the LORD is my shepherd; i shall not want.

    he makes me lie down in green pastures.

he leads me beside still waters.

[psalm 23:1-2]

being a shepherd is no easy job. the shepherd:

  • leads the sheep both day and night

  • protects the flock

  • provide for all the sheep’s needs

it’s dirty… smelly… and exhausting. yet this is the job with which our Savior associates himself.

the following verses provide more clarity about our Shepherd:

the good, sacrificial shepherd

[Jesus speaking to the jews]

“i am the good shepherd. the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” – john 10:11

the ultimate provider

[paul speaking to the philippians after he receives their gift]

“… and my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – philippians 4:19

the sustainer of rest

[Jesus speaking to the crowds]

“come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and i will give you rest. take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for i am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” – matthew 11:28-30

the living water

[Jesus talking with the woman at the well]

“Jesus said to her, “everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that i will give him will never be thirsty again. the water that i will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” – john 4:13-14

the shepherd must ensure that the pastures are good quality so that the sheep are not malnourished. he also finds water that is still, because he does not want any rushing water to scare the sheep.

Jesus offers us the bread of life and his living water to sustain us as we sojourn this side of heaven. he invites us to turn to him when we are scared of the darkness around us. what a grace it is that our Savior even offers himself to us in this way! hallelujah!

let philippians 4:4-7 be your anthem today:

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.

~ jm