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. Becca says:

    This is so empowering and encouraging today. Just what I needed to hear. It’s such a beautiful picture to remember that God is our Shepherd! Thanks for sharing!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Thanks for joining us, Becca! We love having you here!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  2. Tiari says:

    How amazing that with God, the Good Shepherd, we simply just need to stay in His presence and we can move from a place of striving (on our own) to a place of thriving. Praying for all of you facing infertility today.. May you find your peace in the Lord, that He will slow you to thrive in your season of preparing to become a parent. Amen!

  3. Beverly says:

    I memorized Psalm 23 as a child, but I feel I am only coming to fully understand its meaning as an adult. “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (v.1) Reciting these words growing up often left me confounded. What did it even mean to “not want” or to “lack nothing?” My mind could not fathom a state of lack or not wanting at that time. But now, as I read these words, their meaning settles deep within my soul. In the Lord, I have all that I need. I do not want or lack because He is my Shepherd. Because He guides me, protects me, loves me. Reflecting on this Psalm today, during a season where I feel life has been on pause, fills me with hope. I do not know what is coming next, but I do know God is with me. I know that in this life, I will always face the unknown future. And when I feel alone and disconnected, He is near. He is my Shepherd through all of this life. Because the truth is, I’ve been fighting this ‘pause.’ But maybe this pause is just what I needed. To allow my heart to catch up to my reality. To realize how utterly dependent I am on Him.
    For me, the question becomes, do I hear His voice? He is calling. He is leading. He goes ahead of me. Do I hear Him? Can I quiet the noise cluttering my mind, so that I can hear His gentle whispers? Can I stop the racing of my anxious heart, so that He can fill me with His peace that surpasses all understanding? Can I posture myself to hear? To listen?
    I believe He is always speaking, guiding, leading me. But do I hear? I want to hear. I want to listen today. And I want to do. To do whatever He calls me to do. To go wherever He leads me to go. To follow Him first, before the noise leads me astray. I remind myself to listen. Again and again. Just sit and listen in His presence. He is my good Shepherd. I have all that I need.

  4. Reeve says:

    I love the truth of what God’s voice is versus the world’s. Relying on true, life-giving words from God instead of the voices that seek to ultimately destroy — such a beautiful reminder for a Monday!

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Thanks for this sweet reminder, Reeve! We love having you in our community!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  5. Caro says:

    Thanks Jesus for being the only thing my soul needs and more. During Lent I initially wanted to fast but I failed :(. While praying (and complaining for my lack of self control) I felt in my spirit to add more time with Jesus in my daily life. What? I answered. I don’t have time. I am enrolled full time in a Master Degree, and I lead the welcome team at my church. The little extra time I have is to take care of my husband and house. Well… My busy schedule honestly made me miserable and exhausted. Always reading books, writing papers, meetings to coordinate homework groups and the list goes on and on..so I gave up and decided to give it a try.. Why? Because I was miserable…. So I started to seek God (out of desperation and with no other option- I know, shame on me) every morning, then I added another time after lunch, days later I meet him once again during the afternoon and before I knew it, I have been meeting my Lord four times a day and I want more!!!!! He is all I needed it!!! This was not my idea at all, and God knows it, but the results of being in his presence most of the time in my day Has been surreal!!!!!!! I am free from a compulsive disorder that was hunting me for the last two years, praise God!!!!! I feel PEACE! I feel refreshed, renewed in my spirit and empowered!!! All my activities are finished in a matter of minutes. My concentration is sharper, It became easier to do homework. I Got “A”s in all my tests so far and if that is not enough I started to go to the gym again. What???? I was not planing on writing this but He deserves the glory of all the victories I had experienced so far. He is my shepherd and if we hear his voice and stay in his presence talking to him but also listening to what he has to say we will face every day aligned with his desires and guidance!

    1. Laura says:

      Amen. So excited for you!!! What a great testimony.

    2. Jessica says:

      I am so empowered by your testimony; what an incredible revelation of God’s power to alter our lives an makes them so much better than we thought they could be! I am curious- what did spending time with God look like in your life? I am similarly enrolled in full-time Honours, work three jobs and volunteer in various causes but i really feel like God is calling me to take time to really sit and just be still with Him. I’m a but at a loss of how to get started, though, as ‘sitting and stopping’ seemed to have vanished from my skill set over the years of study and work. Your testimony really inspired me so I would love to hear any advice you might have for me so i can make God a bigger part of my day. Thanks so much!

      1. Caro says:

        Hi Jessica, thanks for your honesty and curiosity. I know that we are all different and God moves in different ways but here is what I did and I hope it helps a little. I would say that the main strategy for me was: BOMBARD YOURSELF WITH THE WORD OF GOD. Memorize it, pray it over your life, listen to it, sing it, study it… eventually you will eat its fruits. He is faithful!!. Here is a lonnnnnnng list that the things I decided to add to my schedule… My devocional and bedtime are always the same… my lunch time and afternoon varies depending of what I am facing during the day…it’s a lot so please bear with me.

        DEVOCIONAL:
        • I meet God at the same place (no electronics) and time every day. It helped me to create discipline. Make it sacred.
        • I read the bible verses that She Reads Truth presents in their devotional :), pray to the Holy Spirit for his teaching and read the verses over and over and OVER again until I felt God is pointing out something specific to dig in. At the beginning I felt lost so I decided to concentrate in the qualities of Jesus.
        • I practice SILENCE. Because I was so busy and anxious my mind wondered a lot at the beginning so I decided to be quiet for three minutes (using an alarm clock). In quietness, I confessed my sins daily. I share my frustrations or whatever God puts in my heart in that moment. The idea of silence is to listen to the Spirit. He knows what we need to do more than ourselves. So I open my heart and share what comes to my mind.

        LUNCH
        • I listen to a 25- 30 minute sermon of some of my favorite preachers I try to seek a topic related to what God spoke to my heart in the morning. That way I can deepen my understanding of the verse.

        • Sometimes I use my lunch time to pray again, I PRAY THE WORD OF GOD over me, my family, my friends. It is our sword! I will do it in my office without interruptions for maybe 10 -20 minutes. At the beginning this prayer time was mainly to intercede for me that God will increase my desire to put Him first. Now, this prayer time is more to enjoy His beautiful presence. I pray the psalms to exalt Him aswell. Depends on what I feel like that day.

        AFTERNOON:
        • Break from homework: Listen to worship songs or the same sermon or another.
        • Fighter verse app: A friend gave me this app. It is awesome. It helps to memorize verses. They have songs with the verses that I like to listen because that way I memorize them better.

        BEDTIME:
        • At the beginning I read one chapter of a Christian book I bought about prayer: Fervent Prayer by Priscila Shirer
        • Now, I read again the bible verse from my devotional
        Then I go to bed praying that God will give me the strength to seek him again next day.

        ALL OF THIS DONE WITH… FAITH!!!
        And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who COMES to God MUST BELIEVE that He is and that HE IS REWARDER of those WHO SEEK Him. Hebrews 11:6

        At the beginning was very hard but I hold on to this promise… He will show up and He will reward your desire for more of Him. God bless you!!!

    3. churchmouse says:

      This is so awesome! Thank you for your testimony which is so encouraging… And convicting! Blessings to you!

      1. Caro says:

        I am glad this testimony inspires you! He is faithful! His word is real! “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” Mathew 6:33
        When I started I was tired. At the beginning it felt kind of the same, I was dried, hungry, thirsty. I complained again to God for not seeing immediate changes in my feelings, or thoughts( instant gratification hello?) In his mercy he convicted me of just “showing up” and not BELIEVING and what he said to me. He is the covenant keeper, the bread of my life and I needed to believe that. “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and STILL YOU DO NOT BELIEVE ME.” We can come to Him and read pages and pages of the Bible but still consciously or unconsciously decide not to believe what He says, or what he offers, or what he promises us. God bless you!

  6. churchmouse says:

    A touching testimony to the faithfulness of God and the peace He gives His flock! Thanks for sharing

    1. She Reads Truth says:

      Happy Monday, friend!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

  7. Felicia Oostra says:

    Thankyou for this reminder. There are so many voices we CAN listen to: fear, condemnation, comparison…But “[a] sheep need only follow His voice and stay in His presence to be in a place that’s safe where it can thrive.” I love it!

  8. cinback says:

    I connected with that image of a newborn baby swivelling his head toward his mother’s voice. I remember marvelling at this when my own babies were born and tested it out from various places around the room. No matter where I stood, my babies turned their heads in my direction when I spoke to them. This image caused me to think about my own attentiveness to Christ’s voice. Sadly, I do not always snap my head in His direction when He speaks, or even listen to the point of searching for His voice. Clearly this is something that I need to improve upon. Dear Father, help me to recognize the conflicting voices in my life and filter them out so that I may clearly hear Your voice, and only Your voice. Amen.

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