“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
-Shepherd in Hebrew is written as roi which means to pasture, tend, direct, teach, associate with etc. Shepherd has been used several times in the Bible including; Joseph’s brothers were pastoralists & came to Egypt during the famine (Gen 46:3-4), God warns the shepherds who destroy & scatter the sheep of His pasture (Jer 23:1), Moses protected Zipporah & her six sisters from the shepherds & watered their flock (Exo 2:19-20), the words of God our Shepherd are wise (Ecc 12:11-13), Jesus is the good Shepherd (Jn 10:11) etc.
-As we begin this year, let us ask God to shepherd us in all things & there is nothing we shall lack. As our Shepherd; God has promised to provide for us, restore us, lead us in paths of righteousness, protect us from all evil, comfort us, anoint our heads with oil, grant us rest & give us abundant blessings. Further, Gods’ goodness & mercy shall follow us all the days of our lives & we shall dwell in His house forever. Christ calls us to believe in Him & His word despite our shortcomings; & His grace will manifest in our lives, families & nation now & forever.
We thank You Abba Father for You have always been good to us; Your mercies endure forever. You have continually protected us, provided for us, guided our thoughts & deeds; & have shown us unending mercy. We give You thanks & praise for always encouraging us through our sorrows & joy, challenges & victory. We humbly beseech You Jesus to open the eyes of our hearts; so that we may see You in our walk of faith & follow Your voice as You shepherd us this year. Give us comfort, strength, love, joy, peace, faith, wisdom & many more graces throughout the Year Lord our faithful Father. You are our only Shepherd Jesus; we shall not lack any good thing for Your name’s sake. All glory & praise belong to You Lord; now & forever. Amen
“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
-As we begin this year let us continue praying that God may perfect us in every good work that is pleasing to Him according to His will; through Christ Jesus. Jesus our good Shepherd laid His life for us His sheep & calls us to offer sacrifices of praise & thanksgiving to Him; not forgetting to lay our lives for our neighbours by doing good & sharing; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. We are also called to focus on the will of the living God & not the fleeting pleasures of this world so that through His precious blood we may fulfill our divinely ordained mandates & inherit eternity; given to us through the everlasting covenant.
We thank You Father for the gift of life & the far that You have brought us. It is not by our power or might but by Your Spirit Lord. We humbly ask You Father to forgive us all our trespasses & give us the grace to forgive all those who have offended us. We submit our lives, families, children, leaders & nation to You Jesus; cleanse us by Your precious blood & shepherd us in the way we should go. Heal all our wounds, infirmities, weaknesses, sicknesses, inadequacies, blindness & help us to complete our mandates here on earth; for You have promised never leave us nor forsake us. Through Your eternal covenant we have received salvation through Your merciful love Lord; perfect us in every good work according to Your will & help us to always bear good fruits pleasing to You Jesus; for the glory of Your name. Amen
“Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock,”
-The Lord cautions against false shepherds who put their self interests first like some religious & other leaders in the modern time; who have scattered the people. These religious leaders deceive the flock, put their self interests before God, exult themselves in the name of the Lord, others launder money through the church & perform profane acts to the congregants; converting Gods’ house into a den of thieves. After these revelations through prophet Ezekiel; God said that He will tend to His sheep & have them lie down, search for the lost & bring back the stray, bind up the injured & strengthen the weak, destroy the sleek & shepherd His flock with justice (Eze 34:15-16). God promised to give the leadership of His flock to David who had killed a bear & lion with his bare hands when they posed danger to his father’s sheep. Through the house of David; Ezekiel’s prophecy was fulfilled by the coming of Christ our King of kings & great High priest. Jesus is our good Shepherd for He takes care of His sheep & makes us rest secure in Him.
Your word Lord is a lamb to our feet & light to our paths. Protect us Jesus by Your precious blood from thieves who only come to kill, steal & destroy for You came so that we may have life more abundantly. We repent for all those false shepherds who have scattered Your flock & exposed them to evil threats. Have mercy on us all Lord & deliver us from evil. Direct us in all things for You have said in Your word that You preserve & restore those You love. Thank You Lord for loving us with us an everlasting love Lord. Do not let us go astray we humbly ask You. Amen
1 Peter 5:2-4
“Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”
-Apostle Paul entreats the elders to voluntarily serve the congregants as overseers, not as authoritarians & extortionists but with humility as Christ taught us. Church leadership & follower-ship go hand in hand for there must be good leadership to ensure the flock submit to the elders, as we are all united in the body of Christ & if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it or if one member is honoured; all the members rejoice with it (1 Cor 12:26). Elders are also obligated to display good conduct & firm faith following the example of Christ our Chief Shepherd. In this way; one glorifies God in such orientation as to seek the crown which is yet to be seen & does not fade away but an assurance through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord & Saviour.
Our Father who at in heaven; hallowed be Your name; Your Kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread & forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptations but deliver us from evil; for thine is the Kingdom the power & the glory; forever & ever. Amen
“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
-It is interesting how sheep know the voice of their shepherd & when called they respond specifically to their master; despite having mixed with other sheep. Jesus our good Shepherd provides leadership & direction to His flock & we have confidence for we belong to Jesus & He knows us by name. He goes before us His eternal sheep & calls us to follow Him; for only in Him can find rest.
The main duty of a shepherd is to offer direction for the sheep & ensure that we obtain full satisfaction. Gods’ sovereignty does not negate human responsibility. It is therefore our responsibility to read Gods’ word & follow Jesus with our thoughts, words & deeds so that we may be aligned to His will & escape the trap of false prophets who dress like sheep but their intentions are wicked. We find a triadic symbolism of Jesus as our Shepherd for He is the same yesterday, today & forever. First, Jesus is our good Shepherd for He lay His life for us all (Jn 10:11). He is also our great Shepherd for He lives for us; in us & intercedes for us (Heb 13:20). Finally, Jesus is our Chief Shepherd for He will come again & appear to us with the reward of eternal life (1 Pet 5:4). This the evidence that Jesus through His everlasting love cared for us His flock in the past, He is always with us at present & will forever be with us in the future. Jesus is working in us for eternity by His eternal covenant through the shedding of His blood for all human kind.
You are our Shepherd & Shield Jesus; we thank You & praise You in all things. Have mercy on us Lord; forgive us our sins & cover us with Your precious blood. We humbly ask You Jesus to shepherd us, our families, friends, leaders, churches, societies & nation in the paths of righteousness for Your love for us is everlasting. Equip us Lord with Your grace, fruit & gifts so that we may only choose to do that which is pleasing in Your sight & achieve all that You have purposed for us this whole year & in the future. All glory, honour, power, praise, riches, salvation & power belongs to You; now & forever. Amen