He Lives to Be My Good Shepherd – Week of May 1, 2023

He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness: “By his wounds you have been healed.” For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 2: 24-25

We had just finished reading a picture book when a child jumped up abruptly and shouted “Hey wait a minute! Teacher!” He slowly scanned the room. “Teacher, where is your bed?” I was at school before he arrived in the morning and worked long after he left, so he just assumed that I lived and slept there.

Preschool teachers do not sleep at school, but shepherds DID sleep with their sheep. Shepherds needed to be always available, instantly ready to protect their sheep. They needed to lead them to water, counting them as they moved and retrieving any that had wandered off. The shepherd often slept right in the entry of the fold so that he would be alerted before predators could get to the sheep.

We see Jesus as our shepherd. Jesus provides for us and protects us. And oh, how we wander off. We wander off from our shepherd when we use our words to hurt our spouse, co-worker, or neighbor. We wander from our shepherd when we gossip or seek revenge or damage someone’s reputation. We wander off when we do not take words and actions in the kindest possible way. Or instead of clinging to our shepherd, we often think the treasures of this world will provide adequate comfort and joy. We are “like sheep going astray”.

Jesus took all of our sins to the cross. He suffered on the cross “so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness.” This means that, because Jesus took our sins upon himself, he has rescued us from our eternal death and he wants us to live lives that show that we love him. This does not mean that we can earn our place in heaven by doing good on earth. Rather, God wants us to grow in faith and understanding of God’s word, which will help us to live a life of service to him.

And Jesus never sleeps! Jesus is our shepherd, and he rejoices when each of his sheep are found again. He is our shepherd and “overseer,” the one who will bring us safely to heaven to live with him.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for being my Good Shepherd. Thank you for protecting me from the dangers of this world. Thank you for bringing me back to you when I read and study your word, and thank you for the promise that you will bring me safely to heaven. Amen.

A Question to Consider:
Think about what it must be like to be a shepherd. In what ways has God taken care of you as a shepherd would care for his sheep?

Early Childhood Ministry Educator’s (ECME) Devotions are brought to you by WELS Commission on Lutheran Schools.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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