Over the past several months I have spent time contemplating and studying the goodness of God. It began with a simple look at Jesus as the Good Shepherd and grew into a deep well of pondering what “good” really means. This is certainly not a new concept for me, but what has struck me along the way is how much we overlook God’s goodness in our daily lives. Consequently, I want to spend a little time with you today on the goodness of God.
To begin, let’s look at John 10:11:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
We see here that Jesus describes a shepherd and, most powerfully, He proclaims Himself to be the good shepherd. What does a shepherd do?
The four broad responsibilities of a shepherd are:
- Know the sheep.
- Feed the sheep.
- Lead the sheep.
- Protect the sheep.
What does it mean to have Jesus in our lives as a good shepherd?
- Are you satisfied with Jesus?
- Do you allow God’s view, God’s opinion, Jesus as a Shepherd into your daily life?
- We are not left alone!
- We are not left without guidance!
- We are not left without protection!
- We are not left without care for our whole being!
These are the questions and thoughts that I began to ponder and study. As I did this, I began to realize that this short statement from Jesus is filled with so much truth and encouragement. Why is Jesus the good shepherd? Because He is the only one who can truly protect and save His people – His flock. As a shepherd does for his sheep, so Jesus watches over us.
More than that, He is always with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:20) and will lead us all our days as we trust Him. This is not a forced relationship – it’s as we choose to trust Jesus as our Shepherd that we enjoy all the immense benefit that He, and only He, brings to our lives.
I can hear some of you now saying, “Duh Seth. This is not news.”
And I hear you, these concepts are not new. But my question to myself and now to you is, am I (are we) living in the fullness that is ours because of Jesus, our good shepherd? As I asked this of myself, I found a hunger growing in me, a hunger to walk in what is mine through my good shepherd.
In observing my own and others’ daily lives, it seems that we often ignore or simply do not know the power of the good shepherd.
Please listen to me, I am not trying to be judgmental. I am simply saying that Jesus paid the price to be in our lives every day and in every way. We can choose to ignore the shepherd and all that he brings to us, or we can choose to embrace His goodness in our every moment. This thought deeply challenges and blesses me, and I invite you into this journey of learning.
Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you.
Search the scriptures and you will find a good shepherd waiting, eager to know you, feed you, lead you and protect you. I want this more than I have experienced it up to this point in my life.
Join me on this journey of embracing daily life with Jesus, our good shepherd.
On the Journey with You!