The shepherd knows his flock. The shepherd uses his skills to know the potential of the individual and understands how an individual represents the whole. The shepherd intends that each one fulfills on its purpose. When looking over a flock of 100, the shepherd may see 55 that are perfect for breeding, while 45 are destined for other purposes. However, there may be one that is unblemished and considered perfect. This one may set apart and looked upon as a gift, yet it is no more important than those set aside for other reasons.
As the shepherd, he is responsible for maintaining their daily routine, and he is always watching and listening for signs of danger, because he is accountable for their safety. The shepherd's duty is to weather the storms that arise and maintain a steadfast devotion to the flock. The sheep know their shepherd's voice and will come when called, just as the shepherd knows the voices of his sheep. To an outsider, all the sheep may sound the same, but just as a lamb knows the bleat of his mother, the shepherd knows his sheep.
As the shepherd, he is responsible for maintaining their daily routine, and he is always watching and listening for signs of danger, because he is accountable for their safety. The shepherd's duty is to weather the storms that arise and maintain a steadfast devotion to the flock.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15: 1-7) speaks of the shepherd who notices that one sheep is missing and leaves the 99 to find the one. Upon finding the lost sheep, he rejoices. Now does he rejoice because he found the sheep. Ponder the fact that the shepherd rejoices because the sheep will now fulfill its purpose.
The shepherd watches over, cares for and leads the flock. His job may seem solitary, but if you shift the conversation from sheep to people, the shepherd is looking for helpers...disciples, and these disciples go forth and gather the flock, fulfilling on the shepherd's purpose. Being a disciple is an act of surrender and a commitment to being of service.
The men and women, boys and girls who choose the miracle of discipleship come from every background and are selfless when they share their time and efforts to benefit those who may by bullied, ignored, unloved, unwanted, in need, grasping to hope, and denied an amazing future. There are others who may be on their way to work who feel forgotten, bewildered, perplexed, adrift and alone. What about the homeless man is standing on the street on which you walk, or the neglected woman riding a bus, train or plane wondering where she went wrong.
There are many in every situation and circumstance who are searching for an answer, but they aren’t asking the right question. These people, and the others not mentioned here, are a part of our collected consciousness and they are a part of who we are. Their sorrow and pain is in opposition to the joy and healing available in following Jesus. The shepherd is calling out to his flock, but some may not recognize his voice while others know his voice but have wandered away.
Choosing to be a disciple starts with a request to be a part of Jesus' team. Let him lead you where you need to be, and let his leadership make you a part of the whole. Your presence, words or touch will make a difference. It's a simple choice that changes everything.
To choose to be a disciple, you are never alone. There may be times where loneliness overtakes, but that is a time where God is challenging you to turn to Jesus for comfort and to the Holy Spirit for faith. God is always at your right, Jesus is at your left and the Holy Spirit is above you, showering you with love and joy.
The 23rd Psalm
The LORD is my shepherd (RELATIONSHIP); I shall not want (SOURCE).
He makes me lie down in green pastures (REST).
He leads me beside still waters (REJUVENATE).
He restores my soul (RECOVERY).
He leads me in paths of righteousness (GUIDANCE) for his name's sake (PURPOSE).
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (CHALLENGE), I will fear no evil (FORTIFICATION), for you are with me (FAITH); your rod and your staff, they comfort me (DISCIPLINE).
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (FORGIVENESS); you anoint my head with oil (SANCTIFICATION); my cup overflows (ABUNDANCE).
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life (BLESSING), and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD (SANCTUARY) forever (ETERNITY).
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.
In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Created and developed by Kyle Sutton
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