Day 8

I Am the Good Shepherd

from the I Am: Statements of Our Savior reading plan


John 10:11-21, Psalm 23:1-6, Ezekiel 34:11-24, 1 John 3:16

BY Guest Writer

Sometimes a song undoes me. Certain lyrics and melodies have a way of releasing the yearnings of my heart. So it is with these words from Robert Robinson’s hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it. / Prone to leave the God I love.”

My wandering makes me ache.

Is it any wonder that God’s people are called sheep so often in the Bible? Sheep need a shepherd. Without guidance, they easily wander and become lost. Don’t we also veer off into uncharted territory and become disoriented? Our agendas, worries, and unbelief all lead us away from dependence on Jesus, and soon we don’t know which way to turn.

Sheep need a protector. It is dangerous for them to stray from their shepherd’s care. Unlike animals with sharp claws or speedy legs, sheep are vulnerable and defenseless. If left alone, they will likely be attacked and killed by wild animals.

We, too, have a predator, an enemy of our souls. Scripture tells us to “be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We need a Shepherd to guide us, keep us in the fold, and protect us from our enemy.

Sheep also need a provider. They often cannot find clean water or nourishing grass on their own. They struggle to care for themselves. If sheep stumble and fall over, they cannot get back up and will die on the ground with their short legs sticking up in the air.

When faced with our own suffering and confusion, we also can find ourselves wrestling in the dusty dirt of life, struggling to get back on our feet. Like sheep, we need a Shepherd to make us lie down in green pastures and rest, to lead us beside quiet waters and renew us (Psalm 23:2–3).

David wrote the poetry of Psalm 23, and he intimately understood shepherding. As a boy, he tended his father’s sheep (1 Samuel 16:1–13). As King of Israel, he shepherded a nation. And in the midst of his own wandering, he wrestled in the dirt of his sin and brokenness, and realized just how desperately he needed a Shepherd (2 Samuel 11, Psalm 51).

Through the words of His prophet, Ezekiel, God graciously promises, “I myself will search for my flock and look after them” (Ezekiel 34:11). Jesus boldly echoes His Father and reveals His divine identity as He declares, “I am the good shepherd” who “lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

Like David, Jesus lovingly tends his Father’s sheep. Like David, Jesus wrestled in the dirt of sin—but it wasn’t His sin. It was ours. Jesus conquered sin and death, just as John the Baptist boldly proclaimed He would: “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29) The Good Shepherd willingly became the ultimate sacrificial Lamb to atone for our sin and make the way for His people to be right with God, to bring His sheep safe within the fold.

Yes, I ache when I wander. But I also rejoice when I recognize my Shepherd’s voice. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). His words ring true. His voice undoes me. What a Good Shepherd, what a Savior!

Post Comments (59)

59 thoughts on "I Am the Good Shepherd"

  1. Samantha Martin says:

    A year ago I found out I had an infection in my jaw that would cost $13,000 to treat and insurance would only contribute $1,000. I work in ministry so needless to say, I don’t make much- paying $12,000 out of pocket was over half of what I make in a year. Somehow, I was able to manage as God graciously met my needs. Today I went back and found out that I have to pay an additional $5,000 to finish everything up. And I’m at the end of my rope- there’s no way that will happen. There’s no way I will be able to do that. As I drove home I was waiting for it to hit me, waiting for the moment when I would finally realize the position I was in. But instead I was filled with peace. As I read these promises I am filled with peace. Because my God is a good shepherd and I lack nothing. Even now. I’m not sure where the $5,000 will come from but I’m sure He is good and I know I’ve seen Him provide much more. So I can have faith that He will do it again. Thank you Jesus for knowing my every need, that I lack nothing.

  2. Diane Burns says:

    Praying Sara.

  3. Diane Burns says:

    Prayers going out Dorothy.

  4. Angie says:

    Oh great and mighty Father
    Creator and King
    Holy Lord and Righteous Savior
    We lift our hands to you
    We praise you Lord God for you alone deserve all honor, glory and praise.
    You Lord are our Shepherd.
    Through your Gate we are lead to green pastures
    Quiet waters flow from your throne and we are filled.
    Eternal thirst quenched in you giving new life.
    Oh Jesus.
    Your name is power, and majesty, peace.
    Your rod and staff comfort us in the darkness for we know you are near.
    Specifically I bring before you Lord, Sara and her mom, Karen.
    In this place give them strength. In this place give them courage. In this place give them peace.
    Provide Lord God in every way.
    I pray for Dorothy as she ministers your love and light in this black night for her sister Carol.
    May your rod provide her stability and strength and guidance.
    Secure your staff around us Good Shepherd and lift us to safety, into your loving arms.
    Bring home your lost sheep.
    Carol’s children.
    Susie Argil’s children.
    Melissa Graves daughter.
    Annelyn P.’s son and daughter-in-law.
    My son if he has strayed.
    Ashley P.s unsaved friend.
    Lamb of God, Good Shepherd, you gave your life so that none should perish.
    Drive away the noise of this world and give us ears to hear your call
    Purify our hearts Lord.
    Unworthy we sit at your banquet table, clothed in your righteousness alone
    the oil of your anointing poured upon us,
    flowing down, fragrant Holy Spirit
    to the point that we overflow
    separating us from our enemies
    The beauty of you and your love pursuing each of us all the days of our life
    that we may dwell,
    O God, that others may dwell,
    that in unity we may come together in praise,
    in worship,
    in honor
    to glorify the only God,
    there is NO OTHER.
    In the powerful name of Jesus we pray.
    Amen.

  5. Alexis says:

    Sarah, Dorothy, praying for both of your families during this time of loss.

  6. Kristy Crites says:

    I’ve been struggling with my PTSD lately, drowning in anxiety and fear that I may always be this broken, scared shell of a person. It’s been through the Word that I’m starting to breathe easier again, and can feel my anxiety lifting little by little. Letting my heart hear his voice through his word has been so healing. I’ve come to learn that my strength comes from the Lord, and every time I find my way back to his word I get a little stronger.

    1. Diane Burns says:

      Praise God for his healing strength in his word.

  7. Courtney says:

    Dorothy:

    I pray for you and your family. However, my heart aches for the children who are struggling with their faith and for whom this moment must feel like a very cold, dark and empty place. In this moment, I pray that they discover the warm, loving comfort of our compassionate and merciful savior and that in doing so, they will enter into a relationship with Him.

  8. DebRN says:

    Ah Susie. Being hurt and disappointed by Christians is a reality. Me, too, is all I need to say. As I acknowledge that I have hurt others, I wonder if its a maturity thing? Praying for your precious children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *