Devotional: ‘The Committed Shepherd’

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John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will leave the sheep because they aren’t his and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he is merely hired and has no real concern for the sheep.

Today there is very little commitment on anyone’s part. Many of us are either baby-boomers or the products of baby-boomers, and therefore we have been programmed to question everything and to oppose anything that might get in our way. In some ways this might be good, yet in other ways it is bad. It is good if it causes us to question things that are based more upon tradition than truth. Yet it is bad when it causes us to begin believing that there is no such thing as truth or that truth is no longer matters.

Our lack of commitment is also bad because it feeds our self-centeredness. Today we judge everything by – ‘what’s in it for me?’ Whenever something doesn’t seem to work for us, we are ready to quickly jump ship. This is often seen in areas such as – politics, employment, morality, marriage and even our walk with the Lord. In many ways, we have become like the hired hand Jesus spoke of and to make matters worse, we think – ‘who cares?’

Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd. He used this term in contrast to the religious leaders of His day who were false shepherds. They were false shepherds because they didn’t love the people. They were as Jesus described them, those who would ‘bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. …all their works they do to be seen by men.’ (Mt 23:4-5 NKJV) How different that was to the Good Shepherd. “The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

It’s hard to find someone today who values the word ‘commitment.’ Everyone seems to be in it for themselves. Yet we can know that there is Someone who is totally committed to us and will be so to the very end. Jesus loves us so much that He was willing to give His life for us. Christ is the Good Shepherd and He never forsakes His own.

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