Sunday, October 4, 2009

Who is My Shepherd?

I recently began hosting a book club/Bible study for our church at my house. There are 28 of these book clubs running simultaneously around the city of Portland and surrounding suburbs with over 560 women participating! It's really cool to be a small part of a very large whole with a unified purpose of falling more in love with Jesus.

The book we're studying is W. Phillip Keller's A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 and we're using the book as a springboard to dive into God's Word and really try to grasp hold of His heart and love for us. The first chapter focused on "the Lord is my Shepherd." The author raises the point that our view of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is too human and because we try to put Jesus in a human-sized box, we don't come close to grasping the enormity of who He really is. We hoard our lives and refuse to release control to what feels like an undefined entity.

But who is Jesus? Listen to how the author describes Him (CAPS emphasis mine). "An unbiased look at His life quickly reveals an individual of enormous compassion and incredible integrity. He was the most balanced and perhaps the most beloved being ever to enter the society of men. Because of Him, millions of people across almost twenty centuries of time have come into a life of decency and honor and noble conduct. Not only was He gentle and tender and true but also righteous, stern as steel, and terribly tough on phony people. He came to set men free from their own sins, their own selves, their own fears. THOSE SO LIBERATED LOVED HIM WITH FIERCE LOYALTY." The author sums the chapter up by saying, "A person exchanges the fickle fortunes of living life by sheer whimsy FOR THE MORE PRODUCTIVE AND SATISFYING ADVENTURE OF BEING GUIDED GOD."

It's tempting to believe that my plans are the best. I mean who could know better than me what I want and need? Oh. Oh yeah. How about The One who created me? Who loves me? Who gave His life for mine even though my life is ugly and stained with sin? Who daily intercedes for me before the Throne of God to pour over my life grace I don't deserve? That's my Jesus, my Shepherd. I humbly but loudly proclaim, "The Lord is MY Shepherd, and I love Him fiercely."

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