The Blessing of Being a Sheep

Lost Sheep

Psalm 23 and 100 Diary Entry—What a Blessing!

Do you feel like you are lost in the midst of the voices that are shouting? Do you fear your bleating won’t be heard? Beloved, the Good Shepherd hears your bleating and He is coming to your rescue.

Memo to self on Day 100: Make a joyful noise unto the Lord! Shout out praises to the Lord! Worship the Lord with joy! Enter his presence with joyful singing! The psalmist reminded himself that this is the day the Lord has brought about. He wrote: I will, and we will be happy and rejoice in it.  [Ps 118]

Indeed, we are the sheep of his pasture.  He called us out of the darkness of sin into the light, and one day we will see our Good Shepherd. What a blessing to know that He directs our steps and takes us to the refreshing quiet living water. He knows that rushing water and the swirling waters of today’s news is unnerving. It is here that our thirst is quenched, and our heart renewed. What a blessing to know that in His pasture, we find peace amid the storms.  It is in His pasture we can feed on the lush green grass and lie down in peace. What a blessing to know that He is the Good Shepherd who leads us, for we require His tender care. What a blessing to know that out of His love He ransomed us with His blood.

Truly the Lord is good, and his mercy is everlasting. His truth endures to all generations. Therefore, serve Him with gladness and come before Him with singing.

The Good Shepherd is coming soon!

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Are You Guilty of Doing God’s Dirty Work?

Psalm 94  How often do we take on the role of God by becoming the avenger because we become impatient? The psalmist reminds us that God is the avenger and He is the judge of the earth. David knew God was the avenger and he told Goliath that before he slung that fateful stone. Gideon needed convincing but when he gathered courage, he was used by God to avenge Israel from the Midianites. Sometimes God uses us but more often than not He steps in to do the “dirty work.” He sometimes uses hailstorms like in Egypt or fire or blindness so the enemy cannot see. Whatever God decides fits the situation, He uses. The promise is what the Psalmist said: Lord the God who avenges that is his character. God uses what will reveal His splendor because we are the sheep of his pasture, the sheep he owns. It is fitting then that He would avenge the wrongs and He will render judgment to His righteous ones.

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Today be ye confident, the God who made the human ear hears your prayer. The God who made the human eye sees all that transpires. He is our avenger, protector, and deliverer.  Why? Because the Lord is our Shepherd and the Shepherd does not forsake his people, the sheep he owns.

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Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Wrong Choice–BUT God gets the glory!

Psalm 71 God – Have you ever experienced a situation when it seems that God is totally unequivocally silent? That is where we are finding David as he pleads for God to rescue him. He is saying, where are you, God? Don’t you see what is happening to me? Like him we beg God to rescue us, forgetting that sometimes we are in the mess in which we find ourselves is our own doing. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time and made the wrong choice.

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Case in point: Moses thinking the Hebrews would welcome his intervention into their lives. Wrong place: watching his people toil in the hot sun to satisfy a Pharaoh’s quest for honor. Wrong time: why wasn’t Moses taking care of palace business? Wrong choice: seeing an Egyptian beating an Israelite he stepped in to help and the next thing he knew that man was murdered by his hand.

Or, how about David’s sin with Bathsheba? Wrong place: on the palace veranda instead of in the field with his army. Wrong time: evening when bathing takes place. Wrong choice: get that woman for me.

With Moses, God sent him into the desert for 40 yrs. learning how to tend the most humble and stupid animal, the sheep. With David, God sent him the prophet Nathan to tell him a story about a tender sheep being taken from a poor man. Interesting how many times God uses the sheep as an illustration!

Yet, even when we make horribly bad choices, God will use them to bring about His work because front and center we are his children. (Romans 8:28) “know that all things work together for good for those who love God.”  He will use us in our worst moments to bring about His good and His perfect plan because in eternity past He knew and yet His lovingkindness will take those and turn them on their head.

Where can you look at your past and see yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time making the wrong choice? What did God do with all of that for His kingdom work?

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John 21 “Full Restoration…”

ImageHave you ever kept yourself busy so you don’t have to think? You find busy activities to occupy your mind so that your wayward actions do not creep in and occupy your thoughts. This is the tool of the enemy so that you are hindered from service but the Master comes to us that we may learn that although we may err, the truth is clear and undeniable: Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. [Rom 8:34]

We resonate with Peter because like him we too are impulsive, overreacting, deniers of Christ, bitterly repentant yet not fully restored. Does this describe you? The evil one, Satan, would have you rehearse, repent, rehearse, repent on and on but the Master comes in our busyness that we may be fully once and for all know that not only are our sins forgiven but know the truth of Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. That is what the Master has come to do in John 21 and through the eyes of John we not only experience this for the sake of Peter but for the sake of us in the 21st century.

Jesus had told Peter, “”Simon, Simon, behold, Satanhas demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” And now Jesus will help Peter see the fulfillment of those words and as we begin the letters he wrote later we too will be strengthened and learn. But, first Jesus will test our love quotient:

“Do you love me more than these?” Jesus asked about agape love (all giving, unselfish love) to which Peter replied, I love you (using phileo—friend love). If you say yes, my task for you is to tend my lambs; the wee ones who need nurturing. Be willing to serve the newly saved, the babies of the faith.

A second time Jesus asked Peter: “Do you love Me?” and when Peter affirms, Jesus says: “Shepherd my sheep.” Be the shepherd that I was, tenderly teaching, loving, guiding, warning, and holding them to your side, be willing to die for them.

A third time Jesus asked: “Do you love Me?” As Peter heard this same question his soul was grieved but Jesus will not let Peter remain there for Jesus seeks total restoration and a renewed focus. Affirming his love, Jesus tenderly says “Tend my sheep.” Sheep are those who tend to wander and Peter could relate. Sheep need feeding, watering, watching, protecting. That is what it means to tend these who seek to find the greener grass. Hold them close Peter. Use your crook to draw them back.

Jesus was challenging Peter and he is challenging you and me: Do we love Jesus more than life itself? If our answer is yes as Simon Peter’s was; He has a task for us: “God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation. “ [2Co 5:18] Go forth Beloved, and tend the lambs, shepherd the sheep, tend the sheep. It is a full time occupation—for the fully and completely restored. How great is your love?

Photo: Courtesy of SpiritFM

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