Daily Devotional – 1/9/19 “Sheep and Shepherds”

In this New Year, I pray for people to desire and crave God more. Not just for beneficial reasons but because you love Him and you willingly seek to know Him and do His will. On last night, God was dealing with me on sheep and shepherds. This is a subject I’ve touched on before but whether you know this or not, you as sheep need a shepherd. Here’s where I think the problem is. We go to a church with incorrect thinking of what the pastor’s responsibility is. The pastor is the shepherd and his/her responsibility is to strengthen the weak by providing sound teaching (nourishment), seeking those sheep who have gone astray, bandaging those who have been wounded in the wild and protect the sheep under their care. A shepherd doesn’t have to call you on your birthday, come to your housewarming party and shout you out on social media or respond to all 24 of your inbox/text messages. This is why you, I mean sheep, have to stop being so easily offended when the pastor doesn’t do what you think they should, causing you to run. When you run you, the sheep, leave yourself open to being wounded as prey. Here’s your blessing though. A good shepherd will go look for the one who strays. You want to know why? The shepherd is the one who will bandage your wounds and protect you from the wild because you’ll be too weak to fight on your own.

A good shepherd is one you follow because it’s not his voice you hear but that of God. A good shepherd is willing to stay up at night praying for you because they see a wolf approaching in the spirit that you haven’t seen yet. A good shepherd gives wisdom. But let me ask this … What are you doing as sheep? Are you being led astray because you don’t know the voice of your shepherd? Are you a wild sheep who doesn’t need a shepherd because you never settle down or are you a domestic sheep who requires the care of a shepherd? Are you a wild sheep who search for food, eating and digesting anything or a domestic sheep who is fed by their shepherd, the nourishment needed? Beloved, sheep needs shepherds because 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 has that worked for you? It’s not too late, for you can pray like Psalm 119:176, “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek Your servant, For I do not forget Your commandments.”

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Daily Devotional – 1/7/19 “Let them talk, you be healed!”

I’ve never been the victim of abuse, sexual or otherwise. I’ve never had to sit across the table from the person who victimized me or hid scars. I’ve never had to deal with folk calling me a liar for telling my story. I’ve never had to look at the eyes of pity from folk who said they cared. I’ve never had phone calls to go unanswered by those who said they’d be there. I’ve never been fearful in my own home and I’ve never been violated but some of you have been and it saddens me how quick folk are to judge and criticize. This is why I had to take a moment to tell those of you who have been abused … don’t let anyone silence your story. I don’t care if it happened 1, 6, 18, 24 or 52 years ago, if you never told anyone before or if your abuser has never been brought to justice; tell your story. You have a right because no one knows the hell you’ve been through, neither how you survived with your mind still intact. Moreover, when you tell your story, you become the defeater and not the defeated. Stop allowing folk who have never walked a foot in your shoes, quiet you. They weren’t there the days and the nights you had to suffer. They aren’t there the nights the nightmares will not let you rest. They are not there when the smell of a familiar cologne can trigger the pain you try to hide. They don’t have to deal with the fear you have, now that you’ve become a parent. They don’t know but they’ll talk. LET THEM! But while they talk, you tell your story and heal. While they talk, you do the work to forgive. While they talk, you do what needs to be done to become whole again. Let them talk, you be healed.

Bible shares in Proverbs 12:19, “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”

Dear God,
I thank you for another chance. Now, I ask for you to rain down strength on all those who have been or are in the midst of abuse. Give them strength to tell their story and not be ashamed but more importantly, give them strength to be healed. Healed from the sleepless nights and the crying days. Healed from the fear of what other thinks and from the judgmental lips and critical eyes of those who don’t know their pain. Heal from thinking they aren’t good enough or that it was their fault. Bind their suicidal thoughts and give them the comfort. Cover and protect their mind, body and soul. God, you have the power and I know you didn’t make us to suffer in silence. Cripple the hands of the abuser and bring swift justice to those who deserve it. By your might God, I pray.
Amen.