Dear Servants of God,
Many are under lock down in their countries and many aren’t allowed to go to church or assemble in groups and so, this is a perfect time to think critically as a servant of God about how you have carried out your work in the past. This should help you to go to greater heights in your ministry once the corona virus has been overcome and God gives us a second chance to work out our Salvation in fear and trembling.
It is in that regard that I want to remind our priests, pastors or whoever God has put in any position in their places of worship who a good shepherd is. You might have gotten comfortable in your work and served the children of God carelessly but Psalms 23 is telling us that if we are to be shepherds then these are the duties that you have to carry and not get tired. The good news is, Jesus remains the good shepherd, me and you are just co-workers with Him or partners.
Our study scripture is PSALMS 23
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever
In Psalm 23 David expresses His understanding of what it is to be a good shepherd because he knew a lot about the sheep and what the sheep needs. David shows us many things that the Good Shepherd does for His sheep. If God has allowed you to serve your worship committee in anyway then you are to be emulators of Jesus.
1.) Have you been a good shepherd so far?
2.) In the local church that God has put you in during this generation where there is alot of deception in the church, have you been a good shepherd?
Let’s find out the characteristics of a good shepherd from Psalms 23:
1.) HE MAKES THE SHEEP CONTENT AND HAPPY.
Psalms 23:1 says;
The LORD is my shepherd, I SHALL NOT BE IN WANT.
I SHALL NOT BE IN WANT as used here means the sheep are content and happy. The character of the sheep is that they will not settle down until they are satisfied. When they are satisfied, they lie down in contentment feeling satisfied with what the shepherd has provided.
-Have you satisfied your sheep with the word of God?
-Have you satisfied them with your constant time, support, follow ups and understanding? -Have you preached to them Holiness& Righteousness?
-Are they spirit filled or they still need to gratify the flesh in order to feel satisfied?
2.) THE GOOD SHEPHERD PROVIDE FOR THE SHEEP IN ABUNDANCE
Psalms 23:2 says;
He MAKES ME LIE DOWN in GREEN PASTURES, he leads me beside quiet waters,
The picture King David is trying to paint for us in Psalms 23 is that the Good Shepherd takes His sheep to new and greener pastures with full grown green grass and weeds so that the sheep eat to their fill and just lie down to signify that they are satisfied meaning they are lacking and want nothing.
-As a shepherd, do you rally for medical funds or funds for any other thing for the less fortunate members of your flock?
-Do you deliver the word of God raw as it is without adding deception or lies to it?
-Are your sheep thirsty and hungry for the word of God and many are leaving your church to go and seek for greener pastures?
3.) THE GOOD SHEPHERD LEADS THE SHEEP TO DRINK FROM STILL&QUIET WATERS.
Psalms 23:3 says;
leads me beside quiet waters,
David paints the picture of a shepherd who walks ahead and His sheep follows him as He looks for STILL and not running water.
By now you already know that still waters represent the Holy Spirit. And so what David is saying is, a good shepherd interceed on behalf of the sheep. He invites the Holy Spirit to fill the members of his flock.
-As a shepherd have you preached about the Holy Spirit to your flock?
4.) THE GOOD SHEPHERD GUIDES THE SHEEP IN PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
Psalms 23:3 it says,
He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
What David is saying is, once the flock has received Jesus, the good shepherd does follow up to ensure the sheep is spiritually alive and growing in RIGHTEOUSNESS.
-When was the last time you called a new convert just to pray with them, or you sent them messages of encouragement especially during this time where many are in quarantine and living in fear? Have you set up a means of communication with your sheep where you can find out how they are doing in their spiritual walk?
5.) THE GOOD SHEPHERD NEVER LEAVES THE SHEEP
Psalms 23:4 says;
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Many are the times the sheep encounter darkness and struggle in their paths of seeking righteousness and Its during this time that the goodness of the shepherd is experiensed because HE NEVER LEAVES the sheep.
Are you this kind of shepherd? or you are the kind who leave when situations get worse and leaves the sheep in fear and loneliness?
6.) A GOOD SHEPHERD COMFORTS THE SHEEP
Psalms 23:4c says;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The shepherd uses the rod to fend for food and the staff to rescue them from trouble. The sheep therefore has full confidence on Him. They can follow through with every instructions from the shepherd because they are convinced whatever trouble, the shepherd will be there to rescue and comfort them.
-Does your flock have confidence in you?
-Have you taught them the word of God so well so that they don’t fear the attacks of the enemy?
-Do you comfort them when they come to you with issues weighing them down or you tear them apart?
7.) THE GOOD SHEPHERD PROTECTS THE SHEEP FROM THEIR ENEMIES
Psalms 23:5 says;
You prepare a table before me in the PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
-As a shepherd have you taught your flock how to take their tongues?
-Have you taught them how to co-exist with difficult members of the society?
-Have you taught them perseverance?
I urge us to take this time to study more about Jesus the good shepherd so that when God gives us a second chance to serve His people in our worship communities, we may emulate Him and do exploits with our calling as Shepherds to the flock of Christ.