Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013 … Following the Good Shepherd

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2013 - Day 354

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a video of a poignant recitation of The 23rd Psalm , which speaks of our deliverance from the valley of the shadow of death into the meadows of the Good Shepherd when we, His sheep, hear His voice and follow Him. … And then, from the sublime, to the ridiculous, GO TO THIS LINK   – to hear Frank Sinatra singing the theme song of selfish living, … the song most identified with Old Blue Eyes, My Way!

Highlight Passage #1 - NLT: John 10: 14-16  
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to My voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.  ... " 
Highlight Context - NLT: John, Chapter 10… GO TO THIS LINK … 

Reference Passage #1: Isaiah 53: 6 … [NLT]
 6 All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on Him the sins of us all.

Reference Passage #2: Psalm 23 … [NLT] GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #3: Luke 9: 23 … [NLT]
23 Then He said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. … “

My Journal for Today: This morning Os Hillman, in his devotional blog, led me into the pasture of my Good Shepherd; and I come to this quiet place each morning, following my Lord and Shepherd, to graze in His protected and well-provided place of rest and reflection. And if you’ve listened to the audio presentation of that well-know Psalm 23 linked above and read the Scriptures I’ve provided above, you’ll know why I love to be in this quiet place, sometimes having come through the valley of the shadow of death, to follow My Good Shepherd to this place of solitude and protected love in my quite time with my Lord today … and every day, … doing life HIS way, rather than as Frankie sings, “My Way.”

I’ve always relished and identified with the imagery of following the Good Shepherd. In the photo I’ve ripped from the web this AM, you see how, even in modern times in the middle east, the sheep know the voice and smells of their shepherd; and they follow him. And they also follow him because they know how he will lead them to greener pastures and cool waters as well as to protect them from evil and life-threatening places. As Jesus said in John 10, which is always comforting to read, The Lord’s flock know His voice … and they follow Him.

What about us today? Have we made the decision today to discipline ourselves, hearing His voice, to follow our Good Shepherd; or will we go our own way, as Isaiah 53: 6 and the theme song of old blue eyes sings (also linked above), proclaims. … Oh, how we can be so stubborn and wayward sheep at times, hearing the voice of The Shepherd; but straying to live life our own way.

It’s our choice today. So, … whom will we follow, … the way of the self or the way of the Good Shepherd?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I choose to follow You as my Good Shepherd and Messiah. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online blog entitled Today God Is First [TGIF], authored by Os Hillman. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read Hillman’s TGIF blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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