By Jane Fryar
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters (Psalm 23:2 ESV).
Our relationship with Jesus is deeply personal. “The Lord is my Shepherd,” the Bible says. This relationship is personal, but it is not private! The entire flock shares those green pastures, those still waters.
Psalm 23:2 pictures for us the green pastures and the quiet waters where each member of the Good Shepherd’s flock can feast, can rest, can drink deeply from the uninterrupted stream of God’s mercy.
The biblical ideal shows Jesus placing us in a specific flock, a local church, and then using us and the other members of that flock to serve, teach, and encourage one another. For example:
- Think of your children’s Sunday school teacher and all that person does to deepen your child’s understanding of and love for Jesus.
- Consider the trustees who keep your church facility a safe and comfortable meeting place.
- Recall the prayer warriors who came to visit your family in the ER the night your mom or your son was in that car accident.
These people all serve the Lord Jesus. They also serve us. They are part of the process the Lord envisioned when he commissioned his disciples to carry his love out across the entire globe:
You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8 ESV).
Growth in faith is no mysterious process. Far from it, in fact! Instead, our Good Shepherd sustains our faith as we share his Word in multiple ways with one another.
Prayer: Good Shepherd, use me in simple ways in the lives of those around me. Help all of us in our church to shine with the light of your truth and love when we gather with one another and as we serve in our community. Amen.
Editor’s note: Today’s devotion comes from CTA’s book Created for Community. The devotion book and digital teaching tools come together to form a five-week experience that will encourage your worshipers to love, worship, and serve together—inside and outside your church walls. It might just be the perfect churchwide theme for your ministry to kick off this fall!
You are welcome to copy this article for one-time use when you include this credit line and receive no monetary benefit from it: © 2019 CTA, Inc. Used with permission.