THE CHURCH AND THE SHEPHERD
Sheep don’t have the best of reputations in the animal kingdom. They aren’t particularly smart, largely defenseless, and fairly incapable of fending for themselves. That’s why a shepherd is so essential for the sheep to live and thrive. The picture of the church as the flock reminds us of how desperately we need a shepherd.
When someone is called a sheep in our culture, what’s the meaning behind the term?
Why, then, do you think God chose to picture the church as a flock of sheep?
John 10:11 says, “I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep.” The good shepherd is the one who loves the sheep enough to lay down his life for them. That’s how we know that Jesus is the good shepherd. And because we are certain He is good, we can, as His flock, trust Him to lead us in the right way. The flock hears the voice of Jesus through the Word of God as well as through the spiritual leadership of their pastors as they represent Jesus.
When a shepherd took care of his sheep by feeding and watering them, he strengthened them for the journey to the next pasture. God often refreshes us by providing for our needs not only as individuals, but also as the entire flock. But following God’s leading is not always easy or comfortable. It is comforting to know God’s hand and presence never leave us, so the flock of God can be free of fear.
What qualities of God as Shepherd are most dear to you?
What causes you not to sense God’s presence or not trust Him to give you comfort?
When the family of God functions as a healthy family, people of all sorts find hope, encouragement and support in our midst. Regardless of what kind of family someone came from, they should find in the church an example of the love and support they get from their Heavenly Father. When this happens, people not only connect with and love each other more deeply; they experience in tangible ways the love and support God Himself has for them.
About Rick McDaniel
Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through www.highimpactchurch.tv. McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of six books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.
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New Devotional from Pastor Rick McDaniel: Vida De Alto Impacto con Rick McDaniel
God is in the business of fresh starts, new beginnings and resurrected dreams. He has a comeback prepared for you. You can experience a powerful turnaround in your life. Your present situation is not the final word on your life. No matter what the setback – you can have a comeback.