I Am the Good Shepherd

Open Your Bible

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

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!

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74 thoughts on "I Am the Good Shepherd"

  1. Tomeka Jones says:

    Jehovah -Raah
    The Lord is my Shepherd

    Like so many others, Psalm 23 is one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. It brings so much comfort to me.

  2. Gretchen Odonnell says:

    Such a terrific study, and I love this sheep/shepherd one the most!

  3. Brè Danielle says:


  4. ILIANA CANALS says:

    The analogy they use today with the shepherd and his flock was very detailed & on point. Jesus is our shepherd & we are his flock … sheep rely on the shepherd for everything… food, water, sleep and to help them when they fall and turn over. Let’s be the sheep that rely on Jesus for everything in our lives✝️

  5. Cathy says:

    Oops I meant Lilian

  6. Cathy says:

    Oh Morgan back in October you could not have foreseen where we find ourselves now. I love that you asked for prayer back then and for his shepherding as you navigate a wedding and your future. In prayer for you! Peace and love!

  7. Paige Perkins says:

    Come Thou Fount was the song I walked down the aisle to. It holds a special place in my heart and a great reminder to cling close to Him. I know that I am a sheep and prone to wonder away from the Lord I love!! Why do I try to do it on my own when offers grace upon grace?

  8. Allison Sherwood says:

    The metaphor of us as sheep and God as our shepherd is one of my favorites! I see it as emphasizing the great amount of love and care the Lord shows us every moment.

  9. Lillie Smith says:

    I am a senior in college and preparing for marriage. So much anxiety over where I will work, will I be serving God and will I even be able to find a job. Those questions haunt me at night and I want to so bad do what God has set out for me. Asking for prayers over anxiety and opening my heart to God.

  10. Morgan Mathews says:

    Loved this reminder of how dependent we need to be on Jesus, our good Shepherd, to fully sustain us. While this wasn’t what the post was on, I also loved reading in Ezekiel how the Lord calls for social justice and how he cares for the oppressed and the weak.

    1. Natalie Roush says:

      Hi Morgan! Yours was the only post I saw that mentioned the social justice aspect of the verse in Ezekiel! The reprimand from God to those for whom He was providing the “clear waters from which to drink and the good fields from which to eat” who were “muddying the streams trying to get the water and trampling the whole good field trying to get their piece of the good grass,” was a unique and convicting metaphor. It’s simultaneously rejoicing and inviting us to come to these good places He has for us while rebuking our scarcity mindset and obliviousness towards how our actions affect others.

      It seems to me that this is a summation of how the Gospel is for everyone and how one can drink of the Gospel waters and eat of the gospel good grass while still being so desperately broken and oblivious to the brokenness we perpetuate. And it is for God to judge between the sheep and the sheep. The ram and the ram.

      This is no longer a binary “good/bad” scenario, this is a complex, deep, heart matter between the shepherd and His sheep.

      How beneficial and kind for the God of all creation to invite his creatures into an understanding -we could comprehend – of how He distinguishes justice and identity.

      We can not comprehend the worth He has assigned us by His Love, because we can not comprehend how widespread our brokenness ripples inward and out.

      How even just obliviously enjoying good water could also destroy the stream for others.

  11. Christina Baillie says:

    Love Come Thou Fount – praying God binds our wandering hearts to Him x

  12. 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.

    1. Lina Adjogble says:

      Amen! Believing with you that His promises are yes and Amen.

  13. Diane Burns says:

    Praying Sara.

  14. Diane Burns says:

    Prayers going out Dorothy.

  15. 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.

  16. Alexis says:

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

  17. 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.

    2. Rose Lynn says:

      I understand this deeply, we won’t always be like this because He always restores. Keep turning to Him. ❤️

  18. Courtney says:


    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.

  19. 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.

  20. Maura says:

    Praying for Karen and your family Sara. Also Dorothy for your family, Carol an her kids. May you all feel the Everlasting Arms around you and know He is holding you in His love. Jesus open hearts that are afraid, shine your light and hope, bring your peace to these families. That there is no doubt of your presence, grace and unconditional love. Healing and holding each heart. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

  21. Susie Argil says:

    Beautiful testimony Tricia. God will use your story to bring many to know Him! You are loved by God.

  22. Susie Argil says:

    Thankful for today’s devotional that led me to revisit Ezekiel 34. I too found hope in the words in verse 11 – “The Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search and find my sheep.” and in verse 16 “I will search for my lost ones who strayed away, and I will bring them safely home again. I will bandage the injured and strengthen the weak ”
    My husband and I are missionaries. Like many others who serve in ministry, we have been hurt by other Christians. The unloving attitude by those who should be shepherding us, was one factor that caused our children to draw away from God. Sadly, non-Christians are sometimes more kind, more loving, more accepting than those who call themselves Christ-followers. Please join me in praying for my adult children to find freedom in forgiveness and return home to the LORD.

    1. Diane Burns says:

      God bless you for answering the call of missionaries. Will keep your children in prayer today. Ezekiel 34 also spoke to me today. So powerful Gods word.

  23. Audrey Flores says:

    I love Psalm 23 so much now. I am learning to memorize it because it helps so much with my mental health. But, truthfully, I never gave it much thought before. I find some of the verses I saw before I was saved I am desensitized to them. So when I watched Pastor Louie Giglio’s Hillsong Conference breakdown of this Psalm my eyes were opened to how much He truly loves us…and me. Being in the wilderness being attacked by wild animals you forget you can be loved and healed by The Good Shepard. And I think it’s just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

    1. Diane Burns says:

      I wear a bracelet with the psalm on it And often pray it. It’s so comforting.

  24. Tricia C says:

    Ezekiel 34:16 spoke to me today. “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away…”
    That was me. I ran away from the Lord and really couldn’t find my own way. He found me. He brought me back to the fold. I will never be able to forget the goodness of my Savior. I’ll be forever grateful. Amazing Grace.

  25. Tricia C says:

    Dorothy and Sara, keeping your families in prayer today. Isn’t it wonderful to know that we all can turn to the same God in prayer? Peace to you.

  26. Ann says:

    Praying Sara for your mom and your family.

  27. Ann says:

    Praying for you Dorothy, Carol and her family.

  28. Karen Lockwood says:

    Dorothy, praying for your sister and her children. Sara, praying for your mom. And praying for both of you and the rest of your families.

  29. Steph says:

    Sending prayers for Sara and Dorothy and your families!

  30. Churchmouse says:

    Sara, praying for healing for your mom Karen and for strength and peace for all of you who stand by her bedside. Such a difficult circumstance. How comforting to know that when we don’t know what all to pray or how or when the words just don’t come, the Holy Spirit does and will.

  31. Sara says:

    Feeling like God led me to this message today. And seeing a flood of believers pray over the needs of the flock. Asking for prayer for my mom. She is in critical condition in ICU and has been there over two weeks. Broken bone brought her to the hospital and she got a severe UTI and has sepsis(?) as well. It attacked her brain and a slew of problems have ensued since. She’s had to be on and off of a breathing tube and has had some lung issues that caused breathing to stop twice and her heart as well. They were able to bring her back both times and her body is fighting so hard. I’m so sorry for all the details but please pray for my mom! We are at the feet of Jesus day and night and hoping and begging for a miracle. I know my Good Shepherd. Believe in his sovereignty. And cling to His peace. Please please join us in prayer, her name is Karen.

    1. Candi Salenieks says:

      Praying for your mom, Sara!

    2. Mandy Sorge says:

      Praying for your mom, you and your family!!

    3. April D says:

      Praying Sara, for you and your mom and your family. ♥️

    4. Ashley P. says:


    5. KC Sturgis says:

      Praying Sara! My Dad was in the cardiac ICU a couple of weeks ago after a cardiac arrest and is now home recovering well. Praying the same will happen for your Mom and that God the great physician will heal her

    6. Sydney Sewell says:

      Praying for healing!

    7. Beth AnneYoung says:

      Praying for your mom Karen right now. Praying she returns home quickly if she hasn’t already

    8. Brylee Gover says:

      Prayers of healing for your mother ❤️

    9. Cristina Higgins says:

      Sara, I lift your mother, Karen, up in prayer today for God’s grace and peace to rest on her. I pray for you also, knowing how hard it is for you to go through this. Lord, wrap your arms around these two women, around this family, and give them strength.

    10. Ellie Scho says:

      Praying ❤️

  32. Kelly Chataine says:

    Psalm 23:6 Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life,

    It has become a study habit of mine to read different translations and to go back to the original Hebrew.

    Here is another version of verse 6: Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life.

    God’s goodness is beautiful and what I picture God chasing us down with His beauty and love.

  33. Kara says:

    Dorothy, we lock arms with you and Carol today. Praying God will work miracles of peace and healing for your family today.

  34. Anne Jones says:

    Prayers for strength for your sister Dorothy

  35. Laura says:

    Praying, Dorothy!

  36. Churchmouse says:

    Dorothy, adding my prayers to the many others from those who gather here. May Carol and your niece and nephew feel the presence and peace of God as He holds them through this tragic time. May that draw your niece and nephew back to him and may Carol be strengthened in her faith as others come alongside to comfort and help her.

  37. Annie Harvey says:

    I am so grateful for a shepherd who can see the path before us and knows exactly what we need to navigate that path. Imagine having to do that for ourselves? God is so good to us.

  38. Churchmouse says:

    A good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. Jesus is this good shepherd and His willingness to go to the Cross reveals the depth and breadth and heighth of His love for me.
    I. Am. Undone.
    Oh, what A Savior!

  39. Shawn Parks says:

    Both Shepherd and Lamb. God and man. Father and son. King and servant. He is I Am but he Became the Savior. He is all things because He created all things. What a marvelous mystery! For my lifetime I will wrestle with the intricacies of how this can be but know in faith that it is. Let my heart instead grasp the implication of the dichotomies and the motivations of God. He is everything I need. Let my heart hear His voice as He calls my name!

    1. Diana Degnan says:


    2. Jessica Watt says:

      Yes! Amen!

  40. Kristen says:

    I just went to maog.org and you hit to listen to the livestream and then scroll to click archived messages. Check it out if you want!

  41. Kristen says:

    Right now my church is in a series about Psalm 23. We stand and read it aloud from the KJV before the Word is brought forth. The purpose of the series is to fall deeper in love with our Savior! If you go to maog.org, hit the livestream, and go to the archived messages, you can’t start on 9-1-19, I believe to start listening to the series. The Lord is our Shepherd, and He laid down His life, paid the ultimate price, became our disgusting sin, so we could be made pure! What a Beautiful Savoir He is! Hope you can listen to the series and fall in love with Him even more!

  42. Kristen says:

    Dorothy, I and I’m sure others will pray!

  43. DOROTHY says:

    My SRT sisters, Please pray for my sister, Carol, and her family, I just found her husband died. My sister is a believer but her husband wasn’t and my niece and nephew have strayed since my son’s death. My sister is a recovering alcoholic so she needs prayers that she doesn’t relapse.

    1. Shawn Parks says:

      Praying for peace, comfort, and reassurance for your sister and her family through this time of loss.

    2. Bessie H says:

      I am praying for Carol, your family and you, Dorothy. May God guide and help you in this loss.

    3. Elaine Morgan says:

      Praying for your family Dorothy. May your sister find strength in the Lord. I pray this will cause Carol and the children to run to the Father for comfort during this difficult time.

    4. Pamela PennFite says:

      Praying for Carol and family.

    5. AnneLyn P says:

      Dorothy, praying for you and your sister and her kids. A difficult time – praying they will realize they are not alone and they are loved by God.

    6. Janet C says:

      Prayers Dorothy. In reading this morning I discovered this verse in Ezekiel and highlighted for my own children who have strayed so I. Praying this for you too—— Ezekiel 34:15-16. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the sovereign Lord. I WILL search for the lost and bring back the strays, I WILL bind up the injured and strengthen the week. May we each find comfort in the fact that He searches for the lost AND the strays.

    7. Candi Salenieks says:

      Dorothy, praying for Carol and her kids.

    8. Debbie Dodge says:

      Praying for all

    9. Khim R says:

      Praying for you, Carol and her children.

    10. Ashley P. says:


    11. Diane Burns says:

      Lord we pray for the strayed sheep of Dorothy’s family. Protect and guild them home. Keep them safe, open their hearts, nourish their souls. Be their shepherd and lead the prodigal back to your fold. IJN

    12. Michelle LynnDill says:

      Prayers will he said ❤️

    13. Michelle LynnDill says:

      Prayers will be said❤️