The Good Shepherd
Delivered By
Pastor David Bauknight
Delivered On
September 6, 2017

     A bad shepherd lets his sheep stray. He neglects the flock, allowing the sheep to graze in bad fields or experience life- threatening thirst. He beats the lambs to teach submission and obedience. He isn’t alert to predators, allowing them to get too close to the sheep and if there is an attack, he’s the first to run. Clearly, he does not care much about the welfare of his sheep.

     How blessed that Jesus is the opposite, rightly calling Himself the Good Shepherd. When a sheep strays, He goes out looking for that wanderer, searching until He finds it and rejoicing when He does. He stays up during the watches of the night, listening for predators, watching the shadows for movement, protecting His flock from lions and bears. He leads the sheep to green pastures and, according to Psalm 23, to still waters where they can drink. Speaking quietly, He gently guides His flock that willingly follows. This Good Shepherd finds joy in how well His sheep are doing. You, my friend, are a lamb in the care of the good Shepherd and so am I. I praise God, “Lord, I’m so grateful to be in Your flock and share with others the joy of Your love and care. I thank You, The Good Shepherd, for taking care of each of us, Your flock at Grace. Amen.”

     What a great reminder from Luke 15:10 that even when we stray, realize our waywardness and return, the truth of God’s nature is immense, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Jesus told of a shepherd who leaves his ninety-nine sheep to find the one that has gone astray. This shepherd’s action reveals Jesus’ heart and His desire that no one would perish but find everlasting life through Him. As the Holy Spirit nudges us the realization comes that we’ve been lost. When someone does come to Him, or when He is able to carry a lost lamb home, the angels in heaven rejoice! Many of us have loved ones who are that one lost sheep. Perhaps all you can do is pray, but know without question that can be just the right thing!

     A simple reminder for us to pray is to grab a pen, write 99/1 on a sticky note, and put it in a prominent place. Every time we see it, those numbers remind us of Jesus’ determination to chase after the one who is lost. One more thing: when we are concerned about our family member or friend who is far from God, all we have to do is think about our own story. Remembering how God pursued us, allows us to rest in the peace that He went to the extreme to find us. Then we pray a consoling prayer: “Lord, I am so thankful that no one is too far from Your reach. Please bring my loved one into Your flock, I pray. Amen.”

      Jesus is shepherding you and me. He is attentive, aware, caring, and involved in every moment of our lives. He is also pursuing our loved one who walked away from Him or has yet to take Him as their Savior. Keep praying and rest in that assurance! Don’t forget that someone is also lifting us up because there are still times when we also stray. Rest assured that our Good Shepherd is always on duty, listening, caring, and calling us to draw close to Him.

Praising God for His patient shepherding to all of us,

Pastor David