Jesus our Shepherd

JD Shermanby JD Sherman

This morning as I was praying, I was reflecting on a conversation I had with a group of University students just a day earlier. We were beginning a new study around the theme of purpose, and as the students began to share it became evident that few had an understanding of God’s purpose for their lives. “Am I really supposed to be in engineering? Or am I wasting my time?” The honest questions that were deep within these student’s hearts began to come out.

Amidst reflecting on this recent dialogue, I thought of the Israelites in the Old Testament grumbling in the desert. It’s late at night and you can picture a man coming out from his tent, falling on his knees, looking up to heaven and crying out to God in complete honesty “GOD, why have you forsaken us! Are you going to let us die out here!” and the paradox seems all too obvious as his face is illuminated by the massive pillar of fire in the sky above him! I felt sheepish realizing the parallels in my own life and the life of these students. Not only has God spelled out his story, his grand narrative, his plan and his purposes for us, but he then wrapped himself in flesh and showed us exactly what it would look like for a human being to walk in complete submission and obedience to the Father. Jesus has showed us what it looks like to live a life in 100% alignment to the will of God. To conclude that the answer to our question is found in the person of Jesus never ceases to amaze me. I mean, I should come to expect it by now, but every time I come to that conclusion myself, it causes me to fall more and more in love with Him.

The prayer that has been growing in my heart for those that I disciple is “Lord, show them JESUS!” It’s echoed in the many apostolic prayers throughout the New Testament. Eph. 1:17 – “Give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of you.” And later in Eph. 3:19 – “that they may know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.”

As alongsiders, it’s our role to always be pointing people towards Jesus and allowing Him – the shepherd of their souls – to lead them into all truth.

1 thought on “Jesus our Shepherd

  1. What would it take? TrueFaced communities of Grace and Love I spsucet. What may get in the way? TSA has for many years been blessed with its focus on meeting people where they are, and walking with them until they accept the claims of Christ for themselves. We have generally not developed those folk into disciples who are able to grow in Christ through self-discipleship, or to spiritually feed themselves. I wonder if we may have created in some worship centres a dependency on the leader’s guidance rather than assisting people to recognise the voice of God speaking into their lives. While we have the responsibility to assist people in the early years of their spiritual development, gently nurturing and encouraging them to trust God, we may not have assisted people to stand alone in Christ, taking upon themselves the responsibility to grow in Christ. We need a change in culture that recognises that Soldiership in not the end of discipleship, but (maybe) a step in the journey to Christlikeness. When people come to our centres through social need or to attend a Corps based program such as mainly music or playgroup, and they learn that TSA is an evangelical part of the Christian Church, I spsucet that they are not concerned by the evangelical spiritual aspects that we have. They may have indeed come to us desiring to explore their own spirituality. We should not be fearful of assisting them explore this aspect of their being, as they may even be disappointed if we shy away from introducing an opportunity for them to discuss this with us. We may be concerned that this we may frighten people from returning, but I also spsucet that people may have chosen to attend our playgroups and such because TSA is a Christian Church, and they desire to explore who they are in a safe spiritual setting. Perhaps? More probably, than perhaps.What may be getting in the way of being an effect discipleship maker? Our current view of Discipleship and what hat looks like, and probably our fear of the spiritual aspects in what we do.

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