At Amana we have been studying the names of God. In doing so we are learning about our God, but in the process we are learning much about ourselves. For example, this week we consider the name, Jehovah-Raah, The Lord My Shepherd. It is comforting to know that we have a Good Shepherd. It is a little less comforting to consider that we are sheep. Here are just some of the characteristics of sheep:
1. timid, fearful, easily panicked
2. dumb stupid, gullible
3. very vulnerable to fear, frustration, pests, hunger
4. easily influenced by a leader, by the shepherd
5. stampede easily, vulnerable to mob psychology
6. little or no means of self-defense; can only run
7. easily killed by enemies
8. the shepherd is most effective, calming influence
9. jealous, competitive for dominance
10. constantly need fresh water, fresh pasture
11. have very little discernment in choosing food or water
12. best water source is early morning dew
13. perverse, stubborn – will insist on their own way , even eating poisonous
plants or drinking dirty water
14. easily “cast” – flipped over on their back, unable to right themselves
will die of starvation if not turned over by shepherd; helpless
15. frequently look for easy places to rest
16. don’t like to be sheared, cleaned
17. too much wool can cause sheep to be easily “cast”
18. creatures of habit; get into “ruts”
19. need the most care of all livestock
20. need to be “on the move”; need a pre-determined plan, pattern of grazing
21. totally dependent of shepherd for every need
22. need “rod and staff” guidance
That does sound like us doesn’t it? It is critical that the Lord is our shepherd. Because the fact is we will find a shepherd. We need to be led. Most of the world is led by shepherds who have no love for the sheep but only a desire to sheer the sheep.
We are truly blessed to have a Good Shepherd; it is our job to make sure we follow Him. We just considered 22 reasons why we must.
Follow and be blessed.
The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.Proverbs 29:25
The book of Proverbs is full of gems. This verse is just one of them. It points out a contrast which, if recognized and applied, can make an incredible difference in our lives. It balances fear of man with trust in God. Fear of man is a snare or trap. When we let the fear of man enter our lives we become disabled. That’s how a snare works. An animal in a snare or trap can’t move. Fear of man allows an artificial barrier to form around us which keeps us from living as our Father would have us live. Consider how we are when we are fearful. Fear fills our lives. We can think of nothing but the object of our fear. It disrupts our sleep and fills our days. We are frozen. The basis of fear is a concern that we are not in control; that someone else or something else will determine what will happen to us. The fear controls us.
On the other hand consider the man who trust in the Lord. He know that he is not in control, but knows that the Lord who is wiser and who has our best interest at heart IS in control. Therefore, there is nothing to fear. We are, and are always, safe. We move from a compulsion to control to a peaceful trust in the One who is in control.
What will it be saints? Fear or trust?
I am very appreciative this morning. I received nearly 50 face book “Happy Birthdays,” numerous emails and texts. The most unusual of which may have been the Happy Birthday video from my Wednesday Morning Men’s Prayer group. I am sure it will go “viral” on the internet. So I am thankful for friends.
As we headed out for my birthday dinner last night I did something to my knee and Rose had to help me back in the house. This morning I can get about only with the help of a cane. You don’t appreciate your health and mobility until something like this happens. So I am grateful for those things.
Because of the knee situation I find myself pressed on items that I need to do. These are things I could have done days ago but I have a PhD in procrastination. I appreciate the time we are given. God’s great gift is Jesus. His second greatest gift may be time. Every second we have life is a gift from God. We have 86,000 seconds in the day no more, no less.
So today I am appreciating friends, health, mobility and time. When this knee is better, I pray I will make better use of them all.
Thanks to friends and Jesus.
Today is my sixty-second birthday and many have wished that it be happy. To all those I say “thanks.” And it truly is.
I am happier than I have any right to be. I am married to a beautiful woman who has loved me for most of my life. I have lived to see my daughter develop into a woman of whom I am extremely proud. I get to be deeply involved in the lives of my grandchildren and even a great grand child. I have been able to practice my chosen profession out of my home close to family for many years. I get to be part of a great Christian fellowship and a inspiring ministry where I get to see God do miracles.
And above all I get to know that greater things lie before me in this life and then into the next. Yes, thanks, it is a happy birthday but no happier than all the other wonderful days I am given. I hope to wake each morning in the coming year with a greater gratitude and expectancy than ever before; but that’s dependent on me. He has done all that can be done on that score.
Thank you Jesus and happy un-birthday to the rest of you.