Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, September 12, 2016
We are focusing on getting to know God from the perspective of John the beloved.
Today’s Scripture Focus: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,” (John 10:11–14, NLT).
He’s Watching Out For You
The care and protection Jesus gives for His people is almost unbelievable. Sometimes we are tempted to believe that He is not watching, or that He does not care. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Many are the ways that the Bible illustrates God’s loving care for us. The example of the Good Shepherd is most familiar to people, whether they are from the Judeo-Christian background or not.
Even irreligious people know this timeless psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” (Psalm 23).
Confidence And Rest In The Shepherd
This psalm bespeaks calm reliance upon God; confidence in His guidance in the face of death; trust in His righteousness; triumph over those who intend us evil, and the ultimate eternal rest in His presence.
The setting of our theme text takes the psalm a step further. It illustrates the fact that the Good shepherd actually gives His life for the sheep. The pathway to everlasting life is littered with so many obstacles and enemies. Sadly, some of the enemies look eerily trustworthy. They are hired to also protect the sheep, but sometimes they would rather satisfy self, than stand watch as expected (Isaiah 56:10-12). So when the wolf comes, the hired help runs for his life and leaves the sheep vulnerable.
Our only trust must be in the Lord. He loves us. He corrects us. He searches for us if we go astray. In this, we can find courage as we face the wolves on our jobs, on the roads, and even in our homes. Be at peace in His care. Is the Lord your Shepherd?