The Shepherd - For the Joy

· Encouragement,Christianity

As I read the Bible, I’m continually searching for what God does and what I’m to do. Ezekiel provides a clear picture of the contrast.

“For thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good gracing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down,’ declared the Lord GOD. ‘I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.’” (Ezekiel 11:16a - ESV)

Three times God says: “I myself.” That is powerful. God does it.

God does this:

- searches for His sheep

- seeks His scattered sheep

- rescues His sheep

- brings them back

- brings them into their own land!

- feeds them

- is their shepherd

- makes them lie down

- seeks the lost

- brings back the strayed

- binds up the injured

- strengthens the weak

I do this:

- get lost

- get hurt

- get hungry

- get tired

- get found

- get healed

- get fed

- get rest

The Shepherd does it all! The sheep don't seem to do anything but get scattered, lost, hurt, hungry. They get searched for, found, rescued, brought back, fed, healed, and strengthened. All by the hand of a good and wise and determined and patient Shepherd.

Jesus described the work of the Shepherd this way: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:4-5 - ESV)

Think of it: He said that the Shepherd rejoices! The Shepherd does all the work. And after He has done the hard, sweaty, dangerous rescue work - He REJOICES!

Imagine your strong, gentle, persevering Shepherd - pursuing you. And rejoicing over you. He finds you - wherever you are. He heals you - however you are.

He carries you on His shoulders - just where He carried his cross. For the sake of JOY.

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