Monday, January 25, 2010

The Future

Detouring today into the book of John which we are doing with small group on Sunday nights. We are going over some passages which have always been a comfort and encouragement to me. In fact it reminded me of a post I had written a few years ago. 
 So, I pulled it up, dusted it off to re-post because, 
                                                       well, I just think it is a worthy reminder.  
What do you know about shepherds? I challenge you to do some reading about them as it is fascinating learning. There is so much more to the analogy of the Lord is my shepherd after reading first hand accounts and descriptions of what shepherds actually do.
Anyway, Jesus gives us a short lesson in John chapter 10 on shepherds.
John 10:2-3 “But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the door keeper opens; and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”
Here is a mental picture of combined flocks of sheep in a sheep pen. The shepherds come to take their own flock out to pasture. There is a door keeper who identifies the shepherds, opens the door and allows them to call their sheep. Notice, the shepherds do not need to go into the pen to find each of their own sheep. No, all they need to do is to stand at the gate and call them.  He knows them and they know his voice. They separate from the combined fold and go to their shepherd. He will go before them leading to the pasture for the day. The shepherd knows the pasture well and how to best navigate them through safely. All they need to do is follow Him. 
It is apparent that this parable is identifying Jesus as the shepherd and those who believe Him as his flock.
What we need to remember is that as the Shepherd goes before the flock, so Jesus has gone ahead of us. He has already met the difficulties we face and overcame them. He met the future for us and is with us in the present to help us navigate safely through to our final destination. The shepherds knew the pastures and were vigilant to identify any obstacles encountered
along the way. At which point they would adjust as necessary. As long as the sheep followed the shepherd they would be safe. If they took their eyes off the shepherd and strayed into unknown territory, well I'm sure you can guess what happened. Jesus knows all about the pasture we shall traverse. Today. This week. This month. This life. He knows what shall be encountered and how best to navigate us through it. 
                          All we need to do is follow the Shepherd. 
                         He knows the path from beginning to end with every twist and turn we shall encounter. 

“And the Lord, he is the one who goes before you; he will not leave you, nor forsake: do not fear not or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8

I pray you rest in God's grace and peace to sustain you one day at a time.

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