I am the Good Shepherd, and I know [without any doubt those who are] My own and My own know Me [and have a deep, personal relationship with Me]— even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father—and I lay down My [very own] life [sacrificing it] for the benefit of the sheep. I have other sheep [beside these] that are not of this fold. I must bring those also, and they will listen to My voice and pay attention to My call, and they will become one flock with one Shepherd.John 10:14-16 AMP
Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He does not run from the enemy. Instead, He lays down His life for the benefit of His sheep. Then, He picks up His life again, having put to rest the law of sin and death.
Jesus was sent as the promised Messiah of the Jewish people. Yet, here in the above quote from Scripture, we see Him prophesy that the Jews and Gentiles would both be reconciled back to God through the sacrifice He was going to make on the Cross of Calvary.
The domesticated olive branch and the wild olive branch would be grafted together into one tree, rooted and grounded in the love of God. If Jesus can make Jewish and non-Jewish people one, is there anything He can’t do?
There is [now no distinction in regard to salvation] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you [who believe] are all one in Christ Jesus [no one can claim a spiritual superiority].Galatians 3:28 AMP
We are all under the care of one Shepherd. We hear His voice and recognize His call. Can you hear Him? He is calling you back to Himself by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is saying, “Come here, child. Follow Me.”
It’s time we started trusting God not only with our eternal salvation, but also with the minutiae of our day to day lives.
I believe God cares for us. I believe He provides everything that we need for life and for godliness. He can meet all of our physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. He is the Great Physician. He is still healing today. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
If you have a need, go to God and pray. And keep praying. Some of us only go to God after we have exhausted every other possible source of provision and protection. God is shaking the nations. Those worldly sources and systems that we have trusted in, that eliminated our need for God’s hand in our lives, are progressively being removed.
The Shepherd is the one who leads the sheep into safe pasture. He is the one who protects us. He guides us and provides for us. He is the one who watches over us while we sleep in safety. Trust the Shepherd with your life. Lay down your life and agenda, and follow Him. He will not lead you astray. He will lead you into everlasting life.
The challenges our world is facing are causing us to recognize our common humanity. We cannot afford to have an us versus them mentality anymore. Selfishness and tribalism are no longer going to be places of refuge. We’re going to have to stand together in Christ for Christ. And we’re going to have to preach the Gospel to everyone, reconciling people back to God through the message of salvation by grace.
It’s time we lay down our pitchforks and torches. We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Let us recognize who the real enemy is. It’s a spiritual enemy, the forces of darkness. Whoever lies, steals, kills or destroys is under the power and influence of the evil one. They need repentance and deliverance and healing, not more violence and hate. We need to be praying for our enemies. We need to be interceding for the lost and deceived.
If you look with spiritual eyes at the words and behaviors of people, you will see what force is motivating them. Is it love or hate? Is it grace or pride? Is it mercy or judgment? Are they building up or tearing down? Are they uniting people or dividing them? Do they encourage obedience to God or slavery to sin?
We who are spiritual have a responsibility to be salt and light. If salt loses its flavor, it is useless and thrown out into the streets to be trampled on.
Be a bright light. Be a voice of truth. Speak the truth in love. Love your neighbor as yourself. Forgive one another as your Father in Heaven forgives you. That’s the only way to lasting peace. May God show mercy to you and me. We are one people, under one God. Remember that we are indivisible, and seek justice for all.
Lord Father, forgive us for our short-sightedness. Restore us to the way of peace. Help us to seek what’s best for our neighbors. Help us to righteously represent You here on this Earth. Give us the words to say. Direct our steps. Guide our actions. You are our Father and we are Your children. Help us to grow and mature into Your image and likeness. Forgive us, O God. And heal our land. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.