Our Good Shepherd

A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending the Free Lutheran Youth (FLY) Convention in Estes Park, Colorado. The theme of the week was “I Am” taken from Isaiah 45:5-6 which says, “I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.”

Throughout the week, the evening speakers focused on several of the “I Am” statements of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. The Tuesday evening speaker was Pr. Andy Coyle who shared from John 10:11-16 where Jesus makes the statement, “I am the good shepherd.” This is one of many passages in Scripture in which we are compared to sheep. Although sheep today are often depicted as being cute and cuddly creatures, this comparison is not a compliment to us!

When I was probably 10 years old, one of my older brothers was given two young lambs as a gift. While they were certainly cute, and we enjoyed bottle-feeding them, I came to realize as they grew older just how stubborn and stupid sheep really can be. For those who have experience with sheep, I’m sure you can relate! Sheep really are dumb animals and without protection, they are easy prey. Sheep need a shepherd.

As humiliating as it may be to admit, we are a lot like sheep. We make foolish decisions and without protection, we are easy prey. On our own, we can so easily become lost. Without the Good Shepherd as our guide, we are prone to follow the things of this world, thinking that they will fulfill our needs. The truth is that only Christ truly knows us and can meet all of our needs.

In the opening verse of Psalm 23, David says, “The Lord is MY shepherd.” Notice the personal aspect of this statement. Can you confidently say with David that “The Lord is MY shepherd”? Jesus is the only one who can shepherd your heart. He desires to lead, protect, and provide for you. Allow the Good Shepherd to shepherd your heart!