Cruel, impatient, hostile, rough and careless are words you would not use to describe the qualities of a good shepherd. The word ‘shepherd’ conjures up images of affection, care, diligence, patience, gentleness, guidance, etc.

People who work in an abattoir aren’t normally marked by a love for the animals they slaughter. For them, it’s business – a means of survival. People who work their shift on an assembly-line have no particular connection to the nuts and bolts they handle or the widgets they produce. This widget is the same as the last one and no different than the next one.

Shepherding is different. Even bureaucrats use the term. If someone comes up with a good idea, a good bureaucrat will say: “That’s excellent. I will shepherd your idea through the system.” What does she mean? She is telling you your idea has value, but there is a danger of it being overlooked in the bureaucracy, or upstaged by other ideas or trampled on by someone who has their own agenda. She recognizes the fragility of your idea and how easily it could become lost in the bureaucratic jungle. An upwardly mobile wolf could quickly tear it to shreds.

Perhaps you are feeling unloved today and uncared for – lost and spiraling downward, out of control, about to be smashed to smithereens. Maybe you can think of no one in the universe who cares so much for you that they would ever give their own life for you. But think again. Didn’t some One say: “I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” John 10:11.

Dear Child of God – are you overlooking the special connection between you and the Good Shepherd?

Christ is not only the good shepherd. He’s great too. His greatness was demonstrated in His resurrection. (Hebrews 13:20) And He’s the head Shepherd who will reward other shepherds who have cared for His Sheep. (1Peter 5:4)

Consider this: He will never abandon that shepherding role – He will ever be the Shepherd. Take a peek into the future. With all the priorities of dealing with the rebellious planet and meting out wrath upon the godless nations, could the Returning Christ possibly overlook the needs of people who turned to Him during that period?

Never – because He is ever the Shepherd. Read this:

They will hunger no longer, nor thirst anymore; nor will the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes. Revelation 7:16-17

Ever the Shepherd. In the past when He found you wandering, He lifted you up upon His shoulders. What a Shepherd He was! In the present with all your needs, hurts, bruises, wounds, tangled burdocks in your matted wool – He is your Shepherd still. And in the future, He will continue to be what He always was – the Shepherd God.

Enjoy Psalm 23 today.

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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