The Good Shepherd

Ezekiel 34:7-16 New International Version 

“‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals,and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.

11 “‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. 12 As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. 13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. 14 I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. 15 I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. 16 I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.

People need the Lord

John 10 New International Version

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

The Good Shepherd

John 10 V11 -18

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”See the source image

In the story of the Good Shepherd we are reminded how Jesus looks after and cares for his flock. As human beings we would do well to remember that even in our darkest moments Jesus is still there looking over us and guiding us

Safe in His Arms

Isaiah 40:9-11 New International Version (NIV)

You who bring good news to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem,[a]
lift up your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
“Here is your God!”
10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power,
and he rules with a mighty arm.
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

With the title of today’s blog there’s only one song I could think of and that was the old Fanny Crosby favourite.

  1. Safe in the arms of Jesus,
    Safe on His gentle breast;
    There by His love o’ershaded,
    Sweetly my soul shall rest.
    Hark! ’tis the voice of angels
    Borne in a song to me,
    Over the fields of glory,
    Over the jasper sea.

    • Refrain:
      Safe in the arms of Jesus,
      Safe on His gentle breast;
      There by His love o’ershaded,
      Sweetly my soul shall rest.
  2. Safe in the arms of Jesus,
    Safe from corroding care,
    Safe from the world’s temptations;
    Sin cannot harm me there.
    Free from the blight of sorrow,
    Free from my doubts and fears;
    Only a few more trials,
    Only a few more tears!
  3. Jesus, my heart’s dear Refuge,
    Jesus has died for me;
    Firm on the Rock of Ages
    Ever my trust shall be.
    Here let me wait with patience,
    Wait till the night is o’er;
    Wait till I see the morning
    Break on the golden shore.

A Story of Love

Luke 2 New International Version

The Birth of Jesus

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

  1. Wonderful story of love;
    Tell it to me again;
    Wonderful story of love;
    Wake the immortal strain!
    Angels with rapture announce it,
    Shepherds with wonder receive it;
    Sinner, oh, won’t you believe it?
    Wonderful story of love.
    • Refrain:
      Wonderful! Wonderful!
      Wonderful, wonderful story of love.
  2. Wonderful story of love;
    Though you are far away;
    Wonderful story of love;
    Still He doth call today;
    Calling from Calvary’s mountain,
    Down from the crystal-bright fountain,
    E’en from the dawn of creation,
    Wonderful story of love.
  3. Wonderful story of love;
    Jesus provides a rest;
    Wonderful story of love;
    For all the pure and blest,
    Rest in those mansions above us,
    With those who’ve gone on before us,
    Singing the rapturous chorus,
    Wonderful story of love.

The Lord’s Goodness and unfailing Love

Psalm 23 New Living Translation

A psalm of David.

The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honour to his name.
Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.

You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
    forever.

I feel there’s only one video that can go with this popular Psalm and that is Stuart Townend’s Song of the Psalm.

Jesus Heals and Saves

Jeremiah 17 New International Version

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who draws strength from mere flesh
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things
    and beyond cure.
    Who can understand it?

10 “I the Lord search the heart
    and examine the mind,
to reward each person according to their conduct,
    according to what their deeds deserve.”Related image

11 Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay
    are those who gain riches by unjust means.
When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them,
    and in the end they will prove to be fools.

12 A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,
    is the place of our sanctuary.
13 Lord, you are the hope of Israel;
    all who forsake you will be put to shame.
Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust
    because they have forsaken the Lord,
    the spring of living water.

14 Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;
    save me and I will be saved,
    for you are the one I praise.
15 They keep saying to me,
    “Where is the word of the Lord?
    Let it now be fulfilled!”
16 I have not run away from being your shepherd;
    you know I have not desired the day of despair.
    What passes my lips is open before you.
17 Do not be a terror to me;
    you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
18 Let my persecutors be put to shame,
    but keep me from shame;
let them be terrified,
    but keep me from terror.
Bring on them the day of disaster;
    destroy them with double destruction.

 

The Angel and the Shepherds

Luke 2:8-20 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’Image result for while shepherds watched their flocks by night

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

  1. While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
    All seated on the ground,
    The angel of the Lord came down,
    And glory shone around.
  2. “Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
    Had seized their troubled mind;
    “Glad tidings of great joy I bring
    To you and all mankind.
  3. “To you, in David’s town, this day
    Is born of David’s line
    A Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
    And this shall be the sign:
  4. “The heav’nly Babe you there shall find
    To human view displayed,
    All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
    And in a manger laid.”
  5. Thus spake the seraph and forthwith
    Appeared a shining throng
    Of angels praising God on high,
    Who thus addressed their song:
  6. “All glory be to God on high,
    And to the Earth be peace;
    Good will henceforth from heav’n to men
    Begin and never cease!”

This is not the original carol but never the less I hope you like it

 

 

The Love of Jesus

Like to a lamb who from the fold has strayed
Far on the mountain, of the dark afraid,
Seeking a shelter from the night’s alarm,
Longing for comfort of the shepherd’s arm,
So Jesus found me on sin’s mountain drear,
Gathered me close and banished all my fear.

In the love of Jesus there is all I need,
While I follow closely where my Lord may lead;
By His grace forgiven, in His presence blest,
In the love of Jesus,
In the love of Jesus is perfect rest.See the source image

Like to a pilgrim in an unknown land,
Seeking the comfort of a guiding hand,
Fearing the perils of the winding way,
Pleading for strength sufficient every day,
I met my Lord; and though the path be dim,
He knows the way and I will walk with Him.

Like to a child who, when the night may fall,
Out of the darkness hears his father call,
Far and a weary though his feet may roam,
Sees in the distance shining lights of home,
So at the last the music of His voice
Will calm my fears and make my heart rejoice.

This is one of many beautiful, heart-touching songs whose lyrics were written by Colonel Mrs. Ivy Mawby. Ivy was born in 1903 and entered the Salvation Army Training College for Officers in London at the age of eighteen. In 1929 she married then Major Arthur Mawby. Ivy spent much of her lifetime speaking and writing, with particular interest in the needs of women. She travelled extensively and was known for being able to see the Divine in life’s ordinary things. She served in France and Great Britain. At International Headquarters, Ivy worked in the Editorial Department, using her admirable writing skills. She retired as a Colonel in 1963. Mrs. Mawby was Promoted to Glory in 1983, having enriched the Salvation Army with her writing of poetry, prose and song.

 

The Power of the Cross

1 Peter 2

24 “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 25 For “you were like sheep going astray,”[f] but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Mark 8See the source image

34 Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

As I listen to this song by Stuart Townend I can’t begin to imagine the pain and suffering Christ went through for us at Calvary. Being whipped (that to me is painful enough) then having a crown of thorns placed on your head and then huge nails driven through your hands . He did all this to save you and me from our sins.

The amazing thing was three days after they put him in the tomb they found it his mother and Mary Magdalene found the tomb empty