March 15 – Devotion

Date: March 15, 2017

Scripture: Ezekiel 34

“And they shall know that I am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people,” declares the Lord God. “And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God.” (Eze. 34:30-31, ESV)

The shepherds, or leaders, of the exiled people of Israel were focused on their own self-interests. They ate the fat, clothed themselves in wool, and did not feed the sheep. The shepherds did not strengthen the sick and weak sheep.They did not seek out the strayed. Because of the shepherds’ selfishness, the sheep were scattered, hungry, and abandoned.

Whoa. That’s depressing. The sheep were lacking guidance, provision, and security. And what’s worse is that they were then scattered from one another with “none to search or seek for them” (v. 6, ESV)!

Verses 11 and 14-16 say:

For thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out… I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down,” declares the Lord God. “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak. The fat and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.”

The Lord sought out His sheep that had been scattered and brought them back home to Israel. He would judge the sheep: those that pleased Him He would keep secure and bless them. The other, self-interested lot who are unconcerned about others would be judged.

The same is true for us today. The Lord God seeks us out. He provides for us in abundance, He protects us with His great might, He gives us rest in the joy of salvation—salvation in Christ Jesus. John includes in chapter 10 of his gospel Jesus’ parable of the Good Shepherd. Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep… I know my own and my own know me” (v. 11,14). The shepherds in Ezekiel 34 are selfish and have abandoned their sheep for their own personal benefit. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will never leave us nor forsake us. He is the Good Shepherd. We are Jesus’ sheep.

In addition to being sheep, since we as Christians are called to live like Christ, we are challenged to be a “shepherd” to others. Whether in the workplace, church, school, or home, we have a responsibility to love as Christ so willingly loves. This is the role of the Church in the world: to encourage the brokenhearted, befriend the lost and forgotten, pray for our enemies, and love the unlovable. We do this joyfully, of course, because God first loved and shepherded us.

Prayer for the Journey: “Heavenly Father, thank You for being my shepherd. Thank You for seeking me and for giving me peace and Your love. Today, help me actively love others sacrificially just as Christ unconditionally loves me.”

Prepared by: Grace Pratt


2 Responses to “March 15 – Devotion”

  1. Christine Morrow says:

    Lovely

  2. Debbie Keen says:

    Wonderful devotion, Grace! Thank you!

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