June 29: Shepherd

Read Psalm 23:1-6

This week, we are digging a little deeper into some of the many names of Jesus. The name of “Great Shepherd” became so much more real to me 6 years ago. In May of 2012, I was a part of a group that traveled to Israel. Over the course of about a week, we walked where Jesus walked, saw the sights of ancient Israel and witnessed the personification of the teachings of Jesus. How more real is the story of the lame man being dropped through a hole in the roof when you are standing outside of the very house where that event took place?

On May 26, my birthday, we found ourselves sitting on a hill overlooking the Shepherd’s Field (the field where the angel appeared to the shepherds to tell of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2). Here, our pastor and tour guide walked us through Psalm 23. The immediate object illustration, coupled with his own experience of being a shepherd, made this chapter in Psalm that much more meaningful to me.

What influenced me the most was his comparison between us and sheep. When you read Psalm 23 in the context of us, you begin to see the true meaning behind the passage. Now sheep aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. Reading about the dependence of the sheep to their shepherd causes me to see how much we, like sheep, are completely lost without our Shepherd.

Shepherding isn’t something that can be a hobby…it’s a full time job. These sheep need 24/7 care. They run away, hurt themselves and need constant protection. Similarly, we need the support and leadership of Jesus in our lives.

My challenge to you is this: read through Psalm 23 and note the many ways in which David describes the care, love and protection that God offers us. Allow these six verses to influence the way you view, not only trials and tribulations, but living in general.

God is always a loving Shepherd caring for His sheep. He is with you when you walk through “the valley of death”. When darkness surrounds you, you are not alone. He is always there caring for you and leading you to deliverance. Allow this Psalm to be your prayer. Live in the comfort and under the guidance of Christ.

JL

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