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Near the Good Shepherd

So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep." John 10:7-14 Have you ever considered what Jesus meant when He said He was the good shepherd? Most of us have probably never been shepherds, and so this metaphor may be lost on us. So let us, then, consider the words of David in Psalm 23: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Jesus provides for His sheep. He brings them to places where there is calm, and plenty, He leads them to gentle waters to drink without being afraid. Jesus is the refresher of our soul. He picks paths for us that are smooth, that our journeys with Him may be found in peace.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Though there are wolves about, lions and bears and enemies, He is with us, and He says He will not lose one of His sheep. he protects us, and guards us from the Evil one, and His rod and staff, used for guidance and discipline, are used in love. He personally guides us, corrects us, and rebukes us, which should bring us comfort.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Though the enemies surround us, He guards the sheep, preparing good pastures for us, even when we don't understand. He anoints our heads with oil (Sheep get flies and bugs that lay eggs and cause infections on the sheep), but He removes the pests and infections. He draws us to Himself, keeping us secure forever. He is the good shepherd, and He lays His life down for the Sheep. I never want to be anything else but His sheep.

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