Follow the Shepherd

Joy Petroelje

Read: John 10:7-18

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (v. 11)

            He leadeth me, O blessed thought!
            O words with heavenly comfort fraught!
            Whate’er I do, where’er I be,
            still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me.

Social media options such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter provide us with opportunities to “follow” friends and organizations so we can keep up on all the latest news. Messages are uploaded instantly and are ever-changing. We may become consumed with checking new posts so we don’t fall behind or feel left out. However, it’s important to stop and ask, “Who, or what, are we really following?” Are we trailing after an idea that’s temporary or something eternal? Are we tagging along with someone who points us to Christ or away from him?

Jesus knew that sheep without a shepherd could easily endanger themselves. We are so similar. When we follow after someone else, we risk placing ourselves in harm’s way. We become much like those in Matthew 9:36: “When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”

Pastor, professor, and author Joseph Gilmore penned the opening lines of the hymn “He Leadeth Me, O Blessed Thought” more than 150 years ago. Little did he know his words would be set to music, expanded with additional verses, and serve as comfort for us yet today!—Joy Petroelje

Prayer: Faithful and loving God, help me to follow your leading above all else the world may offer. Thank you for loving me as a shepherd loves his sheep.