Home > Uncategorized > Be the Shepherd….(said in a low confident tone) :)

Be the Shepherd….(said in a low confident tone) :)


The Best Gift of All – A Loving Shepherd

Isaiah 40, Luke 2, John 10

 

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Why was the sheep arrested on the freeway?   For doing an illegal ewe-turn.

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We are sheep.  We do illegal ewe-turns every day.  We need a shepherd.  We need the Good Shepherd.

Do you remember that there was another great shepherd from the town of Bethlehem?  We don’t have a holiday named after him.  No special days are given in his name.  But, he is a relative of the one we celebrate each December 25th.  His name was David.

 

One of my favorite stories in the Bible is of David and Goliath.  I think most every boy who heard this story as a youngster wanted to be David.  Here’s my synopsis.  David is a young boy…most likely in his teens when his dad, Jesse, comes up to him and says, “David, I’d like it if you could take some cheese and bread to your brothers.  Give some things to their commanders and to them as well.  Then bring me back news of how the war is going.  I’m hoping they are OK.”

 

His brothers are fighting under their king, Saul, against the Philistine army.  However, the battle is at a standstill.  The army opposing the Lord’s army has a secret weapon.  Goliath.  He’s a huge man that is battle ready.  Picture a Navy Seal or an Army Ranger or a top notch Marine.  Now picture this guy as the biggest Seal, Ranger or Marine ever.  Really…the tallest and most muscle bound.  He is also, most likely, one of the best trained fighters.  He is very confident in his abilities.  He steps out in leadership and asks the Israelite army to send one person to fight him.  No need for a huge battle, just a one on one fight.   Whoever wins…wins the war for their nation.

 

Here comes the very young shepherd David.  He is only opposite Goliath in a couple things…he’s smaller and only a boy.  On the other hand, he is very confident in his abilities and in who has his back.  He knows God on a personal level.  God’s spirit is with Him.  He’s not a skilled warrior, but he is a very skilled shepherd.  He has killed lions and bears for his sheep.  He has not only protected the sheep from potential threats, he has gone after the lion or bear that has taken a sheep, and in his words “taken the sheep out of their mouth.”  He is a great shepherd who knows his stuff and knows his sheep.

 

Long story short, Goliath is just another lion or bear to him.  The people of Israel are God’s sheep.  David goes out, destroys the enemy, and then goes almost into immediate service to the present King.  David was a leader and didn’t even know it.  He didn’t take a poll to figure out if he had the support of his fellow countrymen.  He didn’t back down when those around him said he was ill equipped and non-skilled.  They said Goliath couldn’t be defeated.  He knew two things.  One, God was with him and his nation.  Two, he knew God.  That’s all he needed.  He loved his God and he loved his nation/family.  He might have been a bit cocky, macho…much like a teenage boy, but he had all he needed.

 

Jesus, our good shepherd, from the line of David, offers us the same type of protection and care and leadership that David offered.  Only there’s one major difference.  David was a man after God’s own heart.  Jesus is God’s son.  We have a shepherd who leads us, guides us, protects us, is patient with us…and who has defeated the enemy in order to forgive us.  There is not a bear or lion or Goliath that stands in our way anymore.  The baby’s birth we celebrate died and rose so we have no more enemies!

 

Look at the guys and ladies in the New Testament who “got this.”  Paul, Peter, Stephen, Mary, Mary Magdalene, Philip…when they realized who the Good Shepherd really was…and that He was theirs, nothing could stop them.  Do you remember Jesus saying, “…and the gates of Hell will not be able to stop this Kingdom?”  Sounds a lot like David saying, “I’ve killed lions and bears.  Goliath will not be tolerated any more…we are God’s people!”

 

So how do you lead?  We are now the Kingdom.  We are the church.  We are now the hands, feet, and mouth of Jesus the Good Shepherd.  Do we stand up and stand out like David, Peter, Mary, John the Baptist?  Do we have the confidence that only the Holy Spirit can give us…not timid like David’s brothers, but one of “nothing can stop God” like power?  I think that Jesus wants us to realize that He not only is our Great Shepherd, He is our example.  Yes!  We can be shepherds for those around us who need protection, guidance….love.

 

Be the shepherd.  That’s a quote I came up on the fly last week in Kids Worship.  We looked at how the shepherds reacted when the angels told them Jesus, the Redeemer prophesied, was born in their town.  They ran to see. Then they ran around telling everyone!  Are we like those shepherds?  Do we really know the message we claim?  Do we really love this message?  Funny…the kids in worship would stare at each other with glaring eyes and say in a low town, “Be the Shepherd.”

 

Take a look at how you celebrate Christmas.  It might give you an idea of how much you love the Good News and how that might look like to the people around you.  I’ve been looking at ‘Ed,’ and I’m not pleased with myself.  I’m not sure that I celebrate and carry out the Good News the shepherds heard about from angels.  I want to be like those shepherds, like David, like Jesus.  I think that’s what he wants of me.  Who’s with me?  Who wants to become a leader like Jesus in our own little sheep pen?

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Ed

 

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