You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 34:31
In this passage God is upset with the leaders of the temple. They were focused on themselves, rather than the people. He calls them shepherds who are not taking care of their sheep.
Now God calls the people His sheep and that He is their God. He plans to take care of them and meet all of their needs. They are to live with no fear, because He is their good shepherd. This is ultimately seen in Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Jesus provided for His sheep the highest offering one can give, His life.
Going through life, is like walking through a wilderness that one has never been in before. For each person, each step is new and brings with it new challenges.
Walking in the wilderness can bring about things that appear to be dangerous. Things such as briars, poison ivy, and fallen trees. These are the immobile things. Then there are the wild animals and bugs that can cause harm. Some of these things are unseen, until one is right upon them and it is too late. There may also be limited light, because of the tree and bush coverage. This makes it difficult to see the path or things in the way.
As a believer, you can walk with assurance, because God is leading you. He will ensure that you have all that you need, just like a good shepherd takes care of his sheep. If a shepherd’s sheep get harmed or die, it does not do him any good. In the same way, if God’s sheep are harmed, it does Him no good.
God has given His word to be a light to your path. He has given His Son to take away sin, which is the sting of death. God has also given you a mission to do, which provides the nourishment you need. He also provides the peace and rest in the middle of the wilderness you are traveling in.
There will be a day when God calls you home, so that you will no longer have to travel in the wilderness. Until that day, you can trust Him to provide for all of your needs. You are His sheep, His pride and joy.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your shepherd; that you will trust God’s provision for your life; that you will follow God’s lead in your wilderness; and that you will know God’s peace in your life.
“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.” John 10:4-5
Jesus was talking about how a shepherd can lead his sheep. When the shepherd leads the sheep, he does so by his voice. He knows each sheep by name. The sheep will follow him because they know his voice. He had also pointed out that only the shepherd enters by the gate. All others will come in from a different way.
Over the next few verses, Jesus states that He is the Shepherd and all believers are His sheep. He is the gate into heaven and He knows every one of His sheep by name.
All true believers will know the voice of God in their lives. They know it by studying the Bible daily, spending time in prayer, and listening to God. Take any one of these things out and you will soon forget the voice of God.
The world tries to tell you that there are many ways to heaven. They are willing to listen to many different voices, including those they do not know.
These voices can sound good and logical, but are false. People will lead you down the path that seems good, but ends up without God. The voice of God is the only one you should follow.
Jesus said that His sheep will flee all other people because they do not know their voice. When someone in the world starts telling you something that is against God, you must run away. Do not stick around and think about what they are saying. If you do, you may end up not hearing God and start following someone else.
When you hear someone speak, match it up against the Word of God. See if it lines up straight or not. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you with His wisdom as to if the statements are true or not, are they of God or not.
I pray today that you will know Jesus in a personal way; that you will recognize His voice; that you will only follow the voice of God; that you will flee the voice of this world; and that you will point others to Jesus.
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd fo the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21
The author finishes out the book of Hebrews with a prayer for all believers. He starts this prayer by calling God the God of peace. There are some people who only look at the wars God called the people to fight in the Old Testament and describe Him as a God of war. Others also look at the narrowness of following only Jesus to get into heaven and call Him a God of division and hate. God can be seen as a God of peace because He desires to make peace with man. All He asks men to do is seek forgiveness and follow Jesus. Men want to have the peace on their own terms getting what they want.
The author, then, asks that God will equip you with everything good. If God did not love you or want a relationship with you, He would not give you everything good that you need. And notice too that this good is not just for your sake, but for you to be able to do His will. Remember, not all good necessarily feels good. Think about when you touch a hot stove, if you did not feel the pain you would be seriously burned, but because you feel the pain you immediately pull your hand back and are not seriously injured, thus the pain is good. God will allow things in your life that may feel painful, but are for your good so that you can do His will.
Notice that this good is to do His will, not to be pleasing to ourselves or to others. Ultimately everything is to bring pleasure to God through Jesus Christ. Everything we do is for the glory of God.
Today ask God to reveal to you what He is equipping you to do. Ask Him to work in your life His will. Ask God to help you to be pleasing to Him. Know that Jesus is the Great Shepherd who will watch over and care for you.
I pray that today God will continue to equip you to do His will; that God will reveal His will for you today; that God will work through you in accomplishing His will upon the earth; that you will follow God in doing His will; and that Jesus Christ will receive all glory for ever and ever.