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He Cares for His Sheep

Daily Devotional for July 20, 2024

Read: Psalm 23:1-2; John 10:7-15

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Bible version changes do not affect the Key audio or "Today's Key Verse," below.

Nikita was visiting her cousins in England, and today her cousin Alexia was taking her out to see the sheep.

"You'll love the lambs, but their mums can be very protective, so you'll have to watch out," Alexia said as they walked along. "We're almost there--you can see Dad's hat, and there's Lawrence."

Uncle Matthias and Alexia's older brother came up to greet the girls. "Have you come to see the lambs, then?" Uncle Matthias asked, smiling.

"Yes!" Nikita beamed.

Lawrence pointed at the lambs frolicking and leaping along the edges of the stone walls. "Well, they're all over there, but I can catch one for you if you'd like to pet one."

"Yes, please!" Nikita bounced on her toes while she waited. As Lawrence held the lamb, Nikita stroked it and asked, "Why do you have to be out here to watch them? Can't Nessie and Wilder take care of them?" She nodded at the border collies roaming the pasture.

"Wilder and Nessie are smart dogs, but sheep sometimes get into bigger trouble than the dogs can handle." Uncle Matthias went to an upside-down ewe who was feebly waving her legs in the air and bleating. "She's a bit heavy for even Wilder here to roll upright," he continued as Wilder tugged at his coat, "so I have to go pop her onto her feet again." He righted the sheep.

"They aren't very bright, are they?" Nikita looked at the lamb. "Even if they do have cute babies."

"No, they aren't exactly the cleverest creatures, so they need a wise shepherd to tend them. But did you know that the Bible compares us to sheep, and God is the shepherd?" Uncle Matthias leaned on his staff. "Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for His sheep. These sheep can't save themselves from predators, just like we can't save ourselves from sin, evil, and death. But the Good Shepherd, who knows just how to take care of us, can save us, and we can trust and follow Him. He will always provide for us."

"You must be a very wise shepherd, but think how wise God is to take care of us!" Nikita said as she hugged the lamb.

–Ellie Shirk

HOW ABOUT YOU?
Have you ever watched a shepherd at work? It’s not very likely you have, but you probably do know that sheep are pretty helpless and need a good shepherd. Though it’s not very flattering, the Bible compares us to sheep, and Jesus says He is the Good Shepherd. He gave His life by dying on the cross to save us, and He knows the best way to take care of us. Trust Him to care for you.

TODAY'S KEY VERSE: John 10:11 (KJV)
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. (NKJV)

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