Scripture Reading: John 10:4-5

 On a Wednesday evening in 1859, Gilmore Joseph Henry a Professor of Logic when meditating on Psalm 23, composed this beautiful and popular hymn: “He leadeth me: O blessed thought!, O words with heavenly comfort fraught!, Whate’er I do, where’er I be, still ’tis God’s hand that leadeth me. Refrain: He leadeth me, he leadeth me; by his own hand he leadeth me: his faithful follower I would be, for by his hand he leadeth me……..”

Dear friends in Christ, we are lonely travelers across the great sea of life. Ten thousand voices and many different paths are constantly beckoning us to go this way and that. Often time we follow paths, which at first looked promising, but ended in disappointment. Had I known, is a common expression of the human lips. Life is characterized by many alternatives. Faced with such alternatives, we experience great mental stress before we can decide on which decision to take. However, limited by accurate and adequate information, our choices are often times not the best for us. “There is a way that seems right to a person, but its end is the way to death” (Proverbs 14:12).” Though we seek to take the best most profitable alternative, at the end we discover that our choice is not always the best. So our quest for the best alternative leaves at times confused and undecided. Sheep lack a sense of direction even in the familiar environment of their own territory. So it is with believers, we cannot guide ourselves. We must rely completely on the Word of God (the voice of our Shepherd). When we have the Lord as our Shepherd, we shall not want for guidance, for when my soul needs guidance, the Shepherd “… leads me in the paths of righteousness…” (Psalm 23:3). A sheep that has a shepherd doesn’t need to bother much about which way to follow at a cross road, because as our scripture reference for today says: “When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” All that a sheep needs to do at a crossroads is to obey and follow the Shepherd voice. “He leads me beside the still waters…” Jesus, the Loving Shepherd, says, “I am the way…” (John 14:6). He wants to lead us to heaven, the home of the soul.

Dear friends, without divine guidance we cannot locate and return home, for we have wandered too far from the followership of the Shepherd. Divine guidance is a reality we must seek to experience every moment of our life.. Living by divine guidance, means, living in accordance with the will of God; obeying the word of God and enjoying his perpetual presence.

There is an urgent need in our time for meditation, because without meditation we may find it difficult to hear and recognized the shepherd’s voice today. There is need for the flock of Christ to withdrawn from the ever busy world with conflicting voices, to stay alone with God. Alone with God is the place where we sought for the Shepherds guidance. Staying alone with God means that the sheep has time to enjoy the touch and conversion by the Shepherd. So all we need, for sure guidance is the consciousness of the presence of the Shepherd, so as the little girl would say “The Lord is my shepherd that is all I want”, because with the Lord I shall not want for guidance.

Prayer points:

  1. Begin your prayer with this refrain: He leadeth me, he leadeth me; by his own hand he leadeth me: his faithful follower I would be, for by his hand he leadeth
  2. Pray for God’s pardon for those times you have failed to follow the direction of Jesus the Shepherd
  3. Take this prayer for divine guidance: In the name of Jesus, I come before thy throne of grace, seeking your divine guidance and direction concerning my life this day. Give me the courage to trust you and to follow the path of faith and righteousness as you take the lead as my Shepherd. Lord Jesus my Shepherd, as I walk in this journey of life, be my Rock and Fortress, show me favour and guide me in my entire affairs, even in the midst of storm let your right hand hold me firm to yourself. Preserve me in my going out and my coming in, O angels and saints of God grant me your fraternal assistance that I may persevere in following the footsteps of Jesus our Lord and Shepherd both now and forever – Amen
  4. Thank God for prayers answered.

Exercise: Learn to pray before taking decisions

Memory Verse: Psalm 143:10a