in my womb. He was born on a beautiful May morning, and I was over-the-moon excited to see him. What I did not expect was the undeniable awe I would experience that first time when the sound of my voice turned his head and our eyes locked. He knew my voice.

As we got to know each other, I learned his voice too—his cries for hunger and pain, discomfort and contentment. I could then interact with him intentionally, attending to each cry and coo. My heart was flooded with love, and I knew without a doubt that I would lay down my life for this precious bundle of joy if I had to.

God knew this parental love firsthand with Jesus (Matthew 3:17). He also gave us a tangible picture of what love, care, guidance, and protection look like in the image of a Shepherd taking care of His flock.

“I am the good shepherd, I know My own sheep, and they know Me, as the Father knows Me, and I know the Father.”
-John 10:14-15

This verse paints a beautiful image of the relational significance between the Father and the Son, and between the Shepherd and His flock. It is a relationship of complete dependence, one begun by relying upon the sound of the Shepherd’s voice. A sheep need only follow His voice and stay in His presence to be in a place that’s safe where it can thrive.

It is the same with us and Jesus.

Unfortunately, the voices of everyday life compete for our attention and can easily drown out the sound of the Good Shepherd’s voice. The voices of false shepherds speak in smooth, deceitful tones for self-gain and self-promotion. They care little about the safety and wellbeing of their sheep. When danger comes, these heartless shepherds will flee, protecting and preserving themselves over their sheep. And should one of their flock become sick or somehow undesirable, it will be cast out or altogether forgotten (John 10:12-13). Their flock will lose their way (Jeremiah 10:21).

When we trust and follow any other voice but the Good Shepherd’s, we’re easily led astray to be left utterly alone, rejected and dejected. But do not be discouraged: even if you’ve been taken advantage of in the past by deceitful shepherds, there is good news because of Jesus.

Jesus is the long-awaited, true Good Shepherd, who does not lose sight of His sheep (Ezekiel 34). He knows the heart and condition of each one in His flock. He searches for them and inspects them, just to make sure there is no disease within them (Psalm 139:23-24).

He heals the sick, injured, and brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). He protects them against danger, goes after those who wander away, and pursues those who are lost (Matthew 18:12-14). Above all, the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His flock, once and forever, to rescue them from the jaws of deceit and captivity, so that not even one would perish (John 10:11, 3:16). He did that for me, for you.

This is our Jesus, the Good Shepherd of our souls. He hears each beat and cry of our hearts, and He knows exactly what we need.

Do you know His voice?

I don’t know what you’re facing right now, but the Good Shepherd knows. His voice is gentle, and soothing, leading each of one us to quiet waters where He waits to revive us. He protects, comforts us, and guides us along the right path—even when we go through the darkest of valleys. His goodness and faithful love pursue us each and every day of our lives (Psalm 23).

“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me.”
-John 10:27

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65 thoughts on "I am the Good Shepherd"

  1. Ashley says:

    Lately, I have been hearing may sermons on discernment, and I know that God is speaking to me. Funny how God talks to us by putting the same scriptures in front of us repeatedly by different sources, or having a sermon play on the radio right as you step in your car, with exactly what you needed to hear–that happened to me yesterday. Love me some Charles Stanley.

    I cherish when God speaks to me. I once heard a testimony on the radio of a lady that once felt as though when she was praying to God, she was shouting into outer space, hoping He’d hear her, but now she feels like she has His ear, and He is listening to her every prayer. I’m not going to lie, at times, I too, feel like I am shouting into outer space, hoping He’ll hear my cry. The voices of every day life that compete for our attention aren’t the only voices we have to worry about. “You haven’t been a great wife lately, Ashley, in fact, you’ve been nothing short of self-centered altogether. You don’t think before you speak. You want to have your own agenda, and take control over your own life. You aren’t what you say, you are how you act, and your actions reveal your true, rotten character.” This voice–the voice of the devil–we have to watch out for too. Yes, I have been guilty lately of all the above, however, my actions do not define me. Who GOD SAYS I AM defines me, and according to Him, I am righteous, I am forgiven, I am strong, and I am growing. He has forgiven me for my shortcomings. He STILL LOVES ME. These things, I have to remember. Because I am not shouting into thin air when I pray to God. He hears my cries.

    1. Jennifer says:

      Love this – and you taking the time to write this revealed the same truths God has spoken to me through other mediums.

  2. So thankful for our Good Shepherd!!

  3. Vanessa says:

    After a tumultuous year, a separation, a near divorce, and some anxiety inducing events at the hand of a “friend” I cling to the thought of Jesus as my Good Shepherd. I’m really working on quieting my spirit from all the noise so I can be calm and hear His gentle call.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    These are words I needed to hear today. The Lord is my Shepard, he leads me, provides for me, cares for me. I am one of his beloved, he knows my innermost being. I dwell in His house all the days of my life.
    My husband and I are in the thick of buying our first home. In our society, this can be so overwhelming. I’ve found myself anxious and worried about so many trivial things these past few weeks. But tonight I find peace. Rest. Comfort. The Lord is my Shepard, nothing will I fear. I will not be anxious or worried about anything. Even as He cares for the lilies and the ravens, how much more does he care for us? He has never failed us. And He will lead us home.

  5. Hope says:

    This was such an unbelievably perfect reading for me today. As I struggle with hormones, which leave me feeling cut off from God, frustrated and utterly insane, Psalm 23 is exactly the truth my soul needed reminding of. He knows exactly what we need, and He never changes no matter how we feel. What a great God!

  6. Linda says:

    My mother is dying. I needed today and feel His comfort. Thank you. You

    1. Meg says:

      He cares about you! And will meet you in your darkest hour.

  7. Becca says:

    As I’m am processing my recently ended relationship, this is just what I needed today! So comforting.

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