"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
John 10:11 (NRSV)
Prodigal Thoughts: In John’s gospel, Jesus is speaking to those around him about something they would completely understand. According to an article on thefrontporch.org , a shepherd is a person who tends, herds, feeds, and/or guards herds of sheep.
I can honestly admit that I personally don’t know anyone who is an actual shepherd in the literal sense, but I don’t think this is what Jesus is talking about here. Not only is he talking about the life that he leads, but for us, he is speaking on the responsibility we have as His followers to live lives of spiritual awareness and self-sacrifice. In order to protect the flock, one has to be aware of what predatory animals might be lurking about, as well, what kind of terrain will have to be navigated and if there are any dangers or snares ahead that could split up the flock or harm them. Since a shepherd also tends to and feeds the flock, a good shepherd will know what his/her sheep need (not necessarily want) and where they can be led to feed.
So, who is a shepherd? Like I mentioned, I don’t know anyone that is a professional shepherd, but if you have any family or friends that look to you for guidance or influence, if you are responsible (emotional, financial, physical, spiritual, etc) for anyone other than just yourself, then you would fit into the category of a shepherd. Over and over in the scripture, we are reminded that we are not our own, but those that have received Christ and desire to live their lives for Him, we belong to God. In a sense, we are following Jesus and we are helping to lead others toward Him as well. Considering this mindset, what are some things we can do today to help lead and guide others toward the love and hope of Christ? How are we living so that others see the grace of God and are drawn to Him who created us?
Prayer for today: Today, I pray that we would ask God to reveal to us how we can live for His glory and grace that will lead others to Him. That we would be spiritually aware and that we would rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in our lives as we seek to live out the example of Jesus. I pray that we would continually make room for God to move in and through our lives as we seek holiness. May our heavenly Father be constantly glorified in His followers, His children.
Need prayer? You can reply here or you can send me a facebook message through the Prodigal Thinker page. If this encourages you, feel free to share it. Feel free to reply with feedback as well. I’m always open to discussion.
God’s grace on you…