Tag Archives: Sheep

THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK (PART 5)

Ending yesterday’s post with the thought that The Good Shepherd will take care of us… I love the comparison of the shepherd and his flock of sheep to The Good Shepherd (Jesus) and us – Christians – as His flock of sheep (followers). I can so relate to so many things when you begin to compare the two. Here is the link to yesterday’s post if you didn’t get to read it.

Now on to today’s post. Today I am going to look at “He leadeth me beside the still waters”. First of all, I read one time in another book, about a shepherd and his sheep, that sheep simply are afraid of fast moving water or deep water. The main reason is they cannot swim. Their wool soaks up water and they sink. It is a horrible feeling to not be able to do anything if swept under because you are simply too heavy and cannot swim! I recall one time I was visiting with a girlfriend one weekend and we went to their lake house. I was about 10 or 11 and I could not swim. She and I, along with her little brother, were out on the boat dock out in front of their lake house. There were some older “boys” trolling along in their fancy boat and we caught their eye, I guess. They hooped and hollered out at us and I guess my girlfriend became so confused, excited or “whatever” and knowing I couldn’t swim – but NOT THINKING… pushed me into the lake. I was so shocked and taken totally off guard! I can see it like it was yesterday. Well, needless to say she was embarrassed after she realized what she had done… because I was flailing in the water and going down. imagesShe and her brother jumped in to try to help and all I did was try to get on top of them to save myself. Then her mother came running down and jumped in. I did the same thing to her. Then on my 3rd time up … or 5th or 6th … I saw her dad laying down on the dock and putting out his big, long, strong arm. I grabbed it quick! He simply picked me up out of the water, made sure I was ok and then helped everyone else out of the water! Luckily… he showed up just in time! So, I know how it feels to be going down for the last time and no one can help you! It was very frightening!

Well, poor sheep are simply not very bright and the shepherd knows this. If there is a water source and it is a fast moving stream, he will take rocks and logs or anything he can find to make a shallow, calm pool of water and leads his sheep to it to drink. This way he doesn’t have to worry about them drowning. He cares about his sheep and their well-being enough to do whatever it takes to make it safe for them ahead of time – before the sheep are in the vicinity. He has to think ahead so he has time to create a safe environment for his flock.  besidestillwaterssheep

Also, if fresh, clean water is not supplied to sheep, they will drink from any dirty, diseased pool to try to get refreshed. Again, they are not too bright.

In comparison, our Good Shepherd, has gone ahead of us and created a place of calm for us to take long, deep drinks of His refreshing, cool water. When we thirst – spiritually – He (Jesus) provides Living Water that never runs dry! Jesus said of Himself in John 4 that He is the “Living Water”.

John 4

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.

Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered and saiimages 3d to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

Also …

John 7:37 – In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

This link will take you to a website I found that lists several scriptures about Living Water. Spiritually speaking, if there is not clean water for us to drink from, we as humans, seek elsewhere and Jesus knew this about our nature. That is why He provides all the cool, clear Living Water we need to refresh our dry, thirsty souls. We don’t have to look too far or long to find the refreshing Spring of Jesus Christ. He is always there to provide. We just have to call out His name, He is there.

Also, along with the cool, shallow pool that a shepherd provides sometimes, in the book “A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23”, the author, W. Phillip Keller, talks about the morning dew on the grass in the morning. EARLY MORNINGHe says that it is the sheep’s nature to rise early and feast on the dew drenched grass of the early morning. I can just see a picture of that in my mind’s eye… the meadow of knee high grass glistening in the early morning sunrise with a beautiful flock of sheep right in the middle … munching away and almost smiling! The mornings are very special apparently to sheep and to some humans. For myself, mornings are my most special time with God. I love waking up and starting my day with the Spring of Life! The following is a quote from W. Phillip Keller’s book:

“In the Christian life it is of more than passing significance to observe that those who are often the most serene, most confident, and able to cope with life’s complexities are those who rise early each day to feed on God’s Word. It is in the quiet, early hours of the morning that they are led beside the quiet, still waters where they imbibe the very life of Christ for the day. This is much more than mere figure of speech. It is practical reality. The biographies of the great men and women of God repeatedly point out how the secret of the success in their spiritual life was attributed to the “quiet time of each morning.” There, alone, still waiting for the Master’s voice, one is led gently to the place where, as the old hymn puts it, “The still dews of His Spirit can be dropped into my life and soul.” GreenPastures

“One comes away from these hours of meditation, reflection and communion with Christ refreshed in mind and spirit. The thirst is slaked and the heart is quietly satisfied.”

“Only the Spirit and life of Christ Himself will satisfy the thirsting soul.”

That just about says it for me. He has such a way with words and I love the picture he paints with his words. Mornings are very special and can be made even more special when spent drenching your soul and spirit with time with your Good Shepherd.

I challenge you to find your cool, calm Spring of that Living Water. Jesus is waiting to spend time with you. Maybe you aren’t a morning person. Find some time that is just time alone with The Master, The Good Shepherd. It will change your life. He loves you so much! Remember, after all, He calls you His beloved!

The Song – Springs of Life – Ginny Owens (I am including lyrics below)

How many days, Lord, have I walked in this wilderness?
A thirsty pilgrim with no water to drink
And this barren place is making me crazy
But in my desperation, I am forced to think

Seems like I have spent so much time searchin’
In a dry and weary land where there’s no truth
But I think I’m finally realizin’ that my only hope of water
Is the well that comes from You, so

Rain down Your love upon me, pour out Your mercy on me
Please won’t You take me to Your springs of life?
‘Cause I’m dying for deliverance, only You can save me
I’m waitin’, please won’t You take me to Your springs of life?

Oh God, You are my God and my spirit seeks You
But my flesh has failed You time and time again
And now I’ve chosen this desert when Your love was waitin’
But Your stubborn child longs to understand

So I’ll not waste another minute searchin’
In a dry and weary land where there’s no truth
Oh, I think I’m finally realizin’ that my only hope of water
Is the well that comes from You, so

Songwriters
LILES, DWIGHT / OWENS, GINNY

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THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK (Part 3)

As I ended yesterday’s post I mentioned getting to know “The Good Shepherd” by reading The Word of God and praying. (Click here for yesterday’s post)  I mentioned reading it daily and praying daily to be in communication with Him. That is how you get to know Him more. Just as a flock of sheep spend time with their shepherd to get to know him, so should we spend time with our Good Shepherd to get to know Him.

Someone asked once how does someone know you are in the “flock” so-to-speak. Well, let me refer to the book I mentioned “A Shepherd’s look at Psalm 23”. The author (who was also a shepherd at one time) says this:

“Each shepherd has his own distinctive ear mark which he cuts into one ear of the sheep. In this way, even at a distance, it’s easy to determine to whom the sheep belongs.”

“It was not the most pleasant procedure…” “There was pain felt for both of us. But from our mutual suffering an indelible lifelong mark of ownership was made that could never be erased.”

So … there was some marking done first by Jesus dying on the Cross, because His blood that He shed was for us. When we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior, as I said in a few posts back, His blood is an “Everlasting Stain” on our heart and soul that washes us white as snow.  That is the mark of the Cross on us as Christians, that should be able to be seen by others, “even at a distance”.Christian-Cover-photos

Belonging to Jesus should bring us great joy, satisfaction, the feeling of safety, peace, and much excitement. If you can say “Yes” to having these feelings, then you can say “The Lord is my Shepherd” just like another person stated long ago… his name was David!

The next part of this is about being content. In the 23rd Psalm it says “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” This is referencing being totally content. Wanting for nothing. How do we really attain that? You know there are problems, worries and trials and tribulations in this world. Jesus Himself told His disciples before He left this earth, 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 It obviously means we will have trouble in this world. However, we don’t have to let the problems and worries of this world destroy us. When we are in the care of The Good Shepherd, we should feel content, because He cares for us and our safety, well-being and many other things. Contentment with our lives in Jesus is not a hard thing to accomplish. If you have turned your life over to Him you will find peace and contentment in Christ.

featured_HD_john10-1-21In the book I keep referring to, the shepherd tells about the sheep in the next field. These sheep were not cared for by their owner/shepherd. They didn’t have lush meadows to graze and rest in. Nor did they have fresh, clean water to drink. He tells of seeing the sheep huddled up at the fence peering over into his meadows where his sheep were, longing for some of what they had. It was a sad picture to think of. But the world should look at us in our lives of contentment and satisfaction with our Good Shepherd and long for what we have. We, as Christians, should bear that “mark” and be happy about it.

As I am writing this post and glancing at the book I am referring to, I see a note in the side margin that I wrote as I read this particular part. This comment is based on the paragraph just above about the sheep peering into his meadow. I will write what I wrote and it should be enough explanation.

“The world sometimes does not even know to want something other than what they have – much less peer over to the “other side”. That’s why we are called to tell them about the Good Shepherd and a better life.”

1448646-bigthumbnailSo … both are really true. There are those that actually see our contentment and want some of what we have. Then there are those that never notice or never want to notice what we have. We must be about the “telling of the Good News” to those of both kinds.

Another topic I want to talk about before I close this post down is the “wayward” Christian. There are those folks that like to live with one foot in the world and one foot in the church (the church not necessarily being a building). The “backslider” if you want to call it such. The author/shepherd of the book tells about a ewe he had that was a never ending problem. He called her “Mrs. Gad-about” because she would always be trying to find a way through the fence to the other side. Always being a problem (“more problems … than almost all of the rest of the flock combined.”), he had to make a hard decision. This one ewe caused others to go astray as well, teaching her lambs and others. This was not good. The hard decision was eminent and he had to put her down to save the rest of the flock. He says that she was not like the sheep that said to themselves “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” He makes a comparison here and I will agree with him in that the Lord will only “put up” with a wayward Christian for so long. The Christian that wants the “best of both worlds” … God’s timing of course, but “sometimes in short order they can be cut down.” This scripture is pretty plain… Galatians 6:77 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

I love claiming that The Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not want! He has provided for me and my15_inch_Laptop family in marvelous ways. I can tell you of so many things and ways He has provided for us. I love the fellowship I have with my Shepherd and Savior. It just grows sweeter day by day.

Get to know the Lord. He loves you so much! After all, He calls you His beloved!images

 

 

 

The Song – Peace of The Lord – Carmen

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THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK (PART 2)

I will keep the name THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK (PART 2) for the remainder of the posts in this series. If you haven’t read Part 1 here is the link. I will include the link to the previous post in each one as I continue with this series.

Yesterday’s post explained that the first step in being in the flock of a shepherd is getting to “know” the shepherd. The shepherd must spend time with the sheep daily and sometimes through the night so he can get to know his flock and they can get to know him. When the knowing is there, there is comfortability and a feeling of safety on the flock’s part.

In the book I read before (A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23) it talks about how absolutely dependent sheep are on their shepherd and how the shepherd delights in caring for his flock. This book is available from Amazon – if you click one of the Amazon links down on the left side of this website you can purchase it.  It will bless you tremendously!  This is an excerpt from that book:

“…I would, as their owner, have to continually lay down my life for them if they were to flourish and prosper. Sheep do not “just take care of themselves” as some might suppose. They require, more than any other class of livestock, endless attention and meticulous care.”   “It is no accident that God has chosen to call us sheep. …” “… Yet despite these adverse characteristics, Christ chooses us, buys us, calls us by name, makes us His own, and delights in caring for us.”

184999_540372432645030_1018910340_nJesus, knowing our weaknesses, still chose to die for us. He loved us even then. But moreover, He arose for us! He left His Spirit for us as a Guide. It is that Spirit that helps you understand the Word of God too. That is our food. Sheep need nice green pastures free from rocks, poisonous plants and harmful critters. The Holy Spirit helps us understand that The Word of God is our food and He helps us understand and digest what God wants us to know. If you “graze” on The Word and let it sink deep into your soul you will feel satisfied and nourished. Sometimes it will make you feel as though you are never full though. I am always longing for more of The Word. The Bible talks about “Spiritual Milk” or “Spiritual Meat”.

1 Corinthians 3:2I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;

God provides Spiritual food for us to grow and flourish on just as the shepherd provides the best meadows to graze in.  About 3 years ago I began to desire The Word of God. I wanted to know more about this Spiritual Food. I wasn’t necessarily a “new Christian” but as far as my walk with God, it wasn’t where it should have been. The Bible tells us in 1 Peter 2:2 that we will desire The Word just like a newborn baby desires milk. 1 Peter 2:22 “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,[a]”

To me reading the Bible is like the sheep munching and resting in the comfort of the peaceful meadow with grass knee high and swaying in the featured_HD_john10-1-21breeze. Now when I was starting out reading the Bible, it was like Spiritual milk. As I grew in my walk with The Lord, I began to want more than just milk. God, in His infinite wisdom, began to reveal things to me in His Word and in my life that has helped me grow. Good Spiritual food and daily communication with The Good Shepherd helped me grow and flourish.

God cares about what we put in our minds. His Word is what is best to feed our spirit. If we fill our minds with things of the world, we will not have room for the things of God.   Feeding on His Word will fill our minds and souls with the things of God. The Bible tells us to fill our minds with good things in Philippians 4:88 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” As Christians we should be in The Word daily so we can grow and flourish. If the shepherd of the flock had rocky, weedy places for his sheep they would die. Same with us, if we, as God’s flock, are not in the lush meadow of The Word that He has provided for us then we die spiritually. There is a lot more than just reading The Word, too. Prayer, fellowshipping with other believers, serving where you can, etc. is part of growing and flourishing. We must connect with God and stay connected with God (stay in “The Vine”) to grow and flourish.BACKGROUND GRAPES

I challenge you, as we walk on this journey with the Good Shepherd, to begin reading The Word of God. Reach out to God and pray. Find a place to serve and enjoy the wonderful growth that God has in store for you.

More to come tomorrow on THE GOOD SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK. Tomorrow is Part 3. Looking forward to see what God has in store for us tomorrow.

The Song – This is My Word – The Singing Men of North Central Texas