Shepherd, Lamb, MidWinter Conference

Shepherd, Lamb, MidWinter Conference

I hope you each enjoyed a special time with your family during the Thanksgiving Holyday. We hosted our children and grandchildren and ate smoked Turkey for the first time, as well as the traditional ham. The weather was lovely and we had the opportunity to take serious and fun family photos by our gazebo, which had been beautifully decorated by my creative wife Sandi Beth.

Now the Christmas season is upon us and soon we will be watching plays with shepherds and wise men gathered around a manger. In my daily Bible Reading I am finishing up the Old Testament and am now in Daniel. In the New Testament I am completing 1 John. However when I was in 1 Peter I was blessed by the last few verses of chapter 2, where I saw Jesus as the Shepherd and the Lamb. 

“Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in His mouth. When He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but continued entrusting Himself to Him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” (1 Peter 2:21-25)

I was so grateful that God had helped me establish the discipline of reading though all the Bible each year. If I was not familiar with Isaiah I might not have seen the clear references to Isaiah 53. Peter is assuming his audience has a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament. Consider the parallels with Isaiah 53:6-7, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and Jehovah has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so He opened not His mouth.” 

Jesus was and is the Lamb of God prophesied hundred of years earlier by Isaiah. He is the sacrificial lamb that takes away our sin and that bore our sins upon the tree. By His stripes we have been healed. 

Jesus is also our Shepherd who has sought us out when we strayed. He is the Good Shepherd in John 10:10-11, 14, 27-28. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. … I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me. … My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

Our Shepherd, makes us lie down in green pastures, leads us beside still waters, restores our soul, and leads us in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Thank you Spirit of God for inspiring David to write Psalm 23 and describe what a marvelous God we serve. 

He is also the Shepherd that seeks us when we stray. I love this gem in Ezekiel “Thus says the Lord Jehovah: ‘Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out My sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. … I Myself will be the Shepherd of My sheep, and I Myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord Jehovah.’” (Ezekiel 34:11-15)

Revelation 7:17 incorporates both aspects of Jesus as Shepherd and Lamb beautifully, “The Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their Shepherd, and He will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

If you have listened to my podcasts in 2022, you know that I found Jesus in each part of the Tabernacle. It was about a year later that I realized Jesus was not only the Merciful High Priest, He was also the offering. Now I am seeing that He is not only my faithful Shepherd is the Lamb of God who died for me.

“The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) Thank you for laying Your life down for us, Your sheep. And so we join with the multitude of other grateful sheep and say, “We Your people, the sheep of Your pasture, we give thanks to You forever; from generation to generation we recount Your praise.” (Psalm 79:13)

Bible Reading Schedules
If you are considering a schedule to follow and keep you on track in 2024, consider these three schedules, one for the New Testament and Psalms, one for the Old Testament, and another simplified Old Testament. I have used these since 1989. I described them in Podcast 387, “By Every Word” a phrase taken from Matthew 4:4 and Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”

These are posted weekly here and on Facebook

381   Testimony of Jesus
382    Prayer for the Disciples
383    March for Life, Reports
384    Rise Up O Men of God
385    Adam the first Man

MidWinter Encouragement Conference
Some of you may have heard of this event which we are hosting February 23-24, 2023 in Lancaster, PA, but if not click here to see who is coming and how you can make plans to come yourself! The cost is low and the speakers are amazing. In the middle of winter we can all use a time of refreshing and renewal. 

May You each taste the “grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit” this Holy Day Season. (2 Corinthians 13:14)


The header image was used with permission by KPArtGift on Etsy.