Daily Devotional – 5/15/18 “Sheep without a shepherd”

There are some people who will not go to church for personal reasons, stubbornness or due to being a victim of “church hurt.” Understand, it is your choice so please don’t take this as bashing or to make you feel guilty. This blog is a means of help and hope but I need to let you know what happens to sheep (God’s people) without a shepherd. Yes, we are sheep because Psalm 100:3 says, “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.” And because we are sheep, God calls and equips shepherds. What it the role of a shepherd? To strengthen the weak, feed the hungry, seek the lost, bandage the wounded and to protect the sheep from becoming prey while ruling over them without harshness and force (Ezekiel 34). To put it plainly, a shepherd’s job is to ensure care and security of the sheep until their owner comes back for them. In other words, the sheep do not belong to the shepherd but when a person accepts the position, they do so with the responsibility to do right by the sheep. But did you know there are two kinds of sheep? One is a wild sheep who can survive on their own and a domestic sheep who needs the care of a shepherd.

See, wild sheep don’t need a shepherd because they never settle down but domestic sheep requires the care of a shepherd because they have been created through human means to produce. Wild sheep search for food but domestic sheep are fed by their shepherd. Wild sheep protect themselves but domestic sheep are to be covered by the shepherd. Wild sheep naturally shed but a domestic sheep has to be sheered in order to ensure the weight of their wool doesn’t become too heavy to carry or filled with parasites. Yes, I get you don’t feel like you need a shepherd but this is like saying you don’t need a doctor. Beloved, I believe God and I trust Him but I also know He gives wisdom to those who care for us physically. This is why we have financial advisers, doctors, therapists, pharmacists, lawyers and spiritual shepherds. There are some things we cannot do on our own. And a sheep who is not properly cared for tends to carry too much weight which then leads to internal issues that keeps them from growing, infected feet that keeps them from walking, inflamed knees that keeps them from kneeling and the inability to care for the very thing(s) they birth. Sheep need shepherds unless you like being wild and wandering alone but how is that working for you? The bible shares in Jeremiah 3:15, “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.”

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Daily Devotional – 9/6/17 “Trust the manufacturer!”

When I was younger, I loved roller coasters (some still today). It was the thrill, speed, twists and even turns that could cause your stomach to drop that were all worth riding this huge ride. Yet, these kinds of rides come with requirements. You have to be a certain height (or accompanied by someone older), you have to be able to hold your head up and have control of your upper body and you have to be mentally prepared. As I thought about this, it reminded me of ministry because whether you want to admit this or not; ministry is not for everybody. Say what you want but not everyone can handle the twists and turns of ministry that can cause your stomach to drop, your feelings to get hurt or your name to be scandalized. You have to be able to hold your head up. You have to have control of your upper body, you know like your mouth and your heart. And you have to be mentally prepared because there are some things you’ll be witnessed to that will leave you wondering what is happening in your life.

And, if I can be honest with you, it’s not just ministry because being a child of God is hard too. For just like ministry, you will find yourself going through the trials of life, fighting to defend what you believe in, stomaching some stuff you wish you could spit back, handling some more stuff your natural heart could not while bandaging wounds that should have been fatal to your flesh. But aren’t you glad that God made you spiritually equipped to handle the roller coaster of this journey? Are you not ecstatic at how well manufactured you are? Yes, there will be some times where you will need to be taken down for service but that is when your contractor is restoring those areas that could potentially wear out. All you have to do is be willing to be put in service. All you have to do is be willing to handle the weight of the load. All you have to do is be willing to go through the dark tunnels, over the hills and around the turns. All you have to do, beloved, is trust the manufacturer and operator because He knows what He is doing. For the bible says in Psalm 100:3, “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.”