This is an inspirational Bible devotion
the Good Shepherd.
Note that this is Part 1
The Bible uses the word “shepherd” 80 times
and the word “sheep” 192 times.
The Bible frequently compares
God’s relationship to us
with the relationship of a shepherd to his sheep.
When Jesus wanted to express his dedication to us and his daily protection of us, he chose to use the picture of a shepherd with his sheep.
People of that day were very familiar with shepherds.
The audience Jesus was talking to gained a lot of understanding from this illustration.
For example, they understood the total dedication of a shepherd.
So when Jesus spoke about being the good shepherd in John chapter ten, the audience understood that a good shepherd had to always be on duty.
* Good shepherds protect their sheep from danger and provide healing for their sicknesses and wounds.
* Good shepherds are faithful leaders who guide their sheep toward green pastures where their flock can eat abundantly.
* Good shepherds lead their flock to pure still waters where they can drink peacefully.
* Good shepherds are watchful and always go and find those sheep who wander off.
Those listening to Jesus also knew a lot more about sheep than the average Christian does today.
So I’m going to give you some information about sheep, that people living in Bible days knew.
Phillip Keller is THE Best Source
for understanding a shepherd and his sheep.
Mr. Keller was a devoted Christian, and he was a shepherd for many years.
He has left us with many great books.
Viper holes were common in the Bible lands. Sheep would often put their nose right into a viper’s hole. Obviously that was not a great idea.
The people of Jesus’ day were able to understand so much from just picturing Jesus the good shepherd taking care of his sheep.
Today we can take the information I just gave and see similarities in our own lives. For example, the last thing I mentioned was sheep putting their nose in a viper hole. We are like sheep and often put our nose where it doesn’t belong!
As I continue to explain about sheep,
I encourage you to be open to the Holy Spirit to gain more information Jesus the Good Shepherd.
I believe the Holy Spirit will give you specific
to help make this teaching more helpful, personal, and relevant.
Sheep are fearful, insecure animals. They are afraid of many things - even running water will scare them. That is why Psalm 23 reminds us that a good shepherd will take the sheep beside the still waters.
Most of the people who listened to Jesus knew that sheep only drink from still water because sheep are afraid of noises.
If sheep don’t like the noise of running water,
you can imagine the panic they feel during a thunderstorm.
The only thing that calms a sheep down is hearing the voice of the shepherd. A loving shepherd will talk and sing and play instruments so that the sheep can hear that their shepherd is near.
We are like sheep.
We need to hear
the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
If we do not hear the Word of God regularly,
we are negatively affected.
Without regularly reading the Word of
we begin to slip into
negative emotions and behaviors
fear, restlessness, anxiety, tension, self-pity, or hardheartedness.
The more we hear the voice of our shepherd,
the more we renew our mind
and the more
we experience the peace that Jesus came to give us.
It takes time and dedication on our part
to put ourselves
in a place
to hear our loving shepherd.
We have to choose to do that.
For Part Two please click: The Good ShepherdAlso see: We are the sheep of his Pasture
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