|artwork by Krista Hamrick|
Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art prints, Name Above All Names Alphabet and Psalm 23 have so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference.
My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available on Amazon at this link.
NASB: I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.
Amplified: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.
J. B. Phillips: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd will give his life for the sake of his sheep.
The Message: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary.
Jehovah-Rapha, the Good Shepherd is our restorer. He puts our lives back together. He gives us a new start. He renews and revives us. He picks us up, heal our hurts, our bitterness, our rejection, our loneliness, our feeling of worthlessness, that pain of a broken heart. He is our cure. He is the Great Physician.
Pastor Winslow continues: "Who is the Restorer, but the Shepherd, whose the sheep are, and from whom they have wandered! There is but one Being who would or could go in quest of the stray sheep—traversing the bleak mountains and the lonely valleys, and the dark, stormy night, until He finds it, bringing it back upon His shoulder rejoicing. Christ alone knows the existence and extent of our soul-backslidings. With His hand upon the pulse—His eye upon the heart—acquainted with every fluctuating thought and emotion of the soul; who so fitted as He to seek and restore the wanderer from His fold? Oh what a throb of gratitude should beat in our hearts at the thought that Jesus knows us altogether—all our infirmities, and all our graces—when the pulse of love beats faintly, or when, in the sincerity of our hearts, we can appeal to His Omniscience, and exclaim, "You know that I love You!" "I know my sheep."
In the eastern tradition, a shepherd walks at the head of the flock. This is much different from the western tradition of driving the sheep from behind. The shepherd calls the flock out of the pen in the early morning to lead them to pools or wells of water where they can quench their thirst. He then guides them to green pastures, taking them around the rocky places where they might stumble. He assists the tiny and fragile sheep by lifting them with the crook of his staff. He runs his hand over the sheep as they enter the pen, counting them and ensuring that they have returned from the pasture unharmed. Then the shepherd settles in for the night to watch for predators. How awesome that Jesus is our shepherd. He will lead us to living water and guide us along the right path even when the way is rocky. He carries us when we stumble and watches over us during the dark nights of our lives, making us feel secure. All that He asks is that we respond to His voice and follow Him.
Heavenly Father, It is comforting to know that I am not alone in the journey called life. God, I thank You that You are ever vigilant, watching over me, meeting with me in the morning, and abiding with me through the night. Even though I may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me. Your name is Emmanuel--God with us--I am absolutely certain You are with me, You will never leave me or forsake me. May I always respond to Your voice and stay close to You. I gladly follow You as You call my name! In Your mighty Name Above All Names--Good Shepherd, we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on John 10:11. Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on John 10:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."
Look Out—as you meditate on John 10:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.