Following the Good Shepherd
gives us many advantages in life.
The Creator of this world has created us to love him
and fashioned us to need him.
This is Part Two of a Two Part Teaching.
For Part One click: Shepherd
An earthly shepherd insists that the sheep stay close enough to him to hear his voice.
But Jesus doesn’t force us to stay close to him.
We have a choice each day to put ourselves in a position to hear the voice of the shepherd or not.
But as for me, I get as close to him as I can! I have chosen him and I will tell everyone about the wonderful ways he rescues me.
Psalm 73:28 TLB
Sheep do not easily follow a shepherd. For a sheep to follow a shepherd, the sheep has to bond to the shepherd. This is done by spending time with the shepherd.
Until sheep spend personal time with their shepherd
(and come to love him and trust him)
they will resist following him.
So a shepherd spends individual time with each sheep. He is affectionate toward each one. They each have a name and a special place in the shepherd’s heart.
We are like sheep in that we do not easily follow a shepherd. We do not easily follow Jesus the Good Shepherd and his Bible teachings. We frequently try to rationalize or ignore the Bible verses that we don’t like. Until we spend quality time reading the Bible and praying to our shepherd, we will not choose to follow him in those difficult spiritual growth areas that our shepherd is leading us toward.
People like sheep, do not know how to get food on their own – here I am talking specifically about spiritual food. People do not know how to get spiritual food on their own. Lots of harmful things look good to us. If we are not full of God’s Word, we will follow many dangerous and immoral paths.
This is obvious in the sexual arena. People easily fall into thinking that they have lots of perfectly acceptable choices about their sexual life. But that is not true. Our good shepherd calls to us to follow him and his biblical principles in order to have life and have it more abundantly.
We are spiritually defenseless without the guidance and the covering of Jesus the good shepherd. I mentioned that sheep fall down and get over on their back and cannot get up by themselves. We easily get tripped up in this life and find ourselves down and unable to get ourselves up again. During those times, we are frequently tempted to turn to addictions and relationships that are bad for us - unless we have bonded to the good shepherd and are regularly following his leadership.
Sheep naturally lack wisdom in who to follow.
If one sheep starts wondering off, others will easily follow. We are like sheep. We easily follow our friends and popular people. We need to make sure we do not follow people who are wandering away from Jesus the Good shepherd.
If we follow those people, they will bring trouble into our life and take us to places that are not good for us.
Every person in our life creates a peer pressure pull toward us. Some people make us feel good about serving and obeying God. Others, who are not faithful to Jesus, will make us feel embarrassed, inferior, or unintelligent if we follow Jesus. It is important to spend time with people who will encourage us to follow Jesus.
Like sheep, we all too often give in to unhealthy peer pressure.
We must bond to our Good Shepherd and reject the guidance of those who are not faithful to Jesus our Good Shepherd. We must love Jesus so much that rejection from those who don’t follow him will not sway us.
To quickly sum up….
My last point is an important one.
Jesus is the good shepherd to HIS sheep. Jesus will not force us to be HIS sheep. We have to choose him as our shepherd.
We have to intentionally bond to Jesus.
When we spend lots of time with our Savior
through reading his Word,
we begin to love his voice and his leadership.
The closer we stay to our shepherd the more we become like him.
It is good for me to draw near to God.
Copyright © 2012 Beth McLendon of Inspirational-Prayers.com
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