With all the noise constantly surrounding us, do you truly stop and listen when you're spoken to? We have two ears and one mouth—the ratio says everything! But listening well will improve every relationship you're a part of. Take a look at what Psalm 81 has to say about listening — it's an important reminder for us all!
A good shepherd is patient and kind, always reaching out to care for the weakest members of his flock. Jesus is our good shepherd, always reaching out for us in our distress, comforting us during our greatest emotional and physical struggles, and carrying us through the challenging seasons of life.
Reflecting back on His childhood, King David sees God as the Shepherd and himself as the sheep. When he says "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want" what are the feelings that come over you to think that Psalm was written to you?
"The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me." - Psalm 16:5-6
Often, the heart of a leader can be self-seeking, but the heart of a Shepherd is humble. The Bible Study on heartofamom.com that follows this study will help us better understand the Heart of a Shepherd as we are called to lead those that follow us in life.
Why did Jesus have to come and die on a cross? Why did He have to suffer for 6 hours hanging on that log to die? Why did He have to come at a time when Romans would scourge Him? Why didn't He come when the cross was 'out of style?' How heavy that cross must have been as Christ literally became our sin! The answer is 'by His scourging we are healed.'
Questions to Consider:
- When Psalms 22 begins, King David prophesies what Jesus is going to say when He says, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" The moment when Christ becomes sin and God in His holiness turns His back on His son, what loneliness do you suppose Christ felt on that cross?
- Psalms 22:15 says, "my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death." Why was His suffering so necessary? Why for 6 hours did He have to hang on that cross and suffer so badly?
Read the rest of Psalms 22 and I hope you have a great discussion on it.
If you want to know what God thinks of you, I am positive that God has your pictures in the most important place in His heart. Psalms 18:9 talks about God delighting in His people - He has adopted us as His sons and daughters.
Question to Consider
- Why does God asks us to call Him God, but also asks us to call Him Father, but also asks us to call Him 'Dad'?
God's love story is the best love story we'll ever be invited to. To leave the flock and follow a less well-intended shepherd is unthinkable, yet the sheep stray, for "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." Until Jesus becomes your all in all, He's really your nothing-in-all. If you want to be blessed, you have to be 'all in' to follow Him with all your heart.
Years ago, someone found a baby deer in a ditch and brought her to us. She was covered in leaves, wet from rain, and about to die. For a couple of days we fed and cared for her, all the while she cried out for her mama. But on day 3, she began to follow me everywhere, eventually leading her back to the forest she came from. Much like that baby deer, we have a savior we can cry to in our despair. Are you calling out to Him? Does he know what you need? I pray this encourages you today!
As a follower of Christ, learning the tactics of the enemy is what it's all about because the adversary is always charging in on our soul. But fortunately, Jesus is the Defender of our soul and the Shepherd of us as sheep.
Questions to Consider:
Psalms 3:1 - "Oh Lord, how my adversaries have increased, many are rising up against me." How has the enemy come after you recently, but how has the Lord defended you?
Psalms 3:3 "But You, O Lord, are a shield about me." Describe your dependence on your Shepherd for your personal protection and your revival during times of pain and persecution.
Through all the health challenges I've endured over the years, I've always found a way to worship The Lord through each one because he's a Good Father! Charles Wesley endured multiple challenges in his life, and still found a way to write over 800 hymns that we still sing today. No matter what you're walking through today, remember our shepherd is always with you!