Tag: Shepherd

In The Shepherd’s Arm

 

f720a6Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand,

and His arm shall rule for Him;

Behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him.

He will feed His flock like a shepherd;

He will gather the lambs with His arm,

and carry them in His bosom

and gently lead those who are with young

(Isaiah 40:10-11).

In the Shepherd’s arm, He carries me in His bosom – close to His heart.

For He is our God,

And we are the people of His pasture,

And the sheep of His hand.

Today, if you will hear His voice:

(Psalm 95:7).

Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice 

(John 18:37).

In the Shepherd’s arm, His is the first voice I hear. Even closer than my ear, He speaks to my heart.th-2

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own .

As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father;

and I lay down My life for the sheep.

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold;

them also I must bring,

and they will hear My voice;

and there will be one flock and one shepherd

(John 10:14-16).

In the Shepherd’s arm, I am part of His flock, the family of God. The Good Shepherd is big enough and strong enough to carry all of us – He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom (Isaiah 40:10). We are all close to His heart.

My sheep hear My voice,

and I know them,

and they follow Me (John 10:27).

“And where I go you know and the way you know…

I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father except through Me”

(John 14:4, 6).

In the Shepherd’s arm, I know wherever He takes me is the right way to go.

th-1Know that the Lord, He is God;

It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;

We are His people and the sheep of His pasture

(Psalm 100:3).

You are My flock,

the flock of My pasture;

you are men, and I am your God,” says the Lord God

(Ezekiel 34:31).

In the Shepherd’s arm, I know I belong to Him.

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;

He leads me beside the still waters.

He restores my soul;

He leads me in the paths of righteousness

For His name’s sake

(Psalm 23:1-3).

In the Shepherd’s arm, I can rest in His presence, trust in His protection.

And the glory which You gave Me I have given them,

that they may be one just as We are one;

I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one,

and that the world may know that You have sent Me,

and have loved them as You have loved Me

(John 17:22-23).

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead,

that great Shepherd of the sheep,

ththrough the blood of the everlasting covenant,

make you complete in every good work to do His will,

working in you what is well pleasing in His sight,

through Jesus Christ,

to whom be glory forever and ever.

Amen

(Hebrews 13:20-21).

In the Shepherd’s arm, we can glorify Him.

© Stephanie B. Blake

December 2016

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The Coming of the Lamb and the Shepherd

Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth between Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might, come and save us. Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved (Psalm 80:1-3 NIV).

Picture the nativity scene. That’s easy for most of us. Displayed in illustrated Bibles and Bible storybooks and set up in homes and churches during December, the characters are always the same. Mary and Joseph with shepherds and wise men and animals in the stall surround a baby in a manger – the Son of God who had just become the Son of Man.

The most striking elements in this picture are its simplicity and its majesty. No one seems to think it strange that rich wise men from the east are facing humble shepherds from the fields  – standing or kneeling on a carpet of straw with singing angels above joining sounds of animals below and the sweet coos of the baby who planned it all.

This scene had been foretold by many but understood by few. Unable to grasp the possibility that God’s Son would make His entrance with such humility, most were expecting the Savior to come with the only kind of majesty they were accustomed to – to reign and to rule.

Amidst the many prophecies about His coming, the two that capture our attention in the nativity are symbolically sitting at the feet of the child or standing at His side: the lamb and the shepherd.

The baby lying in this manger would someday hang on a cross. Naked, He would die there. His humble beginnings would lead to an even more humiliating climax.

Submitting Himself to be led like a lamb to the slaughter, the Good Shepherd did for His flock what they could not do for themselves. All His sheep having gone astray, the Lord laid on Him the sins of them all. He bore those sins on the cross and left them there.

The one announced as the Lamb of God also revealed Himself as the Resurrection and the Life.  Having shed His blood and redeemed His flock, the Good Shepherd walked out of the tomb.

There is no longer any need for a sacrificial lamb. Now, the church, the Bride of Christ, is being made ready for the Bridegroom, the Lamb who sits upon the throne.

The tranquil scene of the nativity makes perfect sense to those who worship the Son of God who came in humility in order that we might reign with Him.

“Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb . . . for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Revelation 7:10, 17).

© Stephanie B. Blake

December 2011

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