John 10:16 (NLT) – I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
“Jesus says, there are ‘other sheep’ that do not come from this sheepfold…They too will recognize Jesus’ voice and follow him, so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. This is Jesus’ vision for the unity of the church….For the first time, Jesus is anticipating in detail the wider scope of his ministry to reach the world.” [Gary Burge, NIVAC, p. 292]
Let’s take time to thank God for inviting us to live with greater purpose than just ourselves. Although we are his sheep constantly in need of his protection and care, we are also invited to join with him in bringing “other sheep” into the fold. This is our ultimate calling in the Lord.
Prayer: “Lord, thank you for sharing your heart with us. Would you stretch our hearts to love others like you do? May your love be evident in us, as we seek to embody Christ in our cities, communities, workplaces, and campuses. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
John 10:4b-5, 14-15a (NIV) – His sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice…I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
“We have already learned that sheep ‘know’ the shepherds voice (10:4), but now we learn that this knowledge is mutual and exhaustive (10:14). Moreover, the model for this intimacy is the mutual knowledge shared between the Son and the Father – and here Jesus slips out of the parable and speaks directly of himself and God. His profound relationship with God characterizes the intimacy he seeks with his followers, as he and the Father share profound love, so too Jesus and his flock share this quality of love.” [Gary Burge, NIVAC, 291]
Prayer: “Lord, thank you for the cross. Because you willingly laid your life down for us, we have access to the Father and can have an intimate relationship with you. Help us to hear your voice as you lead our churches, missional groups, and campuses. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Ezekiel 34:12 (NIV) – As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness.
“John’s picture of Jesus as the good shepherd has particular strong resonance with the depiction of God as shepherd of the people of Israel in Ezekiel 34. There God’s sheep are said to be scattered, becoming food for wild animals, because they had untrustworthy shepherds…God indicts these worthless shepherds for the failures, announcing that he himself will shepherd his people, gather them from the various lands to which they have scattered.” [Marianne Meye Thompson, New Testament Library: John, p. 58]
One of the primary tasks of a shepherd is to gather his sheep, especially if they have been scattered. At times, we may feel that our lives are scattered and in disarray as well. Instead of relying on ourselves, let’s turn to Christ and rely on the Spirit’s power to make us whole.
Prayer: “Lord, I turn to you. Help me not depend on my self-sufficiency any longer. Thank you that you are our rescuer. Bring our scatters thoughts and lives back into order. We are unable without your breakthrough in our lives. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Psalm 23:1 (NLT) – The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.
“The bold confession, ‘I AM is my shepherd,’ establishes an intimate I-Thou relationship between I AM and the individual Israelite; asserts the individual’s total dependence upon God’s goodness and kindness to care for him; and entails that his relationship is based on loving trust.” [Bruce Waltke, The Psalms as Christian Worship: A Historical Commentary, p. 437]
Are you restless, tired, or in want? Do you feel like you if you just had X, things would be better? The truth is that God is our shepherd. Because of this, we are covered. We have everything that we need. We lack absolutely nothing. Even more, our relationship with God is built on loving trust. When we put all our trust in him, he leads us to peaceful streams and our cups overflow! Today, God invites us again to experience satisfaction in his presence. Let’s find contentment in Christ and Christ alone.
Prayer: “Lord, you are my shepherd. I have everything that I need. Help me to fix my eyes on you and to trust your ways. You have blessed me so much, and in more ways than I can count. May I be fully satisfied in you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Let’s worship to “Psalm 23 (Surely Goodness, Surely Mercy)” by Shane & Shane.