Friday, April 29, 2011

Shepherd Part 2

“He lets me rest in green meadows; He leads me beside peaceful streams” (Psalms 23:2 NLT).

The vision of green meadows brings with it sense of rest, comfort and security. There is nothing more comforting than being in a place free of those things that would prey upon our peace. The gentle sound of a brook, flowing through this green meadow is an amazing picture of what our shepherd wants for us.

Jesus said, “After he [the shepherd] has gathered His flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they recognize His voice” (John 10:4 NLT). With our faith firmly focused on our Shepherd, we follow Him and he walks ahead of us and leads us to green meadows of peace, security comfort and rest. We can depend on this for we know He is good.

When sheep are disturbed by fear and predators, they can't rest. If they are not listening for their Shepherd's voice, they are distracted. What has happened? They have taken their eyes and attention off the shepherd.

The Gospels record a situation such as this. Jesus told His disciples to get into a boat and go to the other side of the lake. Not long after they were in the boat, a storm arose and they were terrified. Jesus came to them in the midst of the storm walking on the water. The disciples didn't recognize Him at first, but then Peter called out, “If that is really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.” Jesus agreed. After only a few steps on the water, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and he began to sink - Matthew 14: 22-30.

Peter looked at his surroundings and not at Jesus. Peter was frightened and lost all sense of the miracle that had taken place because of faith. It was faith that enabled Peter to walk on water and a lack of faith that caused him to fear. He was distracted.

The same is true of us. When we take our eyes off our Shepherd and wonder off from His voice, we allow fear of our situation to control our faith. We will not find the green meadows of peace, security and rest that Jesus is leading us to.

Most of  the Old Testament tells how the Lord our God dealt patiently with the children of Israel. How mercifully He dealt with their sin and rebellion against His authority. How He proved over and over again His power and might against all that wanted to destroy His people. How He wanted them to obey Him, so that the world would see His love and kindness and desire that for themselves.

The scriptures also tell us there was only momentary peace for the children of Israel in the land God promised. Peace came only during times when the nation repented of their sin and chose to love God and obey His commandments.

The writer of Hebrews spoke of these times and wrote, “Be careful then dear brothers and sisters. Make sure your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning away from the living God.” (Hebrews 3:12 NLT) also “And to whom was God speaking when he vowed that they would never enter His place of rest? He was speaking to those who disobeyed Him. So we see that they were not able to enter into His rest because of their unbelief” (Hebrews 3:18-19 NLT).

Isaiah wrote, “Unto us a child is born, upon to us a Son is given. And the government will rest upon His shoulders. These will be His royal titles: Wonderful Councilor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NLT)

These are the Royal titles of Jesus. He is not only our shepherd [Jehovah Rohi], but He is our Prince of Peace [Jehovah Shalom]. Trust Him, Believe Him, Follow Him; only in Jesus will you find rest for your souls.

Jesus said, “I leave you with a gift –Peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like to the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT).Have you received His gift?

Copyright©2011 tathorpe- All Rights Reserved-

No comments: