Transformation Garden - October 13, 2017

October 13, 2017

Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted and relied on and been confident in His holy name. Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us.” 

Psalm 33: 21

Amplified Bible

“Blessed is the fact that Christians can rejoice in the deepest distress; although trouble may surround them, they still sing; and, like many birds, they sing best in their cages. The waves may roll over them, but their souls soon rise to the surface and see the light of God’s countenance; they have a buoyancy about them which keeps their head above the water, and helps them to sing amid the tempest. ‘God is with me still.’ To whom shall the glory be given? Oh, to Jesus – it is all by Jesus!...Truly, the presence of Jesus is all the heaven we desire. He is at once: ‘The glory of our brightest days; The comfort of our nights.’”

Charles H. Spurgeon

Today’s Study Text:

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before Himself, sacrifices Himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him. I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows Me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before Myself, sacrificing Myself if necessary.”

John 10: 10 - 15

The Message Bible

EXPLORATION:

Psalm 23:  Part 33

“The Good Shepherd – Gives His Life For His Sheep”

“The Gospel account shows Jesus with a passion for helping those in trouble. He has not changed. The minute we need saving from anything, He stands ready in His role as Saviour.”

Catherine Marshall

1974

Have I thanked my Shepherd for laying down His life for me – His little lamb?

What does it mean to have a Shepherd guiding me who will “lay down His life” for me?

“Only the spirit and life of Christ Himself will satisfy a thirsting soul.”

W. Phillip Keller

A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23

INSPIRATION:

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

John 10: 27-30

N.I.V.

            Just for a moment, put your imagination into high gear and pretend you are a lamb standing in front of ten shepherds. You are trying to decide which of those shepherds you want to follow on a long, difficult journey to your new pasture. How would you make the choice? Which shepherd would be worth risking your life and limb to follow? Who would you think was the most capable shepherd? It would be an almost impossible decision. But then, surprisingly, one of the shepherd’s calls out your name. How would that change the picture? And what if the shepherd who called out your name said, “Susan, will you follow Me? Bill, would you walk this journey by My side? Nina could I hold your hand as we make this trip together?” Wouldn’t that turn the tide and help you make your decision about who you could trust to lead you aright?

            A shepherd that knows your name ahead of meeting you would be impressive indeed. Just so you don’t think this sounds crazy I’d like to take a look at what David, who wrote Psalm 23 said about our Shepherd: “For You did form my inward parts; You did knit me together in my mother’s womb” (Psalm 139: 13, Amplified Bible). David tells us this happened before you and I even knew ourselves. Our Shepherd knew us first. The prophet Isaiah only confirms David’s insight when he states “your Redeemer, is He who formed you from the womb” (Isaiah 44: 24, Amplified Bible).

            I don’t know what your thoughts are at this moment but all I can think to say is, “WOW!” However, it isn’t just the fact that my Shepherd knew me before I was even born and knows my name, individually, He also is the Shepherd I can identify by the fact that the “Good Shepherd” risks and lays down His own life for the sheep. In my Amplified Bible, there is a notation at the end of John 10: 11. It is a text. A special text you and I know very well by now for it is Psalm 23: 1 which says,” The Lord is my Shepherd, my guide, I shall not want.” It’s as if David is telling us in Psalm 23: “You have a long and dangerous journey ahead of you. Choose your Shepherd wisely.” But to make the task easier, when Jesus came to earth, He proceeded to help all His sheep, down through time, recognize that while the voice of the Shepherd is vital in identifying the “Good Shepherd,” there’s even a more important marker for us to look for because the “Good Shepherd” promises to put His life on the line for His sheep – even if it is just one lost lamb and all the other sheep are safe and sound in the fold.

            What a wonderful message was left to us by the Apostle John who was witness to Jesus telling His friends that the true Shepherd, our “Good Shepherd” knows us personally and has laid down His life for us personally. That’s the only Shepherd I want to follow. For in a world where the glitter and glam can easily divert our attention, I want to focus on the Shepherd whose love for me will take me safely on my earthy journey to my heavenly home.

            Back in the 1700’s, Nicholas Zinzendorf penned these beautiful words which contain a message that calls us to follow our “Good Shepherd”:
 

Jesus, Guide Our Way

“Jesus, guide our way to eternal day:

So shall we, no more delaying,

Follow Thee, Thy voice obeying:

Lead us by the hand to our Father’s land.

 

When we danger meet, steadfast make our feet;

Lord, preserve us uncomplaining

Mid the darkness round us reigning;

Through adversity lies our way to Thee.

 

Order all our way through the mortal day;

In our toil, with aid be near us:

In our need, with succour cheer us,

Till we safely stand in our Father’s land.”

Nicholas Zinzendorf

1700-1760

AFFIRMATIONS:

I Can Feel His Hand In Mine

“You may ask me how I know my Lord is real

You may doubt the things I say and doubt the way I feel.

But I know He’s real today, He’ll always be,

I can feel His hand in mine and that’s enough for me.

 

I will never walk alone, He holds my hand

He will guide each step I take

And if I fall I know He’ll understand.

Till the day He tells me why He loves me so,

I can feel His hand in mine

That’s all I need to know.

 

I will never walk alone He holds my hand

He will guide each step I take

And if I fall I know He’ll understand.

Till the day He tells me why He loves me so,

I can feel His hand in mine

That’s all I need to know.”

Songwriters: Lister, Mosie

“I Can Feel His Hand In Mine”

Sung by Elvis Presley

Video by Darlene Skyles

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbzOpgotmD0

I invite you to come to Transformation Garden on Monday when we begin a study of Psalm 1, the very first chapter in the “book” of Psalms.

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
[email protected]

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For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

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