Stop. Breathe.

Find stillness, right here.

Take comfort.

The Shepherd is waiting to lead you into rest, now.

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This is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love each other as he commanded us. The person who keeps his commandments remains in God and God remains in him; and this is how we know that he remains in us, because of the Spirit that he has given to us.

1 John 3:23-24

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Maybe shepherds would have an easier job if they could just get sheep to obey certain rules: Don’t wander off by yourself. Eat your own grass and nobody else’s. If you see a wolf, yell!

And maybe living a faithful life would be easier if we could get people to obey certain rules, too. We like to come up with rules for ourselves — and we like them even more for other people. We especially love the rules that make it easy to see who is really “in” the flock and who is “out.”

God does give commandments for followers of the Good Shepherd, but it’s not a long checklist of approved behaviors. It’s two simple rules: Believe and Love. Simple, perhaps, but definitely not easy. You can’t keep a scorecard of rule-following and rule-breaking with rules like these. But when our belief in Jesus and our love for each other overflow into our actions, we find our home together in the flock, guided by a Shepherd who is alive in us.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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I’m following you today, God, because your Spirit calls me. You invite me to believe, and you teach me how to love. Amen.

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Ready? Stand up.

Gather yourself, take courage, reach out, walk on.

The Shepherd is leading, and the world is waiting!

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, mother of two boys, and a US Navy spouse. She and her family recently relocated to Virginia, where she writes about the moving life and thinks about sheepish things while she knits and weaves.

Making Space: He Leadeth Me

Carter Harrell

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