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3.2 Our Shepherd

Scripture Focus: Psalm 23:1 The Lesson in Context There is one important distinction between the metaphor of the physical shepherd and our heavenly Shepherd. In the livestock industry, shepherds do not give their animals any choice of whether to stay with the flock. Those sheep have no choice in the matter; they must do whatever the shepherd says. However, God, as our loving and Good Shepherd, recognizes we are humans and not farm animals. He has given each of us free will to humbly submit to His status as the Good Shepherd. He will not force us to stay with the herd. He will continually pursue us, but He will never forcefully coerce us. Instead, He cries out to us, beckoning us to join His flock. He is always ready with a loving embrace. Those who are already in the flock can participate in God’s mission to find and restore the lost sheep of this world. Probably all of us know some lost sheep, wandering about with no shepherd, no guidance, and no direction. When we encounter these persons, let us be bold to testify of the provision and protection we have found in Christ. Let us allow our anointing and blessings to shine through us for all the world to see. Let us use the goodness and mercy God has given us to bless others. Let us guide this hurting world to the Shepherd who is faithfully guiding us. Group Discussion 1. What are some ways God shows you He cares for you daily? 2. Oftentimes we think of God’s blessings in terms of what He has given to us, but what about what God has kept us from? What are some of the things we may not have experienced because of God’s protection? 3. What are some things God has provided for you in the past? How do these testimonies give you confidence in His ability to provide for you in the future? 4. Can you count all of God’s blessings in your life? Have you ever tried? Perhaps a good exercise in the coming days would be to sit down and write out as many of God’s blessings as you can recall. 5. What are some of the ways we can constantly, purposefully, and intentionally “dwell” in God’s presence? In between church services, how can we experience God on a daily basis?

HE WHO SITS ON THE THRONE - 02JAN22

January 2, 2022 • L.J. Harry - PPH • Revelation 22:1–3

LESSON BIG IDEA I will worship the one God who sits on the throne. FOCUS VERSES Revelation 22:1–3 1 And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him. LESSON TEXT Revelation 21:1–5, 9–13, 21–27; 22:1–5 TRUTH ABOUT GOD Throughout Revelation, God and the Lamb are identified as one and the same.

I AM - 26DEC21

December 26, 2021 • L.J. Harry - PPH • John 8:58

LESSON BIG IDEA I will call on the name of Jesus, recognizing I am calling on the one God of the Bible. FOCUS VERSES John 8:58- Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. LESSON TEXT John 8:39–59 TRUTH ABOUT GOD The Lord revealed Himself to Moses and to the first- century Jews as I AM.

REJOICING WITH GREAT JOY - 19DEC21

December 19, 2021 • L.J. Harry - PPH • Luke 2:10–11

LESSON BIG IDEA I will embrace the joy Jesus gives because He was born to be my Savior. FOCUS VERSES Luke 2:10–11 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. LESSON TEXT Matthew 2:7–12; Luke 2:1–20 TRUTH ABOUT GOD God manifested Himself in flesh to save us from our sins.