Who is God? God is a Good Shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
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
Our God is a Good Shepherd. He loves, leads, nourishes, protects, provides, blesses, and welcomes into His home. What a beautiful truth.
Re-read this Psalm several times. Go through it slowly, line by line. Savor each truth and meditate on what it reveals about God. What might God be trying to teach you by reminding you that He is a Good Shepherd?
How does this truth transform your relationship with God? Write down in a journal all that you are hearing and learning from the Lord, and some next steps for how to live it out.
What has He done? The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason, the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” – John 10:7-18
Yesterday, we let our hearts listen to the truth that God is a Good Shepherd. Today, we remember the glorious truth that Jesus is this Good Shepherd. He demonstrates His goodness by laying down His life for His sheep. He did this of His own accord, not out of compulsion or force, but out of His love for us His sheep! He pursues us, cares for us, guides us, and comes to lead us to life, and life abundant.
Take ten minutes or longer to let this truth settle into your heart. What might God be trying to teach you by reminding you that He is the Good Shepherd and has laid His life down for you?
Rejoice that you are not alone but belong to Jesus, the Good Shepherd! Write down in a journal all that you are hearing and learning from the Lord, and some next steps for how to live it out.
Who are we? We are the people of His pasture!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. – Psalm 95:7
This week we have been learning that our God is a Good Shepherd and willingly laid down His life for us, His sheep. Today, we embrace our identity as the people of His pasture. We belong to Him and are nourished by Him. We are reminded that as individuals, we are loved by our Good Shepherd, but also that sheep are a part of a flock! The Church is the flock of God; we belong to Him, we trust Him, we follow Him, and we bind closer and closer together as we grow closer and closer to our Shepherd!
Take ten minutes or longer to let this truth settle into your heart. What might God be trying to teach you by reminding you you are His sheep and a part of His flock?
How could your relationship with God and others be changed by realizing that you are both loved individually but also a part of His beloved flock? Write down in a journal all that you are hearing and learning from the Lord, and some next steps for how to live it out.
How do we live? We point one another to the Good Shepherd.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
This week we have meditated on the truth that God is our Good Shepherd and He laid down His life for us, the people of His pasture. Today, we look to respond to this truth by being both sheep and mini-shepherds. As mini-shepherds, our role is to point one another to our true and Chief Shepherd – Jesus! We are to be a people that encourage one another and build each other up with the truth and love of Jesus. As we point one another and the lost to our Good Shepherd, we get to be a part of growing and tending to His flock. He shepherds others through us. Amazing! We get to be a part of His work.
Take ten minutes or longer to let this truth settle into your heart. Imagine what a community that shepherded one another as God shepherded them would look like. What would change in your life if you saw yourself both as a part of God’s flock, and also as a mini-shepherd sent to point to the Good Shepherd?
How might God be inviting you to encourage and build up others in your life? Write down in a journal all that you are hearing and learning from the Lord, and some next steps for how to live it out.
True Gratitude: Rejoice in the Lord!
Once again, we will focus on the passage below as we grow in practicing thanksgiving, contentment, and celebration. It is a beautiful passage and this is a great opportunity to practice memorization.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. – Philippians 4:4-9
Today we rejoice in all the truth and promises we learned, received, heard, and saw in Jesus this week! We give thanks for the truth of God, the gospel, our new identity, and the freedom to trust and obey the One who gives life.
Thanksgiving & Adoration:
Take time today to think of all you have to thank God for and thank Him for it. Write these in your journal, pray them out loud, and praise Him for the truths that have transformed you even this week!