The Good Shepherd

Southaven, Ms

By: Mike Upchurch

In chapter 10 of the New Testament book of John, Jesus discusses the timeless profession of a shepherd.  He stated that sheep know the voice of their shepherd and they will follow him, but they won’t follow a stranger.  Of course, the role of a shepherd is vital to the sheep’s survival. They lead them to lush pastures for grazing, and lead them to water for refreshing. They lead the sheep to safety as well, and constantly protect them from wild predators.  Jesus declared in that same chapter that He is the “Good Shepherd”.  He stated that His sheep know His voice.  To those who will follow Him, He  will grant them the wonderful promise of eternal life and eternal security!

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”‭‭John‬ ‭10:27-28

Do you hear His voice?  Are you following Him?  Are you under the Good Shepherd’s care?  Are you at peace?  Do you feel safe?  Is your spirit being fed and watered? Are you refreshed in His presence?

 Or is your life instead continually filled with turmoil and stress?  Does danger lurk about you on every side, and do you see no help on the horizon?  If you’re not in lush green pastures of peace in your soul, and if you’re not drinking cool waters in your spirit to refresh you, then there could be an obvious yet alarming reason.  You may not currently be part of His flock!  Be assured I’m not talking about church attendance. You can be embedded in a Church serving faithfully, and still be separated from the Good Shepherd!  It’s about surrendering your will and not doing it your way.  It’s about obedience. And it’s about communion with Him.  I’m talking about being in constant fellowship with Jesus the Good Shepherd!

If your life is filled with trauma, is it due to the fact you’ve wandered away from Him?  Have you been out there on your own, doing whatever you wanted, and now your life is in peril and you have no protection or provision?  The real danger lies in the fact that there are predatory enemies outside the flock. The demons outside the fold would love to destroy you!  They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. They are setting traps for you, and if you’re outside the fold, there is no one to protect you!

 You might say “Pastor Mike, God loves me no matter what I do, and He will take care of me even if I’m living in sin and out of fellowship with Him.”

Wait… think that? 

Really??   Really???  

Perhaps you should reacquaint yourself with this warning from the prophet in Isaiah…..

“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.”‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭59:1-2 

What a terrible predicament to be in!  To be in a place where you don’t hear His voice and He doesn’t hear your cries!  Look around you… you see other sheep or do you only see wolves?  Do you see lush pastures or do you see barren wilderness?  You’re in danger!  Return to the flock!  Run back to the Good Shepherd! Let Him care for you and protect you and give you peace!

 There really IS comfort and true peace when you’re in the arms of the Good Shepherd.  There is no one who cares for you as He does. He laid down His life for you.  You’re never more loved than when you’re in His care.

 As you know, King David wrote of how the Lord was like a shepherd in caring for him and protecting him throughout his life.  David had been a shepherd himself, and easily drew the comparison between that profession and the Lord’s constant care…..

“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.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:1-6‬ ‭KJV

‬‬If you have strayed from the flock, it’s time to come home. You desperately need to be in the care of the Good Shepherd, someone who loves you so deeply.  He is waiting for you. He longs to comfort you and protect you and deliver you!  Run back to Him! You’ll be safe!  Let Him feed and water your soul! When you come home to Him, you’ll have eternal security!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike