Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD... our Good Shepherd

In today's society, we often hear of important people, such as talented athletes and we automatically think of the grand place they must of come from. You know ... the greatest athletes, the most talented actors, the incredibly beautiful models ... they must have ALL come from exciting places such as New York City, or Los Angeles or Chicago.

One of my favorite kind of stories to read about is the "small town" producing someone great and famous. Consider the great honor and pride that such a small town must have for their moment of fame in the sun.

We are experiencing that right here in my state of good ole Arkansas, as we await the outcome of the "American Idol" contest. Recently, I was in the city of Conway, Arkansas for my daughter in law's graduation and the hoopla was all over that small town city. Why? Because of the college graduation ceremonies? NO ... because just the evening before graduation, Chris was in town and performed for the college campus!

Small town pride!

Some of the most influential people came out of less-than big places: President Dwight Eisenhower was born in Denison, Texas; President Jimmy Carter was born and raised in Plains, Georgia; and the late Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa.

The greatest influential man, who ever walked the earth, also got His start in small, out-of-the-way towns. Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, which can be described as "small among the clans of Judah" (Micah 5:2) Jesus went onto yet another small town, where He was raised...the town of Nazareth.

Small town upbringing is very significant because many times those who live in large cities can find themselves getting lost in the vast numbers. Jesus never let that happen.

Jesus paid attention to the least significant beggar beside the road, He healed people who felt lost in the crowd, and He made everyone feel like they were His only concern. Jesus was like the man in the parable of the Lost Sheep who would leave the 99 sheep to find the one that was lost.

MATTHEW 18:12-14 "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? (13) And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. (14) Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."

I find the metaphor of seeing Jesus as the Good Shepherd very interesting. First of all, to be born in Bethlehem - a town that was very familiar with shepherds. Micah prophesied not only the Bethlehem birth, but also Christ's shepherding role and what this would mean to the whole world.

MICAH 5:4 "He will stand and shepherd (them) in the strength of Yahweh, in the majestic name of Yahweh His God. They will live securely, for then His greatness will extend to the ends of the earth."

The definition of a shepherd is this:
One who herds, guards, and tends sheep. One who cares for and guides a group of people, as a minister or teacher.

The security that Micah speaks of is the sense of security that our Good Shepherd provides for us. Christ, as our Shepherd keeps His flock together, He protects His sheep from predators, and He will guide us to greener pastures.

Last week, in the YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I polled the readers the following question: "Which function of a good shepherd do you most need in your life right now?" The top 3 responses were...

1. 38% of those voting said that they needed the "Guiding the Sheep" as they are looking for vision.
2. 23% of those polled said that they need the "keeping the flock together" as it seemed their family was being pulled apart.
3. 15% voted and said that they needed the "keeping the flock close" as they felt isolated and disconnected from others.

This week's poll reveals to me that sometimes we, as Christians, do not live in the security that our Good Shepherd is offering us. Micah tells us that people will live securely BECAUSE OF the Messiah. It is so easy for us to say with words that we agree with Micah...but what do your actions say?


This is my weekly post designated to the current personal study of mine. Right now I am doing a study on the promises and prophecies of Christ. He is truly the Good Shepherd and I am thankful that He has prepared a secure future for me.

YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL...Please vote in this weeks poll "When you were a child, how did you feel about your name?" Find this weeks poll on the sidebar of the blog.


God Chaser said...

Praises for the Good Shepherd. He has made one of His sheep and cares tenderly for me. Blessings and happy WFW.

Laurie Ann said...

Laurie, this piece was written so well! I love it. Great post. I think the poll speaks volumes. Our words and actions sometimes don't mesh about the security we live under. Praising God for the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep and will go in search of that little lost one and bring him home.

An aside: I hope you're compiling these to publish one day! They're awesome.

Denise said...

Beautifully written my friend.