Focus on God
GOD THE GOOD SHEPHERD

Two portions of scripture are widely known by many
people.  First,
John 3:16.  "For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."  
Children are taught early to memorize this wonderful
truth.  Psalm 23 is also very popular.  It gives a
beautiful picture, both of a God who cares completely
and of his sheep completely at peace.

The Psalmist David describes God's care as providing
nourishment, guidance,
protection, and the abundance
that comes when
confidence is placed in him.  We hang
on to this scripture as our own personal statements of
faith through the good and bad of life.

To take the theme to a more intimate level, we turn to
John 10 where Jesus said that the Good Shepherd is
none other than himself.  We can put a name to the
shepherd of Psalm 23.  He is Jesus Christ, the Creator
of all that is.  The one who carefully formed you and I,
the one who thinks about us, the one who gave himself
to purchase our salvation, is the wonderful Good
Shepherd.

We could easily be tempted into dwelling on the great
things that the Good Shepherd does but let's, for a
moment, just think about his person.

Sandwiched between scripture about His deity is this
passage in John 10:1-18.  Jesus is not just a good
shepherd as opposed to a slothful incompetent
shepherd.  He is God.  He is the ultimate shepherd.  He
has no rival.  If we can trust and have confidence in
anyone, it is Jesus Christ.  Can we even trust
ourselves?  We don't have the knowledge, wisdom, and
love that would match God's.  He is the one we can
safely run to and cling to.

When challenged by life situations, we can draw closer
to the good shepherd.  Even better we can just remain
close to him all the time.  By keeping near him, we will
not only be safe, but we will keep ourselves from
wandering into lonely and dangerous terrain.

The thing that overwhelms me about God the Good
Shepherd is that he is with me.  As his lamb, I have the
assurance of his unending presence.  Like Paul the
apostle, you and I can joyously proclaim, "what can
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord". (Romans 8:39)  This Lord is the Good
Shepherd.
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