Vol. 34, No. 6 June, 2010
THE LOST SHEEP AND
THE SEEKING SHEPHERD…
Dr. George Mills
“He shall feed His sheep like a Shepherd; He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.” (Isa 40:11).
The Bible has many different pictures of the believer and his relationship to Christ. The Shepherd/sheep relationship is one of great beauty.
1. THE SHEPHERD SEEKS THE SHEEP.
2. THE SHEPHERD SECURES THE SHEEP.
3. THE SHEPHERD SUPPLIES FOR THE SHEEP.
I trust that you will take a few minutes and read the 10th Chapter of the Gospel of John, and of course, the beautiful 23rd Psalm.
My dear friend, today, if you are not saved, I trust that you will see your need of our Great Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, and trust in Him. And, if you are saved, just see how much the Great Shepherd tenderly cares for His own.
I can offer nothing new in this message, just the old story of Jesus and His Love and compassion…
1. THE SHEPHERD SEEKS THE SHEEP.
“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness and go after that which is lost, until He find it? And when He hath found it, He layeth it on His shoulders, rejoicing. And when He cometh home He calleth together His friends and neighbors, saying unto them, rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. And I say unto you that likewise joy shall be in Heaven over one sinner that repenteth more than the ninety and nine just persons which need no repentance.” (Lk. 15:4-7). Oh, thank God for our SEEKING SHEPHERD. He has been faithfully on the job, seeking the lost. He has been after us all the days of our lives. I rejoice in the day when He found me. And the same is true in your life. He has been faithfully knocking at your heart’s door bidding entrance. He said, “All that ever came before Me are thieves and robbers.” Of course, Satan is that thief who seeks to destroy you, and lead you into hell. Jesus said, “I am come that they might have life, and that
they might have it more abundantly.” Today, yield your will, your life to the SEEKING SHEPHERD. As I said, I rejoice that He found me and gave me that abundant life.
2. THE SHEPHERD SECURES THE SHEEP. I like that! In this study we will see just how helpless the sheep are. SHEEP NEED A SHEPHERD! The Bible says in Lk. 15:4; He left the ninety and nine in the wilderness. He left them safe and secure. He said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” He bought us with His own blood. “My sheep hear my voice and I know them, AND THEY FOLLOW ME. And I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” (Jn. 10:27-30). Thank God for the security of the sheep. I am not able to keep myself. I am weak. At my best, I fall short. I thank my God that the sheep are in the care of the Great Shepherd. Now, as some believe, this does not give me the privilege to live like a pig and not like a sheep as we will see.
3. THE SHEPHERD SUPPLIES FOR THE SHEEP.
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies, Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psa. 23).
This beautiful Psalm was written by King David. He knew sheep well. He knew their habits, he knew their needs, and he knew their nature. In fact, when Samuel was sent to anoint a new king for Israel, he looked at all of Jesse’s sons but God was not pleased with any of these. David was tending Sheep when Samuel called for him and anointed him king over Israel.
David knew sheep well. David could say with great understanding, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” What a contrast to the barrenness of this world.
(A) THE CHARACTER OF THE SHEEP.
Why does God call us sheep? Time and time again we are referred to as ‘sheep’
‘lambs,’ or ‘little flock.’ Why?
Sheep are not very intelligent. Sheep must have a shepherd to care for them. In fact, sheep are just plain stupid. “Now preacher, are you calling me stupid?” We may be very smart in the things of this world. We may have much knowledge in science, medicine, agriculture, arts, engineering, etc. But when it comes to Spiritual things, well, we are not so smart. Without Christ, I don’t know the way. I don’t know the enemy. I don’t know the tricks and traps. In Spiritual things, there is so much I don’t know. I have been saved for 50 years. The more I learn, the more I find out that I need the Kind, Gentle Shepherd to guide me through life…
(B) THE CARE OF THE SHEPHERD.
(a) “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.” What a beautiful picture. Sheep have no natural way to find food. They are not like other animals in so many ways. They simply cannot find their food. They must be led from pasture to pasture by the shepherd. Sheep have been known to starve to death just a short distance from food. As that lost sheep, I had no way to find the Bread of Life. The Shepherd came to me, and He still feeds me! I have been feasting on His word for years. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4).
(b) “He leadeth me beside still waters.” As sheep cannot find food, they cannot find water. They must be led by the Shepherd. They must drink from still water. Sheep can drown trying to drink from running water. And like a poor sheep, I had no way to find Living Water. Jesus said to the woman at the well, “If thou knewest the Gift of God…thou wouldst have asked of Him and He would have given thee Living Water.” (Jn. 4:10)Like that thirsty woman, we have no way to find that Living Water. Our Loving Shepherd came and brought us the Water of Life.
I took a drink many years ago and found that it satisfied my spiritual thirst. I have been drinking from the Well of Life since that day.
(c) “He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”
Sheep cannot find food, cannot find water, and have no sense of direction. They get lost without the shepherd. One day when we reach that other shore our Blessed Lord Jesus will say, “I have lost none.” Of His sheep He said, “My sheep hear my voice, AND THEY FOLLOW ME.” “They FOLLOW ME” You do not find His sheep in the stagnant places of this world. They know the voice of the Shepherd, and they follow Him. We hear His voice in His Word. We hear His voice in the indwelling Holy Spirit. His sheep will not follow the voice of strangers. (Jn 10:1-5).
(d) “He Restoreth my soul.”
Sheep have no way of cleansing themselves. They must be kept clean in order to survive. Their wool must be trimmed regularly. Without the shearing of the sheep, the wool continues to grow. As sheep walk along, their wool will gather twigs, branches, leaves, sticks and the sheep will just become weighted down. I once watched a shepherd as he had to help one of his sheep to his feet. The sheep was so laden with debris he could not get to his feet. That sheep would have starved to death, but for the shepherd.
We have no way of cleansing ourselves, Spiritually, that is. Oh we try, but the more we try, the more we become entangled.
“What can wash away my sin? NOTHING but the Blood of Jesus.”
What can keep us clean?
“Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you. He cleanses us with His blood, (Rev 1:5).
He keeps us clean with His Word. Our soul has been restored. God has given us a right standing in Christ Jesus. Thank God for my Kind, Loving Shepherd.
(e) “Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
Sheep have no way of protecting themselves. With his rod, the shepherd drives the wild animals away from the sheep. Sheep cannot defend themselves. A much smaller animal can kill a sheep. The small Dingo dog of Australia preys upon sheep. They eat only the tongue and leave the rest to rot. The shepherd uses his staff to bring the sheep back to the fold and away from danger. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.” My enemies are numerous and powerful. I am no match…But my Shepherd is. We are in His care. The rod our Shepherd carries speaks of his power over the enemy. The enemy flees at the voice of the shepherd.
(f) “Thou anointest my head with oil”
Sheep have no way of caring for the wounds and bruises, sores, and parasites that invade. Refreshing, soothing healing oil must be applied by the shepherd. Oil always pictures the Holy Spirit. He renews our strength. He anoints us with fresh oil. Thank God for the tender moments when we come to the feet of our Kind Shepherd after we have been bruised by the enemy. Thank God for the outpouring of fresh oil. He renews our strength, he heals, He restores.
(g) “He leads me.”
Sheep are prone to wander. They have no sense of direction. As they graze on the green grass they just wander, and wander. The eye of the shepherd is ever on his sheep
I love the tender, Loving, Kind Shepherd. He found me all bruised and left in the dust of life. He came to where I was. He poured in me fresh oil and gave me a new start. And He can do some wondrous things for you if you will hear His voice today.
“But as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.”
God Bless you as you call upon Him today!
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
By Pastor George mills
The Lord of Hosts, my Shepherd leads,
In pastures green, I lie,
No thought about tomorrow’s needs.
My need, He will supply.
From waters still I daily take,
A table before me, spread,
While enemies all about me wait,
I taste the Living Bread.
From deep within my soul restored,
Great peace, and no fear of death,
My Shepherd is the Living Lord,
He keeps my every breath.
Behind me Goodness and Mercy stay,
Around me, Grace and Love,
Before me Truth to lead the way,
To that Great Fold above.
I shall not fear what I may endure,
My Shepherd knows the way,
With Rod and staff to keep secure,
As He does, day by day.
Just to trust the Shepherd’s care,
Great works He will perform,
Through valleys low and places bare,
Until we’re safely home.
THINK ABOUT IT…
I shall not want for REST.
I shall not want for RESTORATION.
I shall not want for REFRESHMENT.
I Shall not want for RELAXATION.
I shall not want for REJOICING.
All of these are abundant in the safety of His fold.
THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, I SHALL NOT WANT.
BENEATH ME…Green pastures
BESIDE ME…Still Waters
AHEAD OF ME…Right Paths
WITH ME…His Rod and STAFF
BEFORE ME…A Table Spread
BEHIND ME…Goodness and Mercy
ABOVE ME…The House of The Lord.
I shall not want for anything good for me.
If I do not have that which I desire, I must conclude that which I desire is not good for me.
I once read that during the season when lambs are born, some sheep die while giving birth, leaving an orphaned lamb. Other lambs are still-born leaving a sheep without a lamb. Shepherds have learned that if they act quickly and take the skin from the dead lamb and wrap it on the living orphan lamb, and place it with the sheep whose lamb had died, the sheep will recognize her own scent and will receive the orphaned lamb as her own.
THINK ABOUT IT…In ourselves we are not acceptable. We are acceptable when we are clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. As that orphaned lamb would have perished, so we, without Christ would perish. “And be found in Him not having mine own righteousness…but the Righteousness which is of God by Faith.” (Phil 3:9)
AND THE WORLD IS A WILDERNESS…It is no friend to the Christian. The world with all of it’s enticements seeks to draw our attention away from the Shepherd. The world has left many sheep bruised and broken. The grass is not greener over there, it just SEEMS to be. Just ask the young man who left his father’s house and went to the “far country.” (Lk 15:11-24)
JESUS LOVES YOU
By Ruth Vaughn
I Love you when you scorn my message.
I Love you when you turn away from my
I Love you when you laugh at my sorrow
for your sins.
I Love you when you mock my concern
for your redemption.
I Love you when you are indifferent to
I Love you when you jeer and call me
I Love you more than riches, more than
honor, more than glory.
I Loved you when you spat in my face
and jerked out my beard.
I Loved you when you nailed my
throbbing body to a wooden cross.
I Loved you in the agonies of death.
I Love you more than my very life.
I LOVE YOU.
Without the Love of the Shepherd, there is no hope for the sheep.
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
To all the Dads out there we wish for you a day of happiness and sweet fellowship with your children. You are to be honored and treated with respect according to God’s Word; “Honour thy father and mother which is the first commandment with promise.” (Eph. 6:2)
I honor my Dad’s memory today because he is no longer with us, he is in Heaven. I was with my Dad when he called on God for mercy. I remember well the night he went to the altar in our little neighborhood church and down on his knees he bowed his heart and cried out for mercy. I was just a little girl but I remember his words and this is what he said; “God have mercy on my soul.” No long prayer, just, “God have mercy on my soul.” Seeing my Dad on his knees and crying out to God tells me he is alright. He is with the Lord. God hears when a sinner calls out to Him.
My Dad had very little education but he was never without a job. Didn’t make lots of money but every dime he made went for the care of his family. He didn’t even cash his pay check, he gave it to my Mama and she paid the bills, bought groceries and stretched out that little pay check as far as she could. My Dad provided for his family to the best of his ability.
My Dad protected his family. He knew where we were at all times and was careful about who we kept company with. I, as a child could not see the danger but he would say “NO” and he meant NO!
My Dad punished us and we deserved every punishment we got. If I did not obey his words and did the opposite of what I knew was right, I was punished and rightfully so. We were taught there is a price to pay for disobedience.
My Dad was proud of his children. He would tell me what a good job I did at school or I would quote some scripture to him that I had memorized as a child and he would say, “That’s good, honey!” He let me know he was proud of me. He was pleased with us when we did well.
My Dad was a physically strong man and I was always so proud of him. He had a strong personality and it showed. In my eyes my Dad could whip the whole world with one hand tied behind him. I believe my Dad was respected by everyone that knew him. He had a temper and a hard time keeping it under control, but he also had a sweet, humble, forgiving spirit about him and after everything was said and done he was quick to ask for forgiveness.
I honor you Dad. I thank you for doing your best to take care of me and I love you and miss you.
Hey, now I want to tell you about my Heavenly Father. “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised.” (Ps 48:1). We praise Him for His mercy to us, we praise Him for providing for us the way to Heaven by trusting the finished work of His Son, Jesus. We praise Him for the Holy Spirit that protects us if we listen to His voice. We even have to praise Him when we receive our punishment for our disobedience to Him. He loves us and draws us back to Him. We praise Him for His love and patience, for his precious promises and we do desire to please Him.
Dad, be a good father to your children.
Provide for them, love them and most of all make sure they learn about Jesus. Lead them to a saving knowledge of Jesus while they are young. Take them to Church and keep them by your side. Stay with them, they need you!
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!
“Recently I lost a loved one. My grief is great. It is hard to bear. Can you help?”
Ans…God gave us emotions to stabilize us, or, to keep us in balance. No emotion should control us, we should control our emotions. Let’s see some examples…
WORRY is a God given emotion. Just think of what the world would be like if no one worried. We say, “DON’T WORRY” but we worry. We just can’t seem to help it. But Worry is not to control us. Mental wards are filled with people who let worry control. We must learn to control worry. See Phil 4:4-9.
ANGER. What has been said about worry can be said about Anger. Anger, a bad temper can be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.
FEAR. Think of a world where nobody feared. Some allow fear to control them and just lock themselves inside. There is so much to say about each but space will not allow. Don’t let any emotion control you.
GRIEF. Grief is a God-given emotion. There is absolutely nothing wrong with grieving over the loss of a loved one. Great men of the Bible grieved at the loss of their mate.
Grieve for awhile, but learn to rest in the promises of God. Paul said; “That you sorrow not as others who have no hope.” Some die without Christ. There is no hope there. But let us see what the Bible teaches about our loved ones who die, in Christ.
(A) They are alive! At death, the body goes to the grave, but the person who lived in that body goes to live with Christ. “To be absent from the body is to be present with Christ.” See Phil 1:21-23. They are more alive than ever.
(B) They are happy! They are at home in Heaven. Please read 2Cor 12:1-10. It is evident that Paul died was caught up into paradise. He never got over that experience, and longed to be “forever with the Lord.”
(C) I do not believe that they would change places with anyone down here.
Learn to commit these things to the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Let the Word of God settle things in your heart. Pray and ask the Heavenly Father for that “Grace to help in time of need.”
(Heb. 4:14-16). Learn to spell GRIEF like this…
“So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.” (Ps 90:12.