Wednesday, April 22

Joyce Meyer Today - Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd

Once when I was doing a study of the 23rd Psalm, I read a book about shepherds. In it I learned a lot about the special relationship between a shepherd and his sheep. A shepherd is a manager and a caretaker. He is the owner of his sheep…and he loves them.

Earmarked

One thing I learned is that a shepherd marks his sheep with an instrument called a “killing knife.” Now, it may not sound very loving, but understand that sheep do not instinctively take care of themselves. It may hurt them, but the shepherd knows the temporary pain is ultimately good for the sheep. So, he makes a distinct mark in their ear that identifies them as his own and cares for them almost like children.
As Christians we are “marked” by the Holy Spirit. In much the same way, many of the trials and tests we go through can be quite painful while “killing” the flesh. However, the Holy Spirit knows what He is doing in us is working toward our spiritual maturity. The question is, which do you think is worse: the pain of change or the pain of never changing?
In John 10:11(AMP), Jesus says, I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep. There is so much we can learn about our relationship with Christ from the lesson about shepherds and sheep.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

In the first verse of Psalm 23, David says, The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing (NIV). He lacked nothing because he knew that God was with him, always working in his life, changing and maturing him. It doesn’t mean that we will always have every little thing we want. But while we are waiting on things we’re praying and believing God for, we can be content knowing that He is always with us and will provide exactly what we need.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters. This is talking about entering the rest of God. Not resting from activity…but resting in activity. In other words, there is a peace that comes from trusting in the ability and power that God gives us to do what He’s called us to do. It is this rest that causes us to step out in faith and do great things in His name. It’s faith in God’s faithfulness. Are you asking God to do great things through you? Then learn to rest in Him.

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