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Between God’s Shoulders | Luke 15:1-7, Deuteronomy 33:12, Psalm 23, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 30:21

We’re talking about Jesus this week, as our Good Shepherd, and it’s so important to trust God and understand His love for us. Today, we’re reading about the lost sheep in Luke 15. If you are disconnected from your faith, imagine yourself as the lost sheep being joyfully carried home by Jesus. Let’s dive in.

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Hi, it’s Erica. You look so nice and I’m so glad you could come to this dinner party for me. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, and yes, we are studying Jesus who said, I am the Good Shepherd, not I am the good CEO and what that means this week. So, drop in with me on this little dinner party. Come on, because in moments you and I are going to be talking about trusting God to lead us, but we can’t trust someone until we know how much that someone loves us and that’s why we’re at this dinner party. Sit down, Luke chapter 15, beginning in verse one.

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. 2 This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them! 3 So Jesus told them this story: 4 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. 6 When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!

That is a powerful painting of love right there. I want you to picture yourself for a minute whether you are lost in that you are in this world and you really don’t know God and you know there’s something in your spirit that’s crying out for more. If that’s the kind of lost you are feeling today, I want you to picture yourself just sitting on the shoulders of Jesus, like a much loved child who maybe does wrong every now and then, but is sorry for it, and loves his or her father. You are that child. This is why Jesus came. He laid down his life for the sheep. That’s what makes him the good shepherd. That’s how loved we are in the Old Testament, I believe it’s in Deuteronomy, but I’ll put it in the show notes. It says,

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders.” Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)

If you are that sheep who has strayed away from your childhood faith, or has never really had a faith, you’ve heard the name Jesus, you’ve heard the word Christian, but you’ve never embraced it… This is your day. This is the day when the angels will be rejoicing in heaven because you have come home. It’s just about running for the arms of Jesus and letting him embrace you, saying, I’m sorry for my sins. I know you died to save me, and I receive that free gift, and it’s going to feel so good. It’s not going to solve all your problems, but it’s going to make them bearable and you’re going to know without a shadow of a doubt that you’re loved. Now, if the kind of lost you’re feeling today is lost in your circumstances, lost at sea in a storm in your life, just feeling like God has left the building? This is your opportunity to remember that our good shepherd takes us through the valley. Come on, let’s read Psalm 23 together. Don’t we need to hear it?

The Lord is my shepherd,

My good shepherd.

I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.

When you’re tight with Jesus, he will lead you to the peaceful places to replenish. If work is stressing you out, if a family member or a friend is stressing you out, ask Jesus to come and sit with you. That’s the peaceful stream, that sitting with him in his presence is the thing that makes you peaceful. Doing what we’re doing now, opening his Word makes you realize, I’m not lost, I’m found. Okay, verse three, now.

He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.

See this Psalm, this beloved Psalm in the middle of your Bible says it all. That’s why we all appreciate it so much. In the presence of Jesus, there is peace. In the valley, He’s close beside you. In that storm, he’s sitting beside you getting wet as the rain is coming down. The enemy in your life, he’s taking care of that. That cup that seems empty… He’s going to overflow it with blessings. This is what our Good Shepherd does. We just read his resume. He’s good. He’s a Good Shepherd. He’s leading us to peaceful places. He’s leading us where he wants us to go, and we never ever walk alone. It may seem sometimes, but there’s not a fire He won’t walk through with us. There’s not a river He won’t forde with us. He’s always there taking care of us, okay? So that’s why we can trust him because he is love and he is good. Let’s read Proverbs 3:5-6 together today.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

If you are feeling like that lost sheep today, don’t depend on what you know.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

If you don’t know which way to go, God is willing to give you wisdom; to give you counsel. You know, in order to receive it we have to sit in his presence. We have to be still. We have to be quiet. He leads us to the peaceful streams, but we’ve got to be willing to be led. Don’t you want to be led? I’m like, here, Jesus, I’m putting my hand in yours, lead me. Isaiah 30:21 says,

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.

What a promise. Have you ever had somebody you love walk into a room in your home and you have to pause the podcast or pause the TV so that you can hear them better? Sometimes you’ve got to pause the noise and chaos of life in order to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd telling you whether to go to the right or to the left. So today, take an opportunity to get quiet, and to listen for his voice. He’s going to show you the way to go. Until next time, you are really loved.

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