The purpose of this annual conference is to minister to the pastors, elders, and leaders of the local church. Its focus is to make the conference a time for our men to be refreshed and rejuvenated in their ministry. Men from around the world attend, and it is a beautiful sight to see and hear thousands of men singing hymns such "It is Well With My Soul" and seeing them gather. It is also wonderful to be able to pray for so many at once.
One of the first sermons preached at the 2013 conference was by Phil Johnson about the Shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd.
"Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture." (Psalm 100:3)
Brethren, Jesus is with us, always. No matter what you are going through, He is with you. He cares for you as one of His lambs, nourishing us, rounding us up, leading us to calm waters, giving us pastures to refresh us. He protects us from wolves and gives us shelter under His wings to steady us from the storms. How good to hear His voice, in the bible, and how great it will be to hear it audibly when He, the Chief Shepherd, calls us home, and we follow Him as the sheep we are. (John 10:27, 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
Is there anything more comforting than knowing that the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd, knows His sheep...us?
"Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant," (Hebrews 13:20).
Abel was a shepherd, and when Cain killed Abel Abel's blood cried out from the ground. (Genesis 4:2, Genesis 4:10). David was a Shepherd, and perhaps this was why God called David a "man after my own heart". (Acts 13:22). Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." (John 10:11). "and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." (Hebrews 12:24)
And so on Crucifixion Day, it was the blood of Jesus that cried out from the ground. (Matthew 27:51).
Yet the Shepherd rose again! Our Chief will care for His sheep forever!
"And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory." (1 Peter 5:4).
But the glory is His. Let us cast our crowns back to Him and praise Him for His work in heaven and on earth. There is nothing we are going through that you and He can't get through together.After all, he created us, He will keep us in His care.
Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”Revelation 4:10-11