Psalm 100:3-4 - Know that the LORD, He is God! It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His Name!
God made us. We are His people. In Christ we have been created anew, and God's Word describes our new life in different ways. We are disciples, children of light, "more than conquerors," sons and daughters of God, citizens of the kingdom of heaven and—"the sheep of His pasture."
Sheep are useful creatures, providing meat, milk, and wool. Yet even with these useful qualities, sheep do not always enjoy a good reputation. However undeserved these unflattering descriptions may be, sheep can wander off and become lost. They are easy prey for predators. Sheep need constant care under the watchful eye of their shepherd, who leads them to water and pasture, defends them from thieves and wolves, sees that they are sheared of their fleece, cares for those that are ill, and helps with newborn lambs. A word used to describe a human trait, "sheepish," is not necessarily flattering either. It means that the individual is meek and timid or, according to a dictionary definition, indicates that a person is embarrassed because of a perceived fault.
Unflattering reputation aside, sheep do know some things. Sheep recognize and follow the voice of their shepherd; they will run from other voices that call to them. While they may wander now and then, they learn to follow where their shepherd leads. We are God's sheep and, along with our fleecy friends, we know some things, too. Even the word sheepish may apply since, moved by the Holy Spirit, we are aware—in repentant humility—of our many sins and faults. We know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd who gathers us to Himself and forgives our sins. We recognize our Shepherd's voice in the Word and we know that He loves and cares for us. He leads us to the green pastures of His Word and refreshes us with the living waters of His Spirit. Jesus is not only our Shepherd, He is also the only Door, the only Way, into the eternal safety of His sheepfold. We run from the tempting voices that try to lure us away and, when we wander into sin, the Shepherd calls us, His sheepish, repentant sheep, back to Himself.
We know, too, that our Good Shepherd Jesus laid down His life to save us and then took up His life again in triumph over every foe that threatens His precious flock. We know we are loved and that our Shepherd will keep us in His care, now and for all eternity. He has promised, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand" (John 10:27-28).
WE PRAY: Jesus, my Shepherd, forgive my sins and keep me in Your care now and forever. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Why might people cringe at seeing themselves as sheep in need of a shepherd?
2. Jesus, the Great Shepherd, speaks, and His sheep hear Him. How does He speak to us today?
3. Is there a bit of genius in God casting our relationship as sheep to a shepherd? Does this idea help uncomplicate things for those of us who are prone to wander and get lost?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"