Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sheep of His Hand


      Connor and I were watching a small flock of sheep at a local farm.  As usual, my camera was out.  I tried to get close enough to the sheep to get the pictures I wanted and the sheep were not cooperating.  This may have been due in part to my companion.  Connor was chatting away about the farm, the sheep, life at middle school, and mac and cheese.  I shushed him and continued to try to get the sheep’s attention without scaring them further away from me.
     Desperation struck.  “Baaaaa.” I called out to the sheep.  This little guy peeped out from behind a tree.  “Baaaa.”  I continued, feeling more than a little ridiculous, snapping away.
     Connor was pretty impressed with my sheep whispering ability.  He attempted a few “baaaa’s” of his own, then asked, “How come you can do a sheep better than I can?”
     I assured him, “Connor, I’ve just had years more practice at it.”
     So, do you want to be a sheep?
     The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
     He makes me lie down in green pastures,
     He leads me beside still waters,
     He restores my soul,
    He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  ~Psalm 23:1-3
     The Lord cares for us like a shepherd over his flock.  We are the sheep of His hand.
     He tends his flock like a shepherd:
     He gathers the lambs in His arms
     And carries them close to His heart:
     He gently leads those that have young.  ~Isaiah 40:11
     In order to recognize the voice of our shepherd we should practice being sheep.  We are to listen to our shepherd's voice, through prayer, through fellowship, through the reading of His word and by caring for other sheep.  Here is what Jesus said about the Shepherd and His Flock:
     The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice.  He calls his won sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.
     Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.  I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.  He will come in and go out, and find pasture...I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me--just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep.  ~John10:1-15
     Do you want to be a sheep?  Baa, baa!

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