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The art of being a sheep (1)

24 November 2023 ‘The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.’ Psalm 23:1 NIV

Have you ever tried to memorise Psalm 23, or learnt about it in Sunday School? The vivid visual images remain with us lifelong. Author Hannah Whitall Smith said, ‘What we all need is just to get back into the nursery again, and take up our childish verses once more, and, while reading them with the intelligence of our grown-up years, to believe them with all our old childish faith.’ As we grow up, we can become weary, and lose that simple, child-like joy that stress-filled lives need to experience. So we need to remember these three things: 1) Who our shepherd is – ‘The Lord’. He’s the source of everything we’ll ever need, beginning with salvation. Jesus said: ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep’ (John 10:11 NKJV). 2) What the shepherd’s job is – protector and provider for the sheep. And He knows how to handle wayward, headstrong, vulnerable sheep and care for them. Long before Jesus came as our shepherd, the Father said, ‘I will rescue [my flock] and no longer let them be mistreated…I will give you a shepherd from the family of my servant King David…All of you, both strong and weak, will have the same shepherd, and he will take good care of you’ (Ezekiel 34:22-23 CEV). 3) What the sheep’s job is – to trust the shepherd completely. Attempting to do His job will exhaust and defeat us. We must believe ‘with all our old childish faith’ that Jesus is a dependable, committed, and capable shepherd – and then act like we believe it. Knowing that His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives lifts our present worries and chases away all our future concerns.

Archive

Try to be more flexible Monday 26 February
Armed for spiritual warfare (3) Sunday 25 February
Armed for spiritual warfare (2) Saturday 24 February
Armed for spiritual warfare (1) Friday 23 February
Don’t doubt God Thursday 22 February
Hypocrisy Wednesday 21 February
The ‘most important’ thing Tuesday 20 February

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