The heart of the shepherd is to care for his sheep. You cannot be a good shepherd without first having the love of God in your heart. The love of God will cause you to care deeply about every aspect of the sheep’s well being. King David beautifully described the heart of the Shepherd in the twenty third psalm.
David was able to see the heart of the Lord through the eyes of his experience as a shepherd. This was the reason he was able to say, “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want,” In this phrase I could see David’s thought pattern going back to his days as a shepherd in the fields. He may have come upon some hard times in his life and needed to be reassured that everything was going to be alright. David drew comfort and confidence in the belief that same way I cared for those sheep in the wilderness, I believe the Lord is caring for me.
There will be no lack in my life because the Good Shepherd will lead me in fields of abundance beside still waters. The sheep needs little more than green pastures and water to survive, so all of their basic needs were met as they grazed and rested in green pastures. Our Shepherd already knows what we need and has already anticipated fulfilling everyone of them before we even say a word. Day by day he continues to lead us to green pastures.
For your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matt 6:8)
However, Jesus, our Good Shepherd is not only concerned about our physical needs, the deepest desire of his heart was to restore our souls. Sin has separated us from our heavenly father, we were lost in sin with no way to restore our souls, we needed help, we needed to make a spiritual 911 call, we were in a state of spiritual and eternal emergency.
We were lost sheep in the wilderness of sin but Jesus came as the Good shepherd, He came seeking for his lost sheep, He came to make a way for us to return to a life of abundance, holiness, righteousness, peace and joy. He came to lead us back to green pastures. He came to restore us to our rightful place in God. He was and still is the answer to our spiritual 911 call.
The Good Shepherd knew the penalty of our sin is death and He knew that if we died in our sins we would be forever lost. He knew also that only a sinless spotless blood could pay the ultimate price for our sins. He also knew that no one on earth was righteous enough to pay that required price, but like a good shepherd He chose to pay the price to redeem us from the curse of sin; He chose to lay down his life so that our souls maybe restored.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. (John 10: 14-15)
Think of it this way, you own some sheep or any animal for that matter, your pet maybe, and it strayed and got entangled in the bushes or lost. Because of your love for pet (sheep) you will do anything to find that pet and bring it back home. This was the heart of Jesus for us, His love for us was so great, that he was willing to lay down his life for us.
He came to lead us in paths of righteousness. We are made righteous by him laying down his life us, he has made a way where there was no way, just so that we can be restored in righteousness. His heart for his sheep now, is to hear is voice and follow him.
I often think of what it must have been like for David when the lion and the bear attacked his sheep, I wonder if David saw the lion and his heart began to pound out of his chest, I wonder if he thought about running away but decided not not to since he knew his sheep would be defenseless without him. What is your reaction when your are faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenges?
We don’t need to wonder how Jesus felt about laying down his life. He despised the shame of the cruel death upon the cross. He asked His Father, “If it is possible let this cup be taken away from me.” He was saying Father if there is any other way….. please don’t let me go through this, yet in his heart he was not willing for any to perish but that all may have eternal life. (John 3:15) Jesus knew what would happened to his sheep if He did not lay done his life…
The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
He knew that the sheep would be scattered and viciously killed, there would be no mercy, no grace, no repentance, no way to get back to the loving arms of the Father. I believe like Jesus, David knew what was going to happen to the sheep, he knew that the sheep would be scattered and they were defenseless against this roaring lion so with sweat running down his face and heart pounding out of his chest David rouse up to fight for his sheep. David was not a hired hand; these were his Fathers sheep, which meant they were his sheep and he was not about to turn his back on them in their hour of trial.
Like David, Jesus knew that without Him we are powerless to fight against the roaring lion that is seeking to destroy our souls, we had no weapons, there was nothing we could do to save ourselves from death, hell and the grave. Thankfully Jesus knew how to conquer death, hell and the grave and He rouse to the occasion because of his great love for his sheep. He came to set the captives free, and to bind up the broken heart… Jesus came…He came for me and for you.. the heart of the shepherd is to restore us to the Father.
The Good Shepherd to lead you back to the fold. allow him to heal every broken place your life and restore you to the father.
I recognized that I am in need of a savior. I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, I accept his finish work on the cross the penalty for my sins. I repent from my sins, wash me and cleanse me in your blood. I accept you as Lord and savior of my life.
There are many days when the Joy of the Lord seems to elude me, I prayed and fasted and seek his face, I know, I’m saved, sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost and I’m on my way to heaven but……. shouldn’t life be a little more joyful? Where are the carefree days of my childhood? Where is that place that I can find deep-seated joy? What is soaking up my joy? How can I reclaim my joy?
The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
As I read the above scripture, I ponder, what is the joy of the Lord? and how can I receive that joy? How can I be strengthened through the joy of the Lord if I don’t know what it is? Well, let’s go on a journey to find the joy of the Lord because I believe if we can find the joy of the Lord we will be strengthened and encouraged.
I took a while for me to understand what the it means to say that, Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him, I didn’t understand what was the joy that was set before him? The joy of seeing God’s people reconciled to him was and still is the joy of the Lord today. His greatest pleasure on earth was to do the will of his father who sent him. It pleased him greatly to lay down his life so that we may receive eternal life through his sinless spotless blood.
“For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross” Hebrews 12:2
There is no joy in beaten half to death, no joy of being mocked and spat upon, no joy of being nailed to a cruel cross, no joy of being poked in the side until blood and water gushed out but Jesus endured it all because of a greater reward.
Jesus was able to look ahead in time, he knew that laying down his life in this manner would atone for the sins of the world. His Joy was to see us made righteous, to pay a debt that he knew we could not pay. His joy is to provide a way for us to be with him in paradise. I don’t know about you but that revelation brings tears to my eyes every time I think about. That is enough to kick me out of depression or self-pity.
I see some of you getting discouraged and depressed and you don’t even know why. You are depressed because you are carrying your cross (struggles or circumstances and situations) with no understanding of the joy before you. I want to help you to understand why you must go through what you are going through. Every person have a cross to carry, that’s why Jesus says daily we must take up our cross and follow him. We must all go through our own trials but if we truly understand the reason behind it all the joy of the Lord will truly become our strength. Not only that, but we will begin to live in victory and wage winning warfare against the enemy of our souls.
Imagine yourself as a soldier in a foreign country fighting a war on behalf of your country. The battle is intense, you have been wounded, your comrades are wounded, the battle ground is unfamiliar. Everyone back home is depending on you to win but you do not know why, you do not know how much longer you can keep fighting, you are tired and weary and feeling like all hope is gone. You lost sight of the reason why you are fighting but you know your life depends on winning this fight so you keep on fighting. This is where most of us are today spiritually. We were drafted into a warfare that seemingly have nothing to do with us, and we must find joy in the midst of this great and terrible conflict but how?
You see the conflict was never about you to begin with, you must lift up your eyes off the circumstances and begin to look for the meaning behind the fight. This fight began ages ago way back before time begun. “Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” (Revelation 12: 7-9)
This is a battle between good and evil and we must understand that our only way out is through Jesus Christ. He alone has the ultimate power over Satan, In Luke 10:18 He told his disciples, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will harm you. Often times we fight losing battles because we do no understand that we have been given authority over all the power of the enemy.
Some of us are waging warfare on behalf of others, some are waging warfare against sickness, generational curses and a host of other things but best of all we are all fighting on behalf of the Kingdom of heaven. The apostle Paul said, in 2 Timothy 4:8 “fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith and you will receive the crown of righteousness waiting for you in glory and that’s the reason why we fight. We know that their is a reward waiting for us in heaven so we press along on the battlefield of life.
I also want to remind you that the fight is fixed you cannot lose.
Remember that the weapons of our warfare are no fleshly but powerful through God for the pulling down of strongholds, so whatever you are battling, you can win this battle, don’t quit, don’t give up, do not lose hope, all is not lost, joy is coming in the morning.
On this battlefield we are just pilgrims passing through. Just like you cannot build a house on the battlefield, it was not meant for us to make this earth our eternal dwelling place. We are all going to live forever somewhere after death, eternity is waiting for us. I must make it clear however that there are two destinations for eternity, heaven and Hades. Yes, they are both real places. Part of our warfare here on earth has much to do with our eternal destination.
We fight because the enemy of our soul desires to take us captives and hold us prisoners of war but God’s desire is for us to be with Him in heaven. We are his creation, we belong to Him but He will not take us captives. He created us with a free will, He set before us life and death and told us to choose life that we may live.
This was the joy that was set before Jesus, the joy of redeeming our lost souls.
Jesus willing laid down his life for us so that we can choose eternal life over death.
So having the understanding of why we are going through these trials and temptation, let the Joy of eternal life in Christ be your strength as you fight. Jesus said in John 16:13 In this world you will have trouble but take heart! I have overcome the world. The Joy, the revelation knowledge of knowing Jesus, the revelation knowledge that he loved you enough to endure that cruel cross so that you can be forgiven.
Let that the joy of knowing that nothing can separate you from His love be your strength.
Let the joy of knowing, “what is the hope of His calling, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and the surpassing greatness of His power to us who believe, be your strength. (Ephesians 1: 18-19)
If this message has encouraged you, please leave me a comment.
If you need prayer and encouragement, please email us at JesusStrongMinistries@gmail.com
Some of us have come to a place in life where we have totally missed the mark. We have missed God’s purpose for our lives. We feel like such a failure, how can God use me to do something? What was my purpose any way? Why on earth am I still here?If you have been struggling with any of the above, I want to speak directly to your souls. God is not finished with you yet,
“Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in the hand of the Lord.”
The Lord is doing a remake in this season of your life, do not abandon the remaking process.
I was praying with a friend and God instructed me to tell her that he is remaking her life. As I prayed for her I saw a vision of her as a little girl about ten or twelve years old, innocent and carefree skipping along and playing hopscotch. I told her the vision and ask her to go back to that time in her life. I asked her what was in her heart, what was it that she knew she was growing up to be. She said she wanted to be a teacher, this was thing that made her happy, this was what she was created to do but the enemy derailed her life in a significant way and she is very far from being the teacher that she was meant to be.
As I continued to minister to her I heard the Lord said that he has made her into another kind of teacher, she is to teach, young women how to avoid the pitfalls of life that she endured, teach those who have fallen to get out of the pit. Teach them to live wholesome, healthy, purposeful lives and to make right choices in life. God wants her to use her life lessons to teach others how to live.
As you read this post, please look back over your life and go back to a time before your life got this complicated and messy, go back to a time when life was full of endless possibilities. I know for some of you that was a brief moment in time and you may have to dig deep but some of you can instantly go back to the place where everything came crashing down. That’s your place of new beginning, it’s your reset button, it’s your breakthrough place. Some of you are afraid to go back to that place but don’t be God will meet you there, He is waiting to refresh, revise, edit, and restore you.
As you go back to that place you are going to find the real you, the you that is covered under the debris of life. I see the Lord refreshing your soul, by visiting that place of innocence, that place of identity that place of looking in the mirror, I see you being transformed into that old new you, old because that’s who you was meant to be and new because it has just being revealed to you. You are being re-made into a new kind of teacher like my friend, a new kind of pastor, a new kind of mother, a new kind of lawyer, a new kind of businessman or woman, a new you…..
The revise edition, the new and updated version of who you are as a core person is available today. Give yourself to that soul searching process of going back to who you were before life got you all messed up. The Lord is willing and ready to make you into a new vessel, are you ready?
If you are please say this short prayer with me.
Please take me back to that place of innocence, that place where I lost my identity and help me to find my purpose. Lord please take whats left of my life and make it into a new vessel. I believe that I am now on the potter’s wheel, please give me grace and patience to wait for you to reveal the new and latest version of me.
Do not limit yourself to this post and to this short prayer this is meant to be a teaser to initiate a soul searching change. I am praying with you and for you
It does not matter how you start it’s how you finish.
Do not be discourage because things may not be happening as fast you want them to. Everything has a time and a season and it very important for us to know what season, we are in so that we do not become discourage. Apple trees do not bear fruit in winter, we must discern the not only the seasons of our lives but the process as well
Developing trust and understanding can greatly help us to run with patience the race that is set before us.
We need to trust God to work out the very minute details of our lives and understand that he does not work on our timing. Trust in his faithfulness, trust in his goodness and while we are doing this examine our hearts to see if there is anything there that may weigh us down as we run.
Some of these weighs can be anxiety, doubt, fear, and confusion. Remember that, we should not be anxious for anything but with prayer and supplications we should make our request be made known unto the Lord.
Do not doubt only believe and all things are possible.
Faith activates the supernatural in our live.
We cannot expect to receive anything from God through doubt and unbelief. Believe that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
When fear comes remember God did not give you a spirit of fear but of love, Joy peace and of a sound mind. God never intended for us to live our lives in fear therefore if there are things in your life that is causing you fear, Identify it and rebuke it in the name if Jesus.
Jesus finished his race and finished it strong, he has laid out a pathway for us to be successful in our own races. Focus on the end result, don’t give up now you can finish your race and finish it strong. The race is not for the swift but for those who can endure to the end.
I see people going to and fro seeking the Lord for all kinds of things but I hear the Lord say, it’s time to for you to know what’s in my heart concerning my people.
You are roaming about like sheep without a shepherd but I am calling out to my sheep who will hear my voice. I have given you shepherds to lead you but still you have gone astray and have followed after things that cannot satisfy.
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15)
I am raising up a generation that will be a people of my own heart. I am raising up sons of David, people who will follow me wholeheartedly, people who will seek first the kingdom of God rather than earthly riches.
I am raising up a generation that will seek my face, says the Lord.
I am raising up unusual shepherds that will teach you and train you in the way that you should go because the day is coming when you can no longer sit in the classroom and be taught but the word must be in you as a burning fire. Your desire and your passions will be to serve the kingdom of heaven. No longer will you chase after vain things that does not satisfy.
The Lord has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him ruler of his people, because you have not kept the Lord’s command.” (I Samuel 13:14)
My eyes are upon the earth, my ears are open to your cries, I am seeking, no in fact I am yearning to be with my creation. I am yearning for such a man or woman who will answer the call to shepherd my flock.
There is still an a remnant in the earth that will usher in the next wave of the harvest. My hearts cry is for my lost sheep, will you go? will you go over the hills and valleys and help bring back my lost sheep?
If you feel like you have a call of God on your life let us pray.
We thank you that you have given us Shepherds to leads us, we thank you that you are the great shepherd and that your ears are open to our cries, please strengthen those who have already answered the call to minister to your people and for those who are still in the valley of decision quicken their spirits, align them with the right people to help them come into their place of purpose.
If you have been ministered to please leave us a comment or send us an email at JesusStrongMinistries@gmail.com