By Jamie Myrtle
10 My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. –John 10:10b (NLT)
Throughout the Bible, we are taught that Christ is the “Good Shepherd”. Unless you grew up on a farm, you probably don’t know a lot about sheep. And even if you did grow up on a farm, you probably don’t know a lot about being a shepherd. A shepherd cared for his sheep. Not on farms, but on hills and mountains, often far away from towns and other people. The shepherd also protected them from dangerous animals and made sure they stayed together. He also made certain they had a good pasture so they could eat and rest.
The 23rd Psalm says “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows…He renews my strength. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.”
Jesus’s purpose is to take care of us. Not only to give us eternal life someday, but to give us a rich and satisfying life here on earth. This doesn’t mean that He makes us wealthy or that life will be easy. It means He provides what is most necessary for our life. Peace. Care. Rest. A renewal of strength.
Sometimes we get caught up in day-to-day life. We feel discouraged or lonely. Sometimes the way ahead isn’t clear. This isn’t His plan for us. His plan is that we rely on Him. He walks ahead of us and leads us in the paths we need to take. And if we listen we will know it’s Him – because His sheep know the Shepherd’s voice.
Lord Jesus, thank you for being our Good Shepherd. Thank you for taking care of us and making sure we are safe. Thank you for blessing us with what we need most. Lead us along the paths we should take.
1 “I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”
6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.