Posted in John, Matthew, Psalms

The Benefits of the Good Shepherd

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…” Psalm 23:1

In John 10 Jesus revealed that He was the good shepherd Psalm 23 was written about. There are three tremendous benefits in making the Lord our Shepherd:

  1. Security – Sheep are timid creatures and don’t eat or rest well when they’re afraid. When Jesus is truly our Shepherd we have somewhere to take our fears and can learn how to live our daily lives free from anxiety. “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil; Your rod and your staff they comfort me.” Through the forgiveness offered in the cross, Jesus takes away the fear of death by giving us eternal life now. Death becomes a promotion instead of an end and getting older no longer means we’re past our prime; we’re only getting closer to coming into it. In Christ, our best days are before us because we were created for eternity and not just time.
  2. Success – When the shepherd is not close by, sheep immediately form a butting order by which each sheep learns its place. Sheep won’t even lie down without the shepherd nearby because they’re afraid they’ll lose their place. The world’s definition of success is often about power, money, and fame, and it requires a lot of energy to protect one’s place. But Jesus redefines success for His people – “He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.” We only have to do the right thing in each situation we are in and live to honor His Name.  When we live to please God and make that our priority, “goodness and mercy will follow.” We always get in trouble when we seek God’s blessings instead of letting them follow us. Jesus said it this way: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
  3. Satisfaction – “My cup overflows.” Jesus said, “I came that you might have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) God’s idea was that witnessing would be a very natural outflow of our satisfaction in Him. Is it a burden to tell someone about a movie or book you loved? The witness is spontaneous because you want those who you love to experience the blessing that you enjoyed in watching or reading. George Mueller said, “I consider the first duty of every day is to get my soul happy in God.”  Let’s do the same!