I am the door; by me if any man enters in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.John 10:9
There are some that would enter the fold of the body of Christ another way, however; Jesus said that He is the only door for man to enter and be saved. The question is, have you entered into the fold through Jesus? Is Jesus your good Shepherd? Is he guiding you in and out of the green pastures? The green pasture is a place of rest where the sheep can eat in peace. The sheep do not need to worry about the thieves and robbers at this point for the Shepherd looks out for their every need. We sometimes forget that we have a great Shepherd who is desirous to care and see to our every need. All we have to do is ask. Sometimes just asking God for help is the problem that we have. It could be that we do not think that He really cares for us. Maybe we feel that He is too far away to hear us. Yet, the Shepherd is never too far away to hear his own flock of sheep. Can we say that the Lord is our Shepherd like David did in Psalms 23? What did David say about the shepherd?
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteouness for his name’s sake.Psalms 23:1-3
In Psalms 23, King David tells us that the Lord is his shepherd who makes him to lie down in green pastures and leads him to the still waters. David also tells us that his soul is restored as the Lord leads him in the path of righteousness. This is like going on a picnic where one finds green grass to sit on near a stream to eat and relax. The atmosphere is total serenity that one can even fall asleep on a beautiful sunny day. So peaceful this is when lying down on the soft green grass under the shade of a tree and listening to the water run down the stream. Have you experience this? If you have, then you will know how peaceful it can be. This is exactly the place for the sheep to be, yet we cannot always conceive this image in our own minds. We are ready to faint from the excursion of just trying to get to the place of rest and peace. Our soul needs restoring from all the things it has touched in the world we live in. We definitely need to be guided into the paths of His righteousness and not our own righteousness. Our own righteousness means nothing when compared to the great Shepherd who knows us intimately. Some may even find that as an impossibility that the Shepherd already knows us.
In Psalms 139 in verse 16, David states, “thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unformed; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” David exclaims, “how precious are your thoughts towards me, O God!” Yes, how precious are the Lord’s thoughts towards each of us that our members were written down in His book. The good shepherd knows his sheep and the sheep only listens to his voice to follow him. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep and does not allow any man to be plucked out of His hand. Only believers are in the fold of the Shepherd. No one is ever left out unless he willfully makes that choice. Each person has the choice to believe in the good Shepherd. It is individuals disbelieve that keeps him or her outside the fold of the good Shepherd. But look at verse 16 of John chapter 10. Jesus said that He will bring the other sheep into the fold. Jesus said He will bring them in. Jesus said, “there shall be one-fold, and one shepherd.” Anyone can enter into the fold when coming through Christ by believing in Christ’s atonement.
One-fold, one shepherd, one body, one spirit, and one Lord of all. Is he your Lord? Do you know what it means to be truly lost? Have you ever been lost on a trail while hiking? How about being lost in a city you are not familiar with? I had run away from home as a teen in the city of Perth in Western Australia. There was no peace at home, and I just wanted to get away to find some peace. However, there are dangers out in the world that one can’t see ahead of time. I was physically assaulted in a park, and I cried out to God to save me. Save me he did, I stumbled around the city of Perth not knowing where I was going, and I heard his voice telling me I had to go back home. Nothing like arguing with God about the situation at home, let alone being assaulted. But that is exactly what I did. I argued with God. Plus, I told him I was lost and did not know the way back home. This was not a problem for God, as my eyes were closed and tears running down my face, He translated be back one block away to where home was. I did not see it happened, but when I opened my eyes, I knew I was in a different place from where I originally was. I just had to accept it for what it was. His voice gave me the assurance as He spoke that He would be with me and help me to bear the verbal abuse that I would receive. No one can tell me that He [God] is not interested in bringing in other sheep into the fold, for I am one of those sheep.
There is something else to take into consideration. Jesus mentions the thief in verse 10 of chapter 10 of the Gospel of John. The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy. Who is this thief that would enter into the fold or pluck one of the sheep out of the hand of the good Shepherd? Anyone who is not a believer, and anyone who lives a life of disobedience from God. Those who follow their own will or the will of another man. Those who are under the influence of the devil. Have you ever considered what the word “devil” literally means? The word “devil” means a “slanderer.” A slanderer is one who makes false and damaging statements about someone. It is a person who slanders both God and man. The devil is the fallen angel who desired others to worship him. Just look at what he told Jesus in Matthew 4:8-9. The devil told Jesus that he would give him the kingdoms in the world if Jesus would only bow down and worship him. In verse 10 Jesus said, “Begone! Satan: for it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord, thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Be careful to whom you follow or worship. The devil left Jesus and the angels came and ministered unto him [see verse 11 of Matthew chapter 4].
Each of us is to remember the words spoken in the Bible and pray for understanding as to its meaning. Jesus knew the father. To know is to have knowledge and recognition about something, or a person. It is more than just to know about a person. It is believing in that person for who they are as an individual. Building trust with that person is the key to fellowship. Can we have that kind of trust with God? King David had that kind of trust in God in that he believed in God’s goodness and mercy. He knew that each person has their appointed time here on earth. He knew that God would see him through troubled times. David also knew when he was at fault. That is why we pray that we would not to be led into temptation, but out of temptation, and from the evil one [see Luke 11:3].
We must remember that we are kept by the power of God through faith. And faith is believing in who Jesus is. Salvation and healing are in the atonement through Christ Jesus. Therefore, the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if [they] have committed any sins, they shall be forgiven [see James 5:15]. We draw near to the Shepherd of Love in humble obedience knowing He will see to our needs. All things are within the Shepherd’s capable hands. It is the meek who shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace [see Psalms 37:11]. Our path is in the Lord’s hand, and He is our Shepherd. Nothing is withheld that the Lord is not generous if we but ask Him for help. He helps us and instructs us through the word [the Bible]. Put your trust in his word and draw near to the Shepherd that you may declare His works. Trust Him to guide you in and out of green pastures so that your soul may be restored to living in love and peace. Ask the Lord for help and declare the work He has done in your life. Allow His spirit to restore your soul today in Jesus’ name and be healed, forgiven, and saved. Always pray without ceasing, rebuke the devil, and stay in the fold of the good Shepherd.
It is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.Psalms 73:28