"He will tend his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young."
Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd; I know My own and My own know Me.” (John 10:14)
To know the Lord Jesus and be known by Him; to be led by Him in this life, shepherded by Him, protected, cared for, and fed by Him, is the daily experience of the Christian. It isn’t theory or a theological analogy; it’s life. It’s how we live.
The essence of life as a Christian is knowing the Lord and following Him in true repentance and faith, but it isn’t an individualistic exercise. Sheep are gathered in flocks. Within the flock the Shepherd cares for each sheep individually, but one of the ways He does that is by gathering them into a flock.
So it is with the Lord, who established His Church and organized us into local congregations. In His wisdom as He gathers us to Himself He places us in a local congregation, which is His way of providing for our safety, our protection, and our care.
Dear Christian, if you haven’t found a local church and become a part of it, you’re missing out on much of what God has for you. Look for a congregation that believes and teaches the Bible and where the Saints minister to each other in love. Look for a pastor who himself faithfully follows Jesus and sets an example for the flock. Don’t miss out on this blessing!
If you are already a part of a faithful congregation, enjoy the fellowship and look for ways you can serve the body of Christ. As a member of the body, take care of your fellow members in love. You will see how close you draw to the Good Shepherd as you let Him minister through you in this way, and that care, protection, correction and provision will be yours as well.
Lord Jesus, I want to know You and follow You as closely as I can. Give me a fresh understanding of my place in the congregation where You have placed me. Let Your Holy Spirit move through me to seize opportunities to love and care for my brothers and sisters in this flock, in Jesus’ name.
Pastor Dan Giles