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THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD?

 

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING BIBLE SCRIPTURES;

 

(PSALM 23)(JOHN 10:7-30)

 

In the Bible, the Word of God, it says in (Psalm 23:1) “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”.  Many people are familiar with Psalm 23.  Even people who have very little familiarity or regard for the Holy Scriptures have likely heard Psalm 23 quoted at one time or other.  The 23rd psalm is often quoted by people in situations of extreme distress or impending calamity.  On many occasions, when death is near, people have quoted (Psalm 23) to find solace and comfort.  Recently, at the funeral of a relative, this Psalm was read to comfort family and friends.  It is likely that you also, dear reader, have some familiarity with Psalm 23.  Have you ever said these words, “The Lord is my Shepherd”?  Do you really know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Shepherd?  Your eternal destiny of either hell or heaven and the eternal well being of your soul depends on whether He is your Shepherd and you are His sheep.  Let’s consider this subject in more detail by way of the following outline.  We want to consider:

 

  1. MAN IN HIS SHEEP LIKE CHARACTER
  2. THE SAVIOR IN HIS THREE-FOLD SHEPHERD LIKE CHARACTER;

 

    • (JOHN 10) – Jesus Christ is the GOOD SHEPHERD relative to His work of REDEMPTION.
    • (HEBREWS 13:20) – Jesus Christ is the GREAT SHEPHERD relative to His RESURRECTION.
    • (1 PETER 5:4) – Jesus Christ is the CHIEF SHEPHERD relative to His REWARD for His own.

 

 

1. MAN IN HIS SHEEP LIKE CHARACTER.

 

Moses led the nation of Israel through the wilderness.  When his time came to die, he prayed to the Lord to provide someone to lead the people after he was gone.  His concern was expressed in (Numbers 27:17) when he said, “That the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd”.  When the Lord Jesus was on the earth and ministering to the people it says on one occasion in, (Matthew 9:36) “When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd”.  People are like sheep and like sheep they need a shepherd.  Dear reader, YOU also need the Shepherd Savior.  It says in (Isaiah 53:6) “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Jesus Christ) the iniquity of us all”.  My friend, if you’re not saved, the Bible says you are like a straying sheep, going your own way through life.  It is significant that the Bible likens men to lost sheep, for a sheep is an animal which is not smart, swift or strong, and which has no power or inclination to seek its shepherd when once it has strayed.  What a picture this is of every person born into this world.  To those who are going through life like “straying sheep”, without the Shepherd, the Bible says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”.  Do you know for sure that your way through life will lead you to heaven and eternal blessing?  You cannot really say “The Lord is my Shepherd” if you continue your journey through life in your sins.  God’s Word says we are all sinners by nature and by practice.  (Romans 3:10, 12, 23) “There is none righteous no not one”.  “There is none that doeth good no not one”.  All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.  Notice there is no exceptions and no one is excluded. God must, and will, judge sin and the sinner.  (Romans 6:23) “The wages of sin is death”.  (Hebrews 9:27) “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”.  Notice these words dear reader, “after this”.  There is an “after life” in which you have an appointment with God.  It is an appointment with death and judgment to follow.  God says in His Word, (Romans 14:10-12) “We shall all stand before the judgment seat”.  “Every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God”.  “Every one (each one) of us shall give an account of himself to God”.  Are you ready?  Are you prepared to meet God?  Do you know God’s Shepherd as your Savior?  Can you really say “The Lord is my Shepherd” because you know Him in this way?    If you can, you need not fear death and judgment to come.  If not, scripture says, (Hebrews 10:31) “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God”.  You must understand there is nothing you can do to save yourself or fit yourself for heaven.  (Isaiah 64:6) “We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteous nesses are as filthy rags”.  (Ephesians 2:8, 9) “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”.  There is however, good news.  God in His love, mercy and grace has provided a Savior.  It says in, (1 John 4:14) “The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world”.  It also says in, (John 3:16) “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.  Let’s consider a few things about God’s Shepherd;

 

2.     THE SAVIOR IN HIS THREE-FOLD SHEPHERD LIKE CHARACTER

 

A)   He is the GOOD SHEPHERD relative to His work of REDEMPTION (JOHN 10)

 

We read about the Lord Jesus Christ as the “Good Shepherd” in the Gospel of John, chapter 10.  The Lord Jesus was speaking of false shepherd’s who take from the sheep and harm the sheep.  He said, (John 10:10, 11) “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  I am THE GOOD SHEPHERD; the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep”.  False shepherds do not give to the sheep or meet the needs of the sheep.  Instead, they take from the sheep for financial gain.  False shepherds “kill” the sheep with false doctrine and false promises.  They are “killed” in the sense that they never receive the “gift of God which is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.  They live and die in their sins and come under the condemnation and wrath of a Holy God.  In contrast, Jesus Christ is the GOOD SHEPHERD.  He said that He came to give life to the sheep, a more abundant life.  He came to give you life dear reader, a more abundant, eternal life in Heaven.  Please note that eternal life is received as a gift.  You reach out and take this gift by faith.  How is it possible that God would provide such a wonderful gift to rebel sinners?  He would do this because He is the “Good Shepherd”. “The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep”.  Notice the following about the death of the Shepherd; 

 

  • HIS DEATH WAS A VOLUNTARY DEATH.
    • (John 10:11) “The Good Shepherd GIVETH His life for the sheep”.  (John 10:15) “I LAY DOWN my life for the sheep”.  (John 10:17,18) “I lay down my life that I might take it again.  NO MAN TAKETH IT FROM ME, BUT I LAY IT DOWN OF MYSELF”.  Death had no claim upon Him because He was the Holy, sinless, Son of God.  It says in (Philippians 2:8) “He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”.  When the time came for Him to go to the cross, the Shepherd became like a lamb, like a sheep.  It says in (Isaiah 53:7) “He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth:  He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her Shearer’s is dumb, so He opened not His mouth”.  Dear reader, have you ever considered that when Jesus Christ died on the cross, He did so voluntarily?  We die because we can not live.  He died because He would not live.  His death on the cross was the only possible way that salvation could be provided for poor, lost, helpless, hopeless sinners.  This leads us to the next aspect of the Saviors death.

 

  • HIS DEATH WAS A VICARIOUS DEATH
    • “The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep”.  When He died on the cross, He died for your sins my friend.  He went under the wrath and judgment of a Holy, Just and Righteous God.  He took your place and died in your guilty room and stead.  Have you ever considered this great truth?  It says in (1 Peter 2:24) “Who His own self (Jesus Christ) bare our sins in His own body on the tree”. It says also in (1 Peter 3:18) “Christ suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God”.  He died on that cross that He might bring you to God.  It says in (Isaiah 59:2) “Your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear”.  The Saviors vicarious death was absolutely necessary in order to bring you to God.  Your sin debt must be paid.  If you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you accept and acknowledge that He paid your sin debt on the cross.  If you believe not on Him, you will pay your own sin debt which is to be cast into Hell and the Lake of fire.  See (Revelation 20:10-15, & 21:8).  The Hymn writer understood this when he penned the following words;

 

O Christ what burdens bowed thy head

Our load was laid on thee

Thou stoodest in the sinner’s stead

Bear’st all my ill for me

A victim led, Thy blood was shed

Now there is no load for me

 

Dear reader, is your heart so hard that this means nothing to you?  Will you repent of your sins and “call upon the Lord” to save you?

(Romans 10:13) “Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved”.  Will you by a definite act of faith, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and receive Him as your own personal Savior?  (John 3:36) “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.”  Is the Lord Jesus Christ your Shepherd?  Are you one of His sheep?  The Good Shepherd said to those to whom He was speaking, (John 10:26, 27)”Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”.  Unbelievers are not of His sheep.  They can not say, “The Lord is my Shepherd”.  It is only true believers in the Lord Jesus Christ that can say “The Lord is my Shepherd”. They have heard His voice and responded to His invitation when He said, (Matthew 11:28) “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.   They are His sheep and they follow Him.  The “Good Shepherd” said in (John 5: 25) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live”.  Notice the following about this verse;

 

·        “Verily, verily, I say unto you” – The words are absolutely true for they are spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ.

·        “The hour is coming and now is” – This “hour” refers to this dispensation of God’s grace that has lasted for 2000 years since the Savior died on the cross.  This present period is known as “God’s time of acceptance”, (when He will accept sinners who believe in His Beloved Son).  It is “the day of salvation”.  See (2 Corinthians 6:2).

·        “The dead” – This refers not to the physical dead but to the spiritually dead.  To sinners who are “dead in trespasses and sins”.  See (Ephesians 2:1).  This is a description of man in his natural state, as he is born into this world. 

·        “Shall hear the voice of the Son of God” – His voice is heard through the Word of God (the Bible).  His voice is heard through the preaching of the Gospel or through written material such as this web site.  Remember, He said “My sheep hear my voice”. 

·        “They that hear shall live” – To truly hear His voice is to be saved.  It means to believe in Him.  It means to receive Him as your very own personal Savior.  It means to put your faith and trust in Him for the eternal well being of your soul.  (Romans 10:17) “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God”.  (Ephesians 2: 8, 9) “By grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast”. 

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is not only “The Good Shepherd Relative to His Work of Redemption”, 

 

B) He is the Great Shepherd relative to His Resurrection (HEBREW 13:20)       

 

  • HIS DEATH WAS A VICTORIOUS DEATH
    • We read about the “GREAT SHEPHERD” in (Hebrews 13:20) “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that GREAT SHEPHERD of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, etc.”  The greatness of His person is seen in that He not only laid down His life, but that He took it back again.  Read (John 10:17, 18).  It says in (Romans 1:4) “He is declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”.  The Gospel, which is God’s good news, is that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried, and He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”.  In order for you to be saved you must believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It says in (Romans 10:9, 10) “If thou shall confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus (Jesus as Lord) and shall believe in thy heart that GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, thou shall be saved”.  It is a wonderful thing to know the “Great Shepherd” as your personal Savior.  Have you believed in Him?  Are you saved?

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is not only the “Good Shepherd” and the Great Shepherd”,

 

C)    He is the Chief Shepherd relative to His Rewards for His own (1 Peter 5:4)

 

  • This verse says “When the CHIEF SHEPHERD shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away”.  When He comes back He will reward those faithful under shepherds who watch over His sheep.  Rewards are only for those who are saved and born again by the Holy Spirit of God.  Rewards are for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Rewards are only for those who can truly say “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD”.  Notice it says “when” He shall appear, not “if” He shall appear.  In the last chapter in the Bible, three times over the Lord says that He will come again.  (Revelation 22:7, 12, 20) “Behold I come quickly”, “Behold I come quickly”, “Surely I come quickly”.  My friend, when He comes back, your opportunity for salvation will have passed if you have heard the Gospel and rejected God’s offer of salvation. 

 

In closing I would remind you that the title of this message is “The Lord is my Shepherd?”  The question mark is there for a reason. Can YOU honestly say “The Lord is MY Shepherd”?  You are traveling the “Highway of Life” passing through time on the way to eternity to be spent in either heaven or hell.  Now that you have read this message you have come to a crossroads on your life’s journey.  A decision needs to be made and remember that no decision is really a decision. Please give this matter your most serious attention.  Will you be a believer or a non-believer?  Your eternal destiny depends on your decision.

 

CHRISTIAN MESSENGER