Monday, January 04, 2016

Identity in Christ - 55 (Sheep)

There was a book written about sheep by a man who raised sheep. In the book, he claimed there was nothing that could be more destructive to land than a herd of sheep; and there was nothing that could be more constructive to land than a herd of sheep. The difference depended on the shepherd.

If the shepherd was wise and knew how to care for the sheep, sheep could actually improve the land. If the shepherd was foolish, or did not know how to care for the sheep, sheep could destroy the land.

Sheep are not the wisest of animals. They will follow one another through danger. They will find something good and waste it through over indulgence or misuse. They will find something bad and use it the same way. All of which leads to destruction, bad health and very sad sheep.

That’s why a good and wise shepherd is necessary. He will lead the sheep away from bad things. He will lead them to good things. And he will help them utilize the good things in ways that are not wasteful, good for the land and good for the sheep.
  • God's Perspective
We are Jesus’ sheep. Like natural sheep, Jesus’ sheep can be the best thing for the land … or the worst. (Guess which “thing” the Father wants us to be.)

Like natural sheep, it is all about the shepherd. It is all about where he puts the flock, the ground he puts them on and how they travel over it.

We are Jesus’s sheep. We list to his voice. We follow him.

This is our part. To listen to his voice. To follow his voice. To act on what he says. It is that which injects health into the world.
  • Living My Life
Jesus lives perfectly, expressing love and giving grace. That is also how he wants us to live. We fall short, of course. But our struggle can give some hope. It is not just perfect people who follow Jesus.

And there is competition. Many other voices fight for our attention. The enemy, hos servants, the world and even, our own inner voice seek to lead us away from acting in agreement with his voice.

It is the agreement and the resulting action that yields health and good in the world. It is the agreement with the other voices that breeds destruction.

One of our most important areas of focus is learning to hear his voice, and giving time and energy to this practice. And learning how to act in agreement with what we hear.

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