THE HOLY BIBLE – John 10:10-13
– Contemporary English Version (CEV): 10 A thief comes only to rob, kill, and destroy. I came so that everyone would have life, and have it in its fullest. 11 I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep. 12 Hired workers are not like the shepherd. They don’t own the sheep, and when they see a wolf coming, they run off and leave the sheep. Then the wolf attacks and scatters the flock. 13 Hired workers run away because they don’t care about the sheep.
THOUGHTS: In this scripture I recognized several characters that Jesus chose to use in this parable, and I believe it was intentional, because each of us would recognize the qualities of the characters and position ourselves as one of these as applicable. Here are the characters:
A Thief – This is an individual controlled by Satan, and comes into a person’s life, or into a church with the intent of robbing us of our joy, our peace and our security. They are so determined in their mission that their ultimate goal is to kill and/or destroy the fellowship that we have with Jesus Christ. This person comes in the form of a gossiper; a teacher of false doctrines; a distractor when one is determined to draw closer to God and/or determined to understand and obey His Word. I believe we are challenged to be on guard for such ‘thieves’, but more importantly to open our eyes so that we might not get caught in the trap of being a ‘thief’;
Hired Worker – I believe this could be a leader that sees the need to teach a lesson, but they really got nothing out of the lesson themselves. I am very touched when it becomes evident that a teacher, or a preacher visited the ‘wood shed’ before teaching a same principle or lesson to an audience. For then the lesson comes from the heart, or from personal application first, and not from an obligation to teach, or because one is paid to do so. This also becomes very apparent in the extent that the teacher feels a heart-felt responsibility for their audience, rather than a casual sharing because of given responsibility. Satan can easily distract our pastors and teachers, so let us continually pray for their spiritual welfare as they seek, in obedience, to be used by God to impact our spiritual welfare;
Sheep – I believe it is very important that we get the picture about the relationship between the sheep and the shepherd. Sheep are very dependent on the shepherd, but they are extremely blessed by their shepherd, for he protects them, leads them to green pastures for great nutritional value, and also to streams of water that satisfies their quench. Sheep are so obedient that the shepherd can walk ahead of them and they will follow. No need for whips and sheep dogs to keep them corralled together. We are often likened to sheep in the Bible. Don’t these characteristics speak volumes as to what God expects of us as His ‘sheep’?
Wolf – A wolf is known for attacking, scattering and destroying. This happens in many congregations, and could easily happen in our own lives, where a ‘wolf’ could sneak in and totally destroy our fellowship, or our individual walk with the Lord. Let’s be careful that Satan has no leverage in our lives that may cause us to act like a ‘wolf’ among God’s people. Let’s be leery of wolves that may be standing by to attack us. Staying strong in the Lord and His might, is our primary defense. May God be so strong in our lives that wolves will be kept at bay;
Shepherd – The importance of a ‘shepherd’ is highlighted throughout my above thoughts. Jesus is our ‘Shepherd’, and in Him we should take our stand. He will not lead us astray, and only He can protect us from the harm and potential danger of Satan’s wolves that wait to destroy us each and every day. It is incumbent upon us to stay closely attuned to our Shepherd. Follow in His footsteps. Obey His commands and love Him because of the love He shows for us every day. Our Good Shepherd is the only defender capable of standing up to Satan. Let’s stay connected and confident in our Good Shepherd, for He has already sacrificed His life for our safety from the awful wolves of Satan and the peace, tranquility and security of Heaven – our heavenly home!
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for sacrificing Your Son as our Savior, our Lord, our redeemer and our Shepherd. May we be careful to take our appropriate role today as Your humble and obedient sheep. Our witness to this will affirm to the sinner that there is a God and a Good Shepherd that they need in their lives also. Happy, obedient sheep will attract more sheep, especially those who are not secure in Your good graces. Use each of your servants who meditate on this devotional today to be the kind of sheep that You desire, and can use to reach out to other sheep. For I ask these things in the name of Jesus, our obedient Good Shepherd, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!