As lost sheep need a physical shepherd, so we need a spiritual shepherd.
It is an old analogy, an old illustration that most of us understand even in this technological day. Sheep have a very poor sense of physical direction; and we as human being have even a poorer spiritual sense of direction.
That is why we need a Shepherd today. The world needs a Good Shepherd today.
Because you are reading this article I assume that you are a reader and perhaps have heard this story before; but it is one worth repeating and the perhaps you did not hear the end of the story.
In the middle of WWI an unexpected cease fire peace broke out. Do you remember the story? It was Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1914. The truce between the Germans and the British troops started when German troops began to sing “Silent Night, Stille Nacht” as the sun went down. As they sang, they decorated the trees around their fox holes with candle light. As the song pierced through the air, the British troops were moved by the singing and they began to sing carols of the birth of Christ too. As the evening progressed, people became more bold in their show of Christmas cheer. Christmas greetings began to be shared across enemy lines, some even became more bold, crossing the no-man’s-land to bring presents to their enemies. The rejoicing went on, the celebration continued through the night and on into Christmas Day.
But what I most people hadn’t heard is even more amazing.
As the ad hoc Christmas-ceasefire took hold, each side also made a point to care for their soldiers who had died in the previous days’ battles. Funerals and proper burials were organized for both sides, and here it comes, this is what amazed me, a common song went up among both the German and the British troops. The Song “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me down to lie, in pastures green he leadeth me, to quiet waters by.”
The Good Shepherd filled truce continued to spread across other lines, into other fox holes and trenches. Soon the whole war machine was at a standstill. There were even rumors of soccer games breaking out amongst those who just days earlier were firing bullets to kill. In some places they say, that truce lasted right up to New Year’s Day. Unfortunately, new troops, new orders eventually broke the peace. The next year, commanders ordered the troops to bomb each other on Christmas Eve to make sure that such a peace didn’t break out again.
Now, I’m not naïve to believe that we don’t need policeman, soldiers, generals, politicians. They exist in a sinful world to keep all hell from breaking loose. And, I’m glad when they do the hard work that prevents that from happening.
But, what made that peace happen? What caused those enemies to see, even just for a moment, that they were brothers? It wasn’t their nationality, or their economic standing, or even their persuasive personalities. They barely possessed the clothes on their backs, and they were probably more fearful than fearless. The power of that peace was the Prince of Peace, the Prince of Peace Who bonded enemies together, even for a moment. The Good Shepherd and His voice, His call to His people helped overcome real enmity, real hatred.
We all need a personal Shepherd to give us abundant life and lead us to heave.. The world needs a shepherd to keep all hell from breaking loose and remind us that we are created beings made in His image.
Listen to Jesus as he speaks in John chapter 10.
“The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own by name and leads them out. I am the Good Shepherd!”
The Bible is clear. All people in this world need the Good Shepherd because we all like sheep so easily go astray.. He says in essence, “You not only need Me because you are lost; you need Me because there are literally forces out their in the world seeking to destroy your soul. Lost Sheep are vulnerable to thieves and robbers. They need protection, they need to be saved, they need to be blessed and led. They need a Shepherd.
But, amazingly, that’s the one thing that many people don’t think they need today. They often think that just a bit more money will solve the problem, maybe just the loss of a few pounds, or maybe just a little common sense advice and we can handle the rest.
If you don’t feel that you are spiritually lost without God, let the God’s Ten Commandments whisper in your ear. Who do you know who has ever obeyed those 100% of the time; every minute, every day.Just try to love your spouse, your friend, your neighbor, even your enemy the way that Jesus loves you, at all times, in all circumstances. It won’t take long to feel the weight of your inadequacies and failures. You’ll sense pretty quickly that not only do you fail to measure up to God’s standards; most of us don’t even measure up to our own because we are like sheep that are always going astray.
While it’s hard on one’s ego and to think of themselves as a sheep, it is even more dangerous to deny that like sheep, “we have all gone astray.” When sheep over-confidently go it alone, they are vulnerable to the wolf, to the elements, and even to their own inability to find their way home.
When I listen to some of the arrogant talk that exists in our world today, it sounds a lot like sheep talk. It sounds like people vulnerable to their own arrogance.
When people say that the world just happened; no God, morals, no absolutes; that conscience and love and joy and peace all just happened, is as silly as looking for the shadow of the wind. It’s silly sheep talk.
Jesus makes it very clear that not only are we like sheep, who need a Shepherd, The good news is that He is the Good Shepherd; your shepherd, my shepherd if we ask Him to be. He is the One Who cares about us even more than we can care for ourselves. There is danger in this world, there is trouble in this world, but thankfully there is a Shepherd in this world calling out to all those who will listen, ”Follow Me, Trust Me!
Let the Good Shepherd bless you today. Admit to yourself that you are a sheep in need of this Good Shepherd. There are no exceptions; all of us need to know, all of us need to admit, to believe that we are not in this alone. The most powerful confession you can make today whether you are a business man or a business woman, a husband, wife, or child, teacher, salesperson, president, king, queen or just a hard-working Joe or Josephine, all of us need the life and salvation that only God can give. All of us need to know love and laughter, joy, and victory over struggle. We need to know that Someone who really cares. We need someone who has been through it all and can lead and guide us through this maze called life to the abundant life that only God can give! We need a Shepherd.
Here’s The Good News
If you are spiritually, emotionally exhausted, having tried every way that you know how to get a grip on life, if you have been run over by the kinds of struggles that tend to overwhelm us all, if you are a person who feels like there is no way you will ever be able to overcome your past, let alone have hope for the future, if you know deep in your heart that you need a Shepherd! Good. You have a Shepherd, Jesus Christ is His name Trust in Him.
Jesus is bold in His claim. He doesn’t just claim to be a Shepherd; He claims to be the Shepherd, the Good Shepherd, that you can trust, the One you can follow.
Every one of us want to follow someone we can fully trust; someone who is honest with us at all times, even if it the truth makes us feel uncomfortable.
It’s like when you try to make an important purchase in your life. I don’t care if it is a car, a house, or a pair of shoes. I want to deal with someone who talks straight to me, who answers the questions that I have because they’re trying to really help me. I detest it when I’m dealing with a salesperson, who won’t answer my questions, don’t you? You know, you ask a specific question and they always give you an answer that has nothing to do with what you just asked. Their answers always avoid the problems and merely highlight the benefits you already knew. I don’t trust someone who won’t deal with me in a straightforward manner.
Jesus says, “I call My sheep by name, I lead them out.”
The Good Shepherd, He is the only One who knows you better than you know yourself. That is why you can trust Him with your life!
The Shepherd also slept with the sheep. He slept in the door way of the pen so that the sheep were protected by him. Now, I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t call sleeping with sheep, the highlight of the shepherd’s job! But, if I’m a sheep, I sure would want a shepherd like that. The Good Shepherd was always right there where the sheep need Him to be, no matter what the cost to Him. Likewise our Good Shepherd doesn’t bark orders from afar. He gets right in the middle of our lives, no matter how messed up they are at the moment, no matter how foul the smell, no matter how difficult the struggle. He comes right there; right there to lead us out to His abundant life!
And the news gets greater still. He doesn’t just ‘get in the mix’ of our lives, He is willing to lay down His life so that God’s abundant life might be ours, as a gift. Most people wouldn’t risk their lives for an insignificant sheep and many people, sadly, wouldn’t even give their lives for a fellow human being.
Jesus, God in human flesh, is not only willing to give His life for wayward sheep. This Good Shepherd literally gave His life on the cross so that you could be brought back into the fold of God’s grace. Trust him!
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He is calling you to follow Him today. You can trust Him amidst danger, you can be confident of His continued care. You can trust Him when He says that He can lead you to green pastures, quiet waters, and abundant life.
He’s calling you to follow Him because He has made the way for you already, as only the Good Shepherd can do.
He’s already made a way for life, for you no matter what you’re facing today. If there is fear, He’s faced it; a temptation, He’s overcome it; real rejection, He’s endured it; intimidation, threats, He’s stood them down. He’s literally overcomes the gates of Hell for you so that you might have life in Him. Only the Good Shepherd can do that. He’s calling you to follow Him, to trust the path that He has fashioned for you, for your life in Him.
When sheep successfully follow a shepherd through difficult terrain or through dangerous territory, you’ll often see the hoof print of the sheep in the middle of the footprint of the shepherd. When a wise, courageous, loving Shepherd is leading the way, trusting sheep follow His every move for their very lives.
Beneath me: green pastures
Beside me: still waters
With me: my Shepherd
Before me: a table
Around me: mine enemies
After me: goodness and mercy
Beyond me: the house of the Lord
Ask Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd to become Your Personal Shepherd and Savior Today.
He’s Only a Prayer Away!