The subtitle to this post and a few to come is: “The Good Shepherd and His flock” and it is explained as you read.
Do you have a set of those car or truck sun shades or not? You know those round fabric or one piece kind of foam or light weight something with silver covering to reflect the sun? If you live in Texas, I bet you do. I was getting out of my truck the other day and since it is July I was putting up my sun shades because July in Texas is typically VERY, VERY HOT! I like to put them up mainly to help cut the heat in the truck when I get into it but also to protect the dash from the damaging effects of the sun beating down on it day after day. So… I was putting my sun shades up and I heard that sweet, familiar voice… that still, small voice in my heart … “Leah, this is a good topic too. You know… how if you have Jesus He is like these sun shades. He protects in more than one way.” Now, I can imagine what you are saying… or thinking… but I really do hear God speak to me this way. Almost every day! I just have to chuckle sometimes when He does this – but I chuckle with the utmost respect and reverence! Really… God knows and understands when I do. I just love how He reveals things to me. When this happens, I scramble to find the closest piece of paper and pen or pencil to write it down before I forget it. So… on to the topic at hand… protection.
How does Jesus protect? Well, the first thing I think of is Him – Jesus – being “The Good Shepherd”. I read a book recently that explains – in detail – the life of a shepherd. It impressed upon me the length the shepherd goes to so the sheep 1) know his voice and his mannerisms and what they can expect from him, 2) are well fed, 3) their health is considered, 4) their emotional needs are taken care of, and 5) that he cares for them deeply. I am sure I am forgetting something but those are the top ones for now.
God has spoken to my heart before about doing a series on “the shepherd” and how that compares to His care for us as Jesus being the Good Shepherd. So this will be the first in a series of “The Good Shepherd and His flock”.
Let me begin by using the scripture: John 10:27 27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I love the picture in my mind of that scripture. In the book that I am referring to in this series is “A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23” by Phillip Keller. One of the things he points out is the sheep know the shepherd and trust the shepherd. In this scripture Jesus refers to the “sheep” as being His followers. Just as sheep know their shepherd we, as Christians, should know the voice of Jesus when He speaks to our heart. That “still, small voice” that is beyond compare. We can feel Him speaking to our heart. To have this ability to hear and discern His voice you have to be in communication with Him. If the shepherd didn’t spend time with his flock, the flock would not recognize him as their shepherd. A shepherd cannot go to a different flock and expect the sheep to trust him or know him in any way, because they have not spent time with him. We as Christians should count it a supreme privilege to spend time with The Shepherd. If we spend time with Him we will recognize His voice when He speaks.
To know His voice is good. To know His mannerisms is great! Philippians 2 tells us a little bit about His nature.
Philippians 2:5-11 5 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The humbled Christ is One who died on the cross for our sins. He humbled Himself to do the will of His Father. If we are Christians, we know the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. John 19:28 – 28 After this, Jesus, knowing[e] that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
I love the phrase “To know God is to love Him”. I found a great paragraph explaining that phrase. This is an excerpt from that paragraph. It is from a website which is called The Alliance. This particular paragraph is from their “devotionals” section.
“Let us bring ourselves under obedience to His revealed Word and our love for Him will grow. Obedience will strengthen faith and faith will increase knowledge. And it is a well-known law of the spiritual life that our love for God will spring up and flourish just as our knowledge of Him increases. To know Him is to love Him, and to know Him better is to love Him more.”
I can so relate to this quote. The more I know Him the more I want to know about Him. As sheep know their shepherd, I know Jesus – my Shepherd – and I love Him and all that He has done for me. I learn new things every day and as sheep to a shepherd, I trust Him to lead me in my journey of life.
So this is the first thing a sheep has to do is to get to know their shepherd. Do you know The Good Shepherd? He is waiting to get to know you more. When you allow Jesus into your heart, He will show you so many new things about Himself and how you can live safely under His care.
I will end this post here for now. However, I will continue this series of “The Good Shepherd and His Flock” over the next few days…. As long as God leads me, I will share with you. Thank you for reading and I challenge you to call out to Him who seeks you. He loves you and wants to know you. After all He calls you His beloved.
The Song – Thank You Lord – Don Moen