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 (74)

74 thoughts on "I Am the Good Shepherd"

  1. 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.

  2. Susie Argil says:

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Ann says:

    Praying Sara for your mom and your family.

  8. Ann says:

    Praying for you Dorothy, Carol and her family.

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