Daily Devotion

September 24, 2023

The art of being a sheep (1)

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Ps 23:1 NIV


Perhaps you memorized Psalm 23 as a child. The vivid visual images remain with us lifelong. Author Hannah Whitall Smith said, “What we all need is just to get back into the nursery again, and take up our childish verses once more, and, while reading them with the intelligence of our grown-up years, to believe them with all our old childish faith.” As adults we become jaded, losing the simple joy that stress-filled lives require. We need to remember these three things: (1) Who our shepherd is—“The Lord.” He is the source of everything we will ever need, beginning with salvation. Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11 NKJV). (2) What the shepherd’s job is—protector and provider for the sheep. And He knows how to handle wayward, headstrong, vulnerable sheep and care for them. Long before Jesus came as our shepherd, the Father said, “I will rescue [my flock] and no longer let them be mistreated…I will give you a shepherd from the family of my servant King David…All of you, both strong and weak, will have the same shepherd, and he will take good care of you” (Eze 34:22-23 CEV). (3) What the sheep’s job is—to trust the shepherd completely. Attempting to do His job will exhaust and defeat us. We must believe “with all our old childish faith” that Jesus is a dependable, committed, and capable shepherd—and then act like we believe it. Knowing that His goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives lifts our present worries and dispels all our future concerns.