“The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:9 & 10).
I hired the defensive coordinator of my college football team to come to Missouri to help me run our summer sports camp just after I graduated. I was so young and inexperienced. I knew he could bring some much needed wisdom and discipline to our staff. Coach Utley was the toughest coach I’d ever met, but he was loved by our team for his contagious personality and his caring heart for the players on his defensive front.
During staff training week that summer, Coach Utley and his seven-year-old son, Lee, were in our small ski boat pulling a large football player who was on a slalom ski behind the boat. When the skier cut hard from one side of the wake to the other, something happened that I’ve never seen before or since that fateful day.
The boat flipped upside down, throwing Coach and the driver overboard. Coach Utley realized Lee was not with him, so he began to swim frantically around the boat crying out Lee’s name. There was no answer. Lee had apparently disappeared into the deep water below. In one last ditch effort to find his son, Coach ducked under the upsized boat and popped up in the air pocket created by the sides of the boat as it lay “turtled” on top of the water. Miraculously, Lee was treading water in that air pocket waiting for his daddy to find him.
The reunion was exhilarating, to say the very least. Hugs, tears and words of joy and affection were exchanged. Coach swam Lee to the shore in grateful silence. As the reunited father-son pair walked up the hill to their cabin, Coach cradled Lee affectionately in his arms.
After a few minutes, Coach asked Lee, “Son, were you scared?”
Lee returned a warm smile and said, “I knew you’d be there, daddy.”
- Proverbs 3:5-6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
If the lambs completely trust their shepherd for their protection, their well-being and their needs, how will that trust keep them from getting lost and harmed?
- So, what makes Jesus, your Shepherd, completely trustworthy?
…in your needs for pleasure?
…in your future plans?
…in your needs for intimacy?
- If you truly trust Jesus, how will it affect your submission to temptation and tendency to wander from the flock?
Jeremiah 17:7 & 8 – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”
- What is God’s promise to the lamb who trusts in The Shepherd?
Isaiah 43:2 – “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.”
- To what extent can you trust The Shepherd?
- To what extent will you trust The Shepherd?
Proverbs 30:5 – “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.”
Ephesians 6:16 – “In addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”
Psalm 115:9 – “O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield.”
- What are the fiery darts of the enemy, and why do you need to trust in the protective shield of your Shepherd?
John 13:15 – “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
From today’s scripture, how does THE Shepherd inspire you to shepherd your flock?
“I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1 & 2).
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication