Gathering as a community, in one place and under one name, is always a special experience. This past Sunday would be no exception, but the atmosphere was lined with a greater sense of passion and worship. We gathered to partake in communion as one body. It set the tone for a message that would bring us to encounter another aspect of who Jesus is in our lives.
“Nobody owes me anything. Jesus gave me everything.” – Rich Wilkerson, Jr.
Pastor Rich Wilkerson, Jr. continued in the collection of talks focused on the “I am” statements of Jesus. He encouraged us through John 10:11-18, where Jesus proclaimed “I am the Good Shepherd.” We learned that in following Jesus there are benefits only a Good Shepherd can provide his sheep through the journey.
A Good Shepherd provides these 3 things:
Sheep would not know where to go if it were not for a shepherd, they would eat through all of their resources without thinking of the dire consequences. We are like sheep. But Jesus is the Good Shepherd who directs our path and maximizes our resources. Psalm 23:1 says, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” It is not in our effort or striving, it is in his strength that we find purpose and destiny. As we follow Jesus we remove ourselves from worry or guilt, because he is in complete control.
Sheep can be led but still tend to wander away from the Good Shepherd. Without correction, we can end up far away from God. Regardless of where any single sheep can wander off, Jesus will go after it, and bring that lost sheep back to himself. Even if we end up in the darkest places, God will never leave us. God is more excited about celebrating the lost coming home than he is about punishing the lost for running away.
In the presence of the Good Shepherd there is protection. He will lead you through the valley. His rod and staff will comfort you (Psalm 23:4). Jesus is ready to protect and defend you from enemy attacks. He willingly laid down his life so that sin and the devil could no longer hurt you. There have been countless times where God has placed his hand over your life, even in moments you did not realize, to protect you from harm.
Today, allow Jesus to guide your footsteps and to be the Good Shepherd of your life. In him you will find direction, correction, and protection.
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