Friday, May 20, 2011

My Shepherd

As I looked out from the kitchen window yesterday, I watched a lamb, half-grown by now, wander up the hill, it's coat smeared with mud and filth diluted by rain.  Our sheep trail through the pasture keeping their own schedule of grazing, masticating, and resting--accompanied by a lone Holstein, his black and white contrast visible above the fresh green grass.  Years of working with and enjoying them make passages like this both personal and meaningful:

John 10:1-21
v. 14-15:  I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Impression:  My relationship with Jesus and the Father is based on His care for me and the giving of His life for me, the sheep.  The dumb, unworthy, filthy, wretched little sheep.  Why would a shepherd die for a sheep?  Sheep are many.  They can easily be replaced.  They  are quite useless to the shepherd—they do not protect him or serve him or do things to make his job easier.  They are simply His charge, they are at His mercy.  They are cared for because of the affection of the shepherd or a charge given.  Nor more, no less.

Application:  What a great God!  To love and care and bless and lead us apart from benefit to Himself; in spite of our tendency to wander, to get lost, and hurt, and dirty, and into trouble.  There is no justification for His saving grace apart from Himself—His love and mercy.  The Lord is  my shepherd, I shall not want….

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