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Blessed Jesus - Like A Shepherd Lead Us
 
"I dare not choose my lot;
I would not if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God;
So shall I walk aright." - Horatius Bonar
 
Many times, as we walk this narrow way, we are faced with decisions which require wisdom far beyond us. What do we do? Which way do we take? Which is the safest way - the most prosperous way? We cannot know this for we only live in the "now." We need Someone to help us Who holds the future in His hands - Someone Who knows the end from the beginning. Who is that Someone? His name is Jesus.  
 
God named us correctly. We are indeed sheep so desperately in need of a Shepherd. There is only one Who can tenderly care for, provide, and defend us. Jesus, the Savior of our souls, is the One.
 
The purpose of this message is to paint a fresh picture of Jesus as the Great Shepherd of His Sheep, and in doing so, to calm our fears and bring blessed rest to our souls.
 
Repeatedly, the Scriptures refer to the Lord Jesus as the "Shepherd" of His people - "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth His life for the sheep"(John 10:11).  Jesus is the faithful and true shepherd. He is willing to do all to protect and keep His sheep. The Scripture says that He - "giveth His life for the sheep. " This means to not fly or forsake the flock, especially in the sight of any wolves. The shepherd is to risk his own life, if need be, in order to defend the sheep against any predators. Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice for our sins. In doing so, He saved us from the greatest predator of all - Satan - who sought to destroy us.
 
John 10:14 says - "I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine." What qualifies Jesus as the "good shepherd"? None can be found Who is so tender, affectionate, and faithful to His flock. He said - "I...know My sheep." In other words, He approves of them. He knows their every need, desire, purpose in life, true character, dangers that they face, and circumstances which befall them. He knows everything there is to know about them. He is so personal. "I...am known of Mine." They, in turn, approve of Him and  acknowledge Him as their Father, Protector, and Guide.
 
1 Peter 2:25 says - "...the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls." Here Jesus is referred to as being a "Bishop." What does this mean? A "bishop" is an overseer,  inspector, or one assigned to have the oversight. He is the Supreme Pastor, Superintendent, and Guardian of His flock - the church. He is the overseer of their souls. That means that He watches over them with great care. They are continually in His view.  
 
Hebrews 13:20 says - "...that great shepherd of the sheep..." Why is the Lord Jesus referred to as "the great Shepherd of the sheep"?
Isaiah 40:11 gives us some insight - "He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." What an awesome picture this is! Where could we find such a tender and caring Shepherd as this One? He is so mindful of the sheep of His pasture. He feeds them and meets their every need...gathers them into His loving arms and carries them when they are young, weak, or in need of the assurance of His tender love...and leads them in the right paths - the prosperous ways where all will turn out to their greatest advantage.  
 
1 Peter 5:4 says - "And when the chief Shepherd shall appear..." Not only is the Lord Jesus a Shepherd, but He is the "Chief Shepherd." He is the example for all under-shepherds to follow. In John 13:15, He said - "For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." He is the Pastor of all pastors - if you will. They receive their orders from Him. They understand the requirements of their office by following His example. Their authority and power comes from Him. They are accountable to Him for how they tend His flock.
 
At the start of the eighteenth century, a prolific writer by the name of Dorothy A. Thrupp, who was born and raised in London, England, penned the words of the popular hymn called - "Savior, Like A Shepherd Lead Us." We are not told if there was a certain direction that Ms. Thrupp was needing at the time that she wrote this hymn, but her words indeed are inspired of the Holy Spirit and show forth the heartfelt desire of every child of God - needing wisdom and insight from above - in the major decisions of life. Perhaps this is why this hymn became so well-loved by all. We can relate to its words and meaning.
 
As we journey along this pilgrim's way, we are more aware of our great need for a Shepherd. We cannot make it on our own. We are weak and frail at times. We are limited in our knowledge. And we certainly cannot predict what the future has in store for us. Only God has that knowledge. That is why we so willingly and understandably surrender our all-in-all to Him and trust Him for His leading.
 
We are not promised tomorrow. We only have the present moment as our own to do with it as God ordains. Therefore, it is foolish to worry and fret about the future and what it holds for us and our children when we have such a "good shepherd" - a Guardian Who neither slumbers nor sleeps and keeps us as we journey along the way.  He has the grace and all the power to see us through any and every problem that we face. But we must be sure to seek Him early in our day, for the thief will certainly be waiting to steal our day from us if we let him.
 
Read the beautiful words of this hymn and sing along if you'd like. Let the Holy Spirit lift you up into the heavenlies as you reflect upon this wonderful Shepherd of shepherds - the Lord Jesus Christ -
 
"Savior, like a shepherd lead us; much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us; for our use Thy folds prepare;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are (repeat).
 
We are Thine - do Thou befriend us; be the Guardian of our way;
Keep Thy flock, from sin defend us; seek us when we go astray:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, hear, O hear us when we pray (repeat). 
 
Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful tho we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and pow'r to free:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, early let us turn to Thee (repeat). 
 
Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast loved us; love us still (repeat). 
 
Let's reflect on some of these words for a minute -
 
"Much we need Thy tender care" - How true this statement is! Psalm 23:1-3 tell us - "The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake." In a world in such a state of confusion, chaos, and pandemonium, we need the "still waters" for our souls. We live in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water and where there is a famine of the Word of God. We need the "green pastures" for nourishment for our souls.  
 
"Thou hast bought us; Thine we are" - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says - "...ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price..."
Song of Solomon 6:3 says - "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine..." Song of Solomon 7:10 adds - "I am my beloved's, and His desire is toward me."
 
"Hear, O hear us when we pray" - David was so thrilled whenever God answered his prayers. We should be, too. Psalm 116:1-2 says - "I love the LORD, because He hath heard my voice and my supplication. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live." What a privilege is ours to take everything to God in prayer and then, in turn, to have Him answer us.
 
"Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace and pow'r to free" - We need never be afraid to approach the Lord on any issue. No sin should keep us away from Him - not when He has the mercy and grace to forgive us and the power to restore us. No situation is too hard for the One Who has All the Power in heaven and in earth. He can set us free from any chains, snares, or bondages of the devil.
 
What a Shepherd the Lord Jesus is for His sheep!
He is the "good shepherd," the "great shepherd," and the "chief Shepherd."
 
Psalm 100:3 declares  - "...we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture."
 
Are you in need of guidance and wisdom today? Have you come to a fork in the road, so to speak, and do not know which way to turn? Have things come to a standstill in your life, and you have no idea what is happening or what to do next?
 
You have a Shepherd who cares for you. Be encouraged today. He loves you...will take care of you...and lead, guide, instruct, and teach you. He will inform you as to which step to take next. Don't be afraid.
 
In closing, take this promise as a Word from God to you this day -
 
Jeremiah 29:11 says - "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
 
"...Blessed Lord and only Savior,  with Thy love our bosoms fill:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast loved us, love us still.
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast loved us, love us still."
 
May God Bless His Word.
Connie