Today I awoke to news about the police killed in Dallas by snipers. Heartbreaking! Not only because five police officers and one of the snipers were killed – senselessly – but because of the underlying hatred and hopelessness. So much pain!
I have been reading in John 10 about the Good Shepherd. Over the years, I’ve heard sermons that sheep are dumb and need a shepherd to lead them, but I have also learned that sheep are not as dumb as portrayed. They are independent (which sometimes gets them in trouble)… love cuddles… come when you call their name … and they can be traumatized when mistreated. I can relate! But sheep are lacking in a very crucial area… they are not good fighters… they can’t really defend themselves when attacked. That is one reason they are put into a “sheepfold” … a pen … at night. They have enemies who would love lamb chops for dinner.
Jesus said in verse 16, “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.” So… there are sheep out there somewhere being “taken care of” by who knows who! If the sheep recognize their “false shepherd’s voice”, they will follow… but where are they being led?
Jesus talks about the “gatekeeper” opening the gate to the “shepherd.” So, who is the gatekeeper? I believe that is our free will. We have the power to choose who we let in… or not. Jesus said He is the Good Shepherd… not the only shepherd. Whose voice are the sheep in the “other flocks” listening to? Who have the “gatekeepers” let in? Jesus explains. “All (shepherds) who have come before me are thieves and robbers… The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Many people are listening to “pseudo-shepherds”. They are trying to fight… the wrong enemy… with the wrong weapons. Ephesians 6:12 (NLT) tells us “we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies (of any color), but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”
These sheep have yet to hear the Good News … that there is a Good Shepherd Who loves them… Who will lead them to green pastures, with still waters… Who will protect them and guide them.
We must spread this Good News!
God, I realize I haven’t been following the right shepherd.
But I want that to change.
I believe that You, Jesus, are the Good Shepherd,
and that You take good care
where and how you lead your sheep.
I want to be one of Your sheep.
Thank You for calling me by name.
Thank You that You died for me
so that You can lead me to Your Father.
Thank You that You lead me
In paths of righteousness,
So I can lie down in green pastures,
Beside still waters,
And that Your rod and Your staff protect me.
And, thank you, that Your Goodness and Mercy
will follow me all the days of my life.