Scripture Reference: John 10:1-16
God is good — and that never changes! No matter what we are facing, it does not change the fact that God is good. He is always good and knows exactly how to express His goodness to us in every circumstance of life. We should look for His goodness and expect His kindness.
We tend to measure goodness by seeing it in contrast to badness. In our estimation, goodness is relative. Mother Teresa is good. Adolph Hitler is bad. But when it comes to God, His goodness is beyond any human measurement. God is good because God is God.
God’s goodness is illustrated in the parable of the Good Shepherd in John 10.
A. The shepherd knows and loves His sheep.
God is so intimately acquainted with us (Ps. 139:1-3) that He has numbered the hairs on our head (Luke 13:7). We love our children but who among us has numbered the hairs on their head?
Take a moment to thank God for being intimately acquainted with every aspect of your life and for His every expression of goodness to you.
B. Sheep listen to the shepherd’s voice.
The sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice. Think about how your children recognize your voice when you call them. We should get excited when we hear the shepherd’s voice. And we should respond to His call.
Because sheep are directionless and have a tendency to wander (Isa. 53:6) it is important that they listen for the shepherd’s voice.
In what ways do you hear the Shepherd’s voice calling out to you — perhaps to help you to correct your course or to reassure and encourage you?
Take a moment to thank the Shepherd for being good and for never running out of what we need.
C. Sheep must be protected and disciplined.
Sheep are vulnerable. They have no defense mechanisms. They need the shepherd to protect them from predators and other dangers in the field.
The shepherd also disciplines the sheep because he loves them. Hebrews 13:5 reminds us that the Lord disciplines those whom He loves. On occasion, a shepherd had to break the leg of a sheep as a disciplinary action (see Psalm 51:8). By doing so he took on more responsibility because he had to tend and care for that particular sheep. This action taught the sheep to depend on and follow the shepherd.
Take a moment to thank the Shepherd for the times He has disciplined you and kept you from going astray.
D. Sheep must be sheared for their own good.
Sheep produce lanolin which makes them sticky. All of the yuckiness of life sticks to their wool. Their wool also must be sheared lest it inhibit the sheep’s capacity to survive.
Like sheep, life in all of its messiness tends to stick to us. We need the shepherd to shear us and to remove all of that filth and to renew us.
Take a moment to thank the Shepherd for having your best interests in mind when He shears you and removes things from your life that will hinder your spiritual health and growth.