What More Could We Want?

“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”Psalm 23:1

John D. Rockefeller was one of the richest men in the world. An interviewer once asked him, “How much money is enough?” Rockefeller replied, “Just a little bit more.”

How many times have we told ourselves that if we had “just a little bit more” we would be happy? A higher paying job. A larger home. An earlier retirement. Better health. Successful children.

But what happens when those wants are met? Are people truly happy? And what happens when those wants aren’t met? When you find yourself unemployed. When in rough times your savings are depleted. When plans for better housing or earlier retirement have to be put on hold. When your health takes a turn for the worse or your children struggle in school. Where do you turn? Turn to Jesus and remember, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.”

We might not have everything we want in life, but Jesus, our Good Shepherd, has truly given us everything we need. He’s given us his word. He’s given us his promises. He assures us that our sins are forgiven and eternal life in heaven is ours through his death and resurrection.

He promises to provide for all of our physical and spiritual needs richly and abundantly here on earth until he takes us to the glorious home that he has prepared for us in heaven. There through our Savior, you and I will experience the fulfillment of his promise, “You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Psalm 16:11).

Not long after his death, someone came up to the accountant of John D. Rockefeller and said, “We know Rockefeller was a very wealthy man. How much did he leave?” Without a moment’s hesitation, the accountant answered, “Everything!” A man who seemed to have it all was forced to leave it all behind in the end. The only things that will go with us from this life to the next are the spiritual treasures that belong to us through faith in Jesus.

What do we want out of life? What we need the most has already been fully and freely supplied by Jesus, our Good Shepherd. So, what more could we want? What more could we need?

The Good Shepherd Leads You

The Lord is my Shepherd; I’ll not be in want. – Psalm 23:1

Psalm 23 describes our Savior God as our Shepherd. And because he is our loving Shepherd, we come to this confident conclusion: we shall never be in want—we shall never lack anything we truly need.

How does the Lord our Shepherd give us such confidence? We can trust where our Good Shepherd leads us. He guides us for our benefit, even if it doesn’t always appear that way.

Many people want to be leading their own life. As they strive after numerous things, they look somewhat like a dog chasing its tail. They pursue money, possessions, popularity and many other things, but those things don’t give them any true peace and lasting fulfillment. They know what they want for themselves, but they miss what they need for a relationship with God.

Give thanks that we do not have to be part of this vain chase. We do not lead. Our Shepherd does, and his lead is always for our greatest benefit. He supplies everything we really need for our physical life. Most importantly, he gives us what we absolutely need for our souls: the forgiveness of sins which he provided by laying down his life for us!

Take comfort in the confidence that your Good Shepherd is always leading you. Trust him, and gladly follow the Lord who is your Shepherd.

Does God really care?

Does a shepherd care about a lost sheep?  Does a father care about a wayward son?

Jesus Christ used both examples to assure those who have made terrible mistakes, assumed deplorable lifestyles, or suffered grievous loss that God cares for them. Jesus was being criticized because he “welcomed sinners” (Luke 15). So he defended his compassionate care with two stories that people would understand.

In the story of the sheep, a shepherd owns a hundred sheep, and one of them becomes lost. He takes a calculated risk, leaves the other ninety-nine sheep, and goes after the lost sheep. He calls it by name. He rescues it.

He joyfully puts it on his shoulders.

The wayward son isn’t ignorant, like a sheep, but rebellious. He demands his inheritance and then lives the wild life in a distant country until he spends it all foolishly. His money and his pride gone, so he returns to his father and pleads to be hired as a servant.

Instead, he is welcomed by his father like a king. A party is thrown in his honor.

Now, a shepherd may take a privilege or two away from a sheep that tends to stray, just to keep that rascal in plain sight. A father may not be so willing to extend responsibility to a foolish son. Neither indicate lack of loving care, however, but just the opposite – a loving care that is willing to help even if it hurts.

We will sometimes see the loving care of God and appreciate it. Other times we will see sadness and pain. During sad times our limited understanding can yield to our faith that God understands more than we do, and he cares in a way we can’t understand.

We turn to his promises and hold him to his Word, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28).


The Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

“Man Dies to Save Trapped Bunny” pops up as you scroll through your news app. You tap on the video. You see what reminds you of the furry little Cadbury Creme Egg mascot. A heroic rescue follows.

You’re baffled. You’re impressed! You think…What inspired that guy to give his own life for a bunny? Come to think of it, I sometimes forget even to feed my own pet!

Try another headline: “Man Dies to Save World.” That headline actually does pop up when you read the Bible. At first it may sound like it’s from a too-predictable superhero movie. It seems too good to be true. But it is true! Jesus is that man. He died an agonizing, humiliating death on a Roman torture-pole to save the world. He wasn’t saving it from global warming or hunger or war, but saving it from damnation. And despite what some speculate, Jesus didn’t come to post the Ten Commandments at every town hall and enforce them. No, the world already stood condemned by the law because of its sin. Instead, Jesus came to rescue the world. By the way, “world” means everyone in it. You too!

Look at the extraordinary heroism in Jesus, this world’s Rescuer! Really, it was more than heroism. He, being true God, displayed God’s love and God’s plan to give forgiveness and eternal life to all! Jesus’ life, death, and bodily resurrection show us the very heart of God. This is a headline worth your time. It is worth hearing and reading more about. Scroll on.

Here’s a way to picture Jesus your God and Savior: Jesus is The Good Shepherd. He describes himself, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” We’re the sheep. We’ve strayed and “bleated up” life because we’re sinful. We are lost sheep needing rescue. Not just by a hired hand. Not just by any shepherd, but by The Good Shepherd. Not just a no-name hero, forgotten tomorrow. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who, being both God and man, laid down his life for you. He really did save the whole world. Your sins are forgiven.

Your life’s headline reads: “Good Shepherd Dies to Save THIS Sheep.” It’s a headline others need to hear about too! Share it!

I am the Good Shepherd

I am the Good Shepherd

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” – John 10:11,14

I am your Good Shepherd

Jesus says to you and to me: I am not your typical shepherd. I am not a hired hand that cares nothing for the sheep. I am not some fly-by-night outfit that will only care for you when it’s safe. I am not going to abandon my post—and you—and run when the wolves come.

No. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the Lord. I am the God who made you and cares for you and protects you. I am the Good Shepherd who laid down my life for you. But when I laid down my life, it was my choice, no tragic accident. It was my choice to lay down my life for you on the cross. I willingly gave up my life to take away your sin and to forgive your wandering ways. And it was my choice to take up my life again on the third day. I conquered death—mine and yours.

Now, nothing can separate you and me. Nothing can snatch you out of my hand. Follow me, listen to my voice, trust my promises. I will never fail you. I will never leave you. I will never let you go.

Don’t be afraid. I know you. I know your failings and sins, your regret and your shame. And I still love you. I love you so much that I laid down my life for you. Now I live again. And I know your hurts and doubts, your pains and problems, your fears and worries. And if not even death can snatch you out of my hand, neither can that problem you have with your job…or your marriage…or your health…or your friend…or your past…or your future.

I am your Good Shepherd. I laid down my life for you. And took it up again. So you know: I won’t leave you now. Or ever.

Heaven's gate

Jesus Is the Only Way

Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. – John 10:7-9

There is a temptation to see people as thieves and robbers see people–as lunch, or as a ticket to lunch, or as a means of getting something else in this life that seems to be important. That is how the devil and the world see people, and that is how your own sinful flesh would have you see people.

That is not how Jesus, the gate, would have you see people. Jesus would have you see people as the focus of his love. He would have you see people as recipients of kindness and compassion. He would have you see people as sheep in need of a shepherd. And Jesus would have you see him as the only way. Do you want to make a lasting difference in people’s lives? Truly, the only way to bring lasting goodness and grace to people is through Jesus.

There is a temptation to live as the devil and the world want you to live–to go your own way and do your own thing, to find pleasure and satisfaction in the things of this world apart from God, to flaunt your self-reliance and independence from God. That is how the devil and the world want you to live, and your sinful flesh loves to play along.

That is not how Jesus, the gate, wants you to live. Jesus wants you to listen to his voice and trust him. He wants you to come to the Father through him. He wants you to find spiritual nourishment and strength in his word. And Jesus wants you to know that he is the only way.

Do you want to live a life that has meaning now and in eternity?

Truly, the only way to live in lasting goodness and grace is through Jesus.