Abundant Life–Gifts of the Good Shepherd, Day 6

Today, as we review, I want you to ask yourself the questions attached to each characteristic. May the light of His love show you the truth He wants to reveal to each of you. You may want to answer these question over several days and meditate on each one. Click here to purchase a study guide for this material.

If you choose to read through the questions without writing your answers, please pause on each question to formulate your answer.

  1. Sheep don’t see very well. In what areas of your life have you been blind? Read 2 Corinthians 5:7 and ask the Lord to calm your confusion, give you clarity, and give you peace.
  2. Sheep don’t hear very well. Do you have trouble discerning the will of God? Do you worry and fret about decisions you must make, big or small? Read Isaiah 30:21 and John 10:27. Ask the Lord to speak loudly and tell Him you are ready to listen.
  3. The biggest enemy of the sheep is the fox. Do you realize that Satan, our great enemy, often uses small, irritating things in our life to steal our peace and kill our spiritual progress? Do you have issues in your life that Satan is using against you? Read 1 John 4:4. Ask the Lord to help you decrease, so He can increase in every situation of your life.
  4. Sheep are not very courageous. They panic easily. However, they are very resilient. What things in your life are causing you to panic? What areas cause you to feel weak? Read Lamentations 3:22-24.
  5. Sheep are healthy and happy when their shepherd is gentle, kind, intelligent, brave, and selfless. Do you trust the goodness of God? Read Isaiah 9:6-7 to find out more of His wonderful attributes.
  6. Sheep are marked on the ear with the distinct mark of their shepherd. Do you have the distinct mark of the great Shepherd? Do others know that you are a follower of Jesus? How well is your life reflecting the Lord? What areas of your life do you need to become more like Him? Read Galatians 5:22-23.
  7. Sheep will lie down only when four requirements are met: They must be free of all fear.  They must be free of friction with other sheep. They must not be tormented by flies or other pests. They must be free from hunger.  What are your fears? With whom do you have friction? What torments you? What do you long for? Read Philippians 4:19.
  8. Sheep have a “butting order”. Who do you feel competitive towards? Is there anyone you are jealous of? How can you reach out in love to that person? Read 1Corinthians 3:2-3.
  9. When sheep are thirsty, they become restless and begin to search for water. They will drink any water they can find—even polluted water. What are your deepest needs, your deepest longings? What are your habits of trying to meet those needs—what is your polluted water? Ask the Lord to free you of self-medicating your soul. Read Proverbs 3:5-6.
  10. A sheep is “cast down” when it is turned over on its back and cannot get up again. A cast sheep will die if its owner does not get to it in time to right it. Read Psalm 42:5-6. Have you ever felt “cast-down”? Did you turn to the Lord or to the world for comfort during that time? Do you feel cast-down now? In which areas of your life do you need to trust God more?
  11. Sheep are very bothered by flies; a shepherd must apply an ointment to their heads to prevent flies from going up their noses. What is bothering you? What garbage do you need to remove from your life so that the flies will go away? Read Hebrews 1:9.
  12. Sheep are the most fit and healthy and strong in autumn. In autumn the leaves are so beautiful. But what is really happening? They are dying. We, too, are most fit, healthy, strong and beautiful when we die to our own selfish desires. In what area of your life are you selfish? What is your plan to change this? Read Philippians 2:3-16.
  13. Sheep who are well cared for will benefit the land—they eat undesirable weeds, and their manure is an excellent fertilizer. How can your life story benefit the kingdom of God? Which of your mistakes can He redeem to help others? Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.
  14. Sheep are creatures of habit and will follow the same trails until they become ruts and graze on the same pasture until grass can no longer grow there. They must often move to fresh pastures. What are your comfort zones? How can you get out of these comfort zones in order to experience a more abundant life? Read Isaiah 42:16.
  15. Shepherds carry only a rod and a staff. The rod is a piece of wood with a knobbed end that the shepherd uses to protect himself and the flock from predators. He also uses it to discipline wayward sheep. The staff is a long, slender stick with a hook on one end. The shepherd used the staff to catch sheep and draw them near for examination and is used for guiding sheep into a new path or through a gate or along a dangerous route. The shepherd also uses the staff to get a sheep free from a bush in which it is tangled or reach them when they’ve fallen off a cliff onto a ledge. Read Psalm 23 once again. How is the Lord speaking to you right now? Will you trust the Good Shepherd?

Whew! Okay, Sheeple. Let’s go out and trust the Good Shepherd, for we are His sheep.

 Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

                                            Psalm 100:3

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