A Good Shepherd

A good shepherd

leads his sheep

 

He protects

guides

and sometimes carries those in his care

 

A good shepherd

corrects

wayward sheep

 

He uses his rod

and his staff

to discipline and guide

 

He knows what’s best

for those less knowing

 

Beautifully, that rod and that staff

comfort confused sheep

bringing security

 

A good shepherd

brings his sheep to places of rest

and nourishment

 

A good shepherd

protects his sheep from dangers

and predators

 

Even going to extremes for the sheep

possibly

 

dying

 

to protect

his flock

 

A good shepherd

knows his sheep

and his sheep know him

 

He stays so close

and is so familiar to them

that he can’t be mistaken

 

A Shepherd

is what we aimless ones need

 

Jesus, You are the only

True

Loving

Strong

Good

Shepherd

 

– Susie Stewart

 

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

– John 10:11 (NIV)

 

I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.

– John 10:10-13 (MSG)

 

I am the Good Shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me,

– John 10:14 (NLT)

 

And when the Chief Shepherd (Christ) appears, you will receive the [conqueror’s] unfading crown of glory.

– 1 Peter 5:4 (AMP)

 

For there was a time when you were like sheep that wandered from the fold, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your lives.

– 1 Peter 2:25 (VOICE)

 

Then Jesus made a circuit of all the towns and villages. He taught in their meeting places, reported kingdom news, and healed their diseased bodies, healed their bruised and hurt lives. When he looked out over the crowds, His heart broke. So confused and aimless they were, like sheep with no shepherd. “What a huge harvest!” He said to His disciples. “How few workers! On your knees and pray for harvest hands!”

– Matthew 9:35-37 (MSG)

 

The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
He leads me beside peaceful streams.
He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to His name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for You are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.

– Psalm 23:1-6 (NLT)

 

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The Pursuit

…the goodness and mercy of God isn’t just following after me placidly. The goodness and mercy of God pursues after me passionately…

God is so bent on blessing, He chases.

God’s not out to get you — He’s out to give to you.

And God’s blessings don’t pursue temporarily — but relentlessly.

It’s right there in His Word: His goodness and mercy pursue me not just some days — but all the days of my life.

When I’m in a wilderness, His mercy and goodness run after me.

When I’m hurting, His grace hunts for me.

When I’m plagued by problems, His goodness pursues me.

No matter where I go, He hasis two blessing men right there in hot pursuit: goodness and mercy, and no shadow of death can overshadow the goodness and mercy that shadows the child of God.

Even the discipline of the Lord can be a grace of the Lord and all the interruptions of a day can be the intercessions of Christ.

I whisper it to myself when it’s noon on the first day of the week and everything is closing in on me and I am already behind:

Whatever is chasing you — no matter what it looks like — it’s grace.Whatever is chasing you — no matter what it looks like — it’s grace.

And grace isn’t what makes us feel good: grace is all that makes us more like Jesus.

I can breathe deeper. I could smile. I don’t have to feel anything pressing on my chest — I could live relieved. Like I can re-live.

Because the real truth is: God wants to bless more than we want to be to be blessed. So why run from whatever God is giving? It’s only got to be for my ultimate good and His ultimate glory.

We don’t live in pursuit of a better life — it’s the blessed life that’s in pursuit of us.

It’s there on the counter, that open journal where I count gifts, and it may feel like I’m looking for goodness and mercy, but it’s grace and mercy that finds me.

No one chases grace — but grace chases everyone.

– Ann Voskamp

 

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

– Psalm 23:6 (ESV)

 

Surely goodness and mercy and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, And I shall dwell forever [throughout all my days] in the house and in the presence of the Lord.

– Psalm 23:6 (AMP)

 

Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me where I go, always, everywhere. I will always be with the Eternal, in Your house forever.

– Psalm 23:6 (VOICE)

 

Photo by Susie Stewart