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The Lord is...My Shepherd Pt 2

Updated on October 19, 2014

In our study of the Shepherd, we have come to understand that HE is ever present to offer to the dependant soul, food, guidance and protection. Things readily needed on our journey towards maturity and son-ship, in the Kingdom of God. Christ the true head of the church is prepared to lead us through the valley and shadow of death; however we must, with great trust and confidence, follow HIM; for HE knows the path that we take.

When engaging this study I am compelled to focus on the following phrase: “…I SHALL NOT LACK.” To understand the validity of the phrase is to deeply acknowledge that Christ presents himself as the MASTER SHEPHERD OF SHEPHERDS, very capable of fulfilling our inner and outer needs. For years I placed my dependency upon the under-shepherds for my food, my guidance and my protection; only to be let down; because such a responsibility only belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ: THE GOOD SHEPHERD of His flock (ref Isa.40:11).

No wonder we find the church in the condition that it is in. A citizenry consisting of sheep that place all of their confidence in mere men and women, whose true assignment is to guide the sheep towards Christ and not lord over them. Where are the sheep that long for THE VOICE OF THEIR SHEPHERD as oppose to the stranger (or the voice of another)?

My friend I do not wish to under play the importance of spiritual leaders in our lives to speak words of wisdom unto us, to offer advice and other well meaning actions toward the spiritual sheep in the fold; however what of THE VOICE OF THE SHEPHERD?

What of “….my SHEPHERD?”

I have had my fill of men and women knowing more about what God is saying to me than God himself. I hunger and thirst for THE VOICE OF MY SHEPHERD – Jesus Christ!

How many of us have lived the majority of our life abiding under the directive of someone else, claiming to have spiritual access to our answers, our directives, and our movement in the earth?

Where abides your responsibility to hear the Lord’s “VOICE” for yourself?

I admonish you to return to your first love, recapture that fire within to hunger and thirst for the Lord of lords, and the King of kings to be your focus. When we put into perspective the role of the Shepherd in our life, we will gain the proper benefits of that acknowledgement. God by design has placed within us all the ability to be led. We will either be led towards the light, or towards the darkness, it all depends upon what we allow to lead us (ref. Romans 6:16).

The fact that the Lord is a Shepherd is a real indication that HE wants to tap into this inner sanctuary that is resident within us, in order that HE might lead us BESIDE THE STILL WATERS.

You cannot know this ability of the Lord OUR Shepherd to enable us with the excitement and impulse to FOLLOW HIM if you are preoccupied with another. The Shepherd awaits those that will dare TO FOLLOW; dare to acknowledge that the Lord is indeed their Shepherd.

There is nothing in the earthly realm that can compare to the loving qualities of the MASTER SHEPHERD, Jesus Christ. Note what He says in John 10:10-11, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”

The Lord Our Shepherd says HE is not in your life to STEAL from you, or to KILL you, or to DESTROY you. No my beloved, HE is present to give us life and life in abundance; and the way HE will accomplish this is… by GIVING HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP!

Christ emptied Himself of life in order that the yielding soul might HAVE LIFE…for it is written, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Through pouring out HIS life, Christ qualifies to SHEPHERD us, for a true shepherd has no life of his own, for life is sown in death, so that it might spring eternal in someone else.

The word “GIVETH” in the King James is tithĕmi, which means:

  1. to set, put, place
  2. to put down, lay down
  3. to set (serve) something to eat or drink
  4. to set forth, something to be explained by discourse

There are many other words that break down the meaning of this word “giveth” in the Greek Lexicon, a word that reveals the selfless nature of our Savior, our King, our Lord….and yes, our Shepherd. Our Shepherd, put down, laid down HIS LIFE for the sheep, past, present and future, displaying the value and worth of those for whom He tasted death for. He is able to shepherd what HE died for.

The depth of Christ as OUR SHEPHERD surpasses His ability to feed, to guide and protect us; His ability to Shepherd us is rooted in what HE did to qualify as Jehovah Rohi. In Exodus 12:1-3 depicts in typology the giving attributes of OUR SHEPHERD:

1 And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,

2 This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

3 Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:

The sheep can take solace in the fact that THE LORD OUR SHEPHERD is OUR PASSOVER LAMB. Christ, through HIS sacrifice GAVE and HE keeps on giving:

22 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

24 The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. (Lamentations 3:22-24)

Oh Shepherd of shepherds it is because of HIS MERCIES that we, THE SHEEP OF HIS PASTURE, are not consumed…because HIS COMPASSIONS FAIL NOT. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING. Therefore it is with great boasting that each one that confesses Him as LORD, can with great confidence CALL HIM THEIR VERY OWN SHEPHERD.

Please hear my heart, I mean no disrespect to any spiritual leader, but this honor of shepherd belongs solely unto Christ: THE MASTER SHEPHERD. Howbeit far from me not to make this simple connection of Shepherd and under-shepherd, when the prophet speaks to backsliding Israel: “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). I will give way to more insight to this in upcoming study, but for now, know and believe that the under-shepherds must possess the heart of THE MASTER SHEPHERD if they are to be functional at all.

I have had shepherds that meant well for a season, only to find that they were filled with struggles of their own; becoming ineffective to lead the sheepfold unto the SMITTEN ROCK; because they were highly motivated to compel that the sheep be loyal to them.

How many under-shepherds filled with struggle has ended their life because they themselves had need of a shepherd? Preachers and teachers found in uncompromising situations, who become riddled with guilt and shame, finding it easier to kill themselves than to acknowledge that they have need of THE GREAT SHEPHERD!

How many under-shepherds are preoccupied with building programs, fund raising, image modification, book signings, while the sheep are bleeding in the background, waiting for someone to point them toward the inner-sanctuary where the Lord awaits?

If you are placing all your stock in men and woman (void of the Holy Spirit) who appear to be on track and possessing spiritual wealth, yet may be bankrupt of it; you will deprive yourself of the greatest position there is…as a lamb in HIS ARMS!

He shall feed his flock 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. (Isaiah 40:11)

The ARMS OF THE LORD speak of something higher and richer than being embraced by the system of brick and mortar. With all of its programs and logic birthed out of the wisdom of men, the church system with its under-shepherds void of the spirit, serve to shepherd after the order of the OLDNESS OF THE DEAD LETTER, where the godly experience is centered in one day-some day; a futuristic face to face encounter with the Lord. A second hand revelation filling the heart wherein there is no knowledge of the Lord for oneself.

Where are the saviors (THE LORD’S ARMS) upon Mt Zion? Where are the saviors that are to judge Esau (fleshly offspring) instead of promoting the flesh? Where are the shearers (ref. Isa.53:7) of the sheep?

I have seen great honor bestowed upon men and upon women who shepherd the flock in the pasture, we call the church. Through the honoring of their birthdays, sprinkling them with gifts and well meaningful words; coming up with specified reasons to rally the flock to give to the man or woman of God, through anniversaries, and celebratory services, all in the name of the “righteousness;” all in the name of giving honor to who honor is due. And granted, the laborer is truly worthy of his hire, however, when the labor produces the right harvest, such celebration and honor may be fitting; but far too many who journey through this life, are deprived of the true manna that comes in the form of Christ, THE BREAD OF GOD.

Many of our, so called, leaders of the flock, are leading the flock down the wrong path, through sensationalized preaching and teaching, and celebrity; cloaked in hype and the “wow factor” style of ministry, in other words, ministry is poised to draw the flock in through fanfare and not by the Holy Spirit. Ministry is fashioned from the back room board meetings, mimicking a move of God, wherein, the flock is drawn the sensory realm and not through genuine conviction. Jesus tapped into this when he said of the people that sought him: “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied” (John 6:26 Amplified Bible).

Where is the supernatural church of Acts?

It has been replaced by soulish behavior modeling itself as the move of the Spirit, leaving the flock seeking for another man or woman to excite them, or another service to tie them over, rather than become sheep that eat and hunger for THE HIDDEN MANNA.

Many of the sheep are Laodicean in nature, “…rich and having need of nothing…,” because they have been given the wrong bread, they are drinking the wrong wine. The TRUE SHEPHERD is able to feed us with food prepared for them of HIS own nailed scared hands. The under-shepherds have become Doctoral, Ph.d’s, Reverends, Fathers, Grand Master Prophets, and other inflated titles among the flock, deflated of the essential life that God so desires to give.

The ministry of Saul, which looks after donkeys (ref I Samuel 9:1-2) fills the land, while the ministry of David, which keeps sheep (ref I Samuel 16:11-12) is all but a whisper. The word of God for many has become the doctrine of wealth and accomplishments; as evidence that the kingdom of God is in full affect. The church world has become the breeding ground for sheep in the image of men, rather than sheep in the image of God.

The Lord OUR SHEPHERD, laid down HIS LIFE, he became poor, that we might become rich, not necessarily in the material, but in the spiritual; teaching us how to shed off the wool of the outer life, that we too, might become sheep for the slaughter, the examples of DYING OUT TO SELF and all that it entails. Christ came to showcase HIS WILLINGNESS to LEAD US into DEATH that we might be partakers of HIS LIFE! NO LONGER I THAT LIVE, BUT CHRIST LIVING IN US AND THROUGH US!

The TRUE SHEPHERD leads us, and where HE leads us, WE MUST FOLLOW. Will you follow the Lord into death, that you and I might obtain His life?

To be continued!

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Source

The Three Masters: The Taskmaster

In this study my objective is to begin this journey in observing the three masters of scripture; highlighting the distinction between each.

The word of God is a wonderful compilation of God’s mind and His eternal purpose toward mankind. There are so many that read the word of God, keeping a literal spin on such a spiritual message. The deeper messages of the scriptures are often left un-disturbed by the pulpit, giving the sheep motivational nuggets of mingled truth, week after week.

Just as there are three courts to which we must pass through in our approach unto God and His throne (authority); there are also three dimensions of “master” that is guaranteed to touch our lives as we walk from earth to glory.

1) THE TASKMASTER

2) THE SCHOOL MASTER

3) THE MASTER

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    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You wrote, "The word of God is a wonderful compilation of God’s mind and His eternal purpose toward mankind."

      So what is the word of God and how is it obtained?

      Short answer: The word of God comes from our private prayer and meditations. Our meditations are where we decide our ideal, what to follow.

      I propose the word of God comes from Jesus in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Any writing which contradicts the teachings of Jesus must be renounced in order to be Christian. You cannot follow the teachings of Jesus and contrary teachings at the same time.

      The Old Testament (OT) was written by Rabbis and contains their teaching or thinking process. The idea of animal sacrifice to remove sin was used in the OT. The NT teaches that animal sacrifice does not and has never removed sin. Instead the forgiveness of sin removes sin. Forgive to be forgiven. Where OT thought has leaked into the NT we should follow the teachings of Jesus. Jesus did Not sacrifice to remove sin, that would be a form of human sacrifice. Human sacrifice must be renounced.

      It is the resurrection of Jesus which proves a life after death actually exists. Jesus could not come back from nothing. It is the proof of an afterlife (resurrection) which turns Man to spiritual things.

      There are other contradictions between the OT and NT. Where there is a contradiction, I will follow Jesus.

    • William Savage profile image
      Author

      Keep Moving Forward 2 years ago from Salisbury, Maryland Living in North Greensboro, NC

      Christ, the beloved Lord and King is called by many names, and one of the names that oftentimes gets overlooked is nature (name) as THE WORD OF GOD. The sixty-six books only point to the Christ. Christ assures us that there is absolute life in Him, the letter kills, but it is the spirit that makes alive. The Old Testament is filled with types, shadows and figures of THE TRUE, pointing unto the Christ, which requires hungry hearts to unveil the hidden content. The New Testament unveils what was hid in the Old Testament; however Christ, The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world is the embodiment of all that God intended. He is and was the Word made flesh, and He is the Word of God that we must look unto.

      Thank you for your insight Mr. Obrien.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      You wrote, "The sixty-six books only point to the Christ." Perhaps, if you want to look at it that way. I wonder about the Book of Joshua and how the teachings of Jesus would be applied. In other words, how would Christ see the actions of Joshua?

      Joshua claims to have a divine right to enter the land of Canaan and kill every man, woman and child.

      And they utterly destroyed all that was in the city (Jericho), both man and woman, young and old, and ox, and sheep, and ass, with the edge of the sword. Joshua 6:21.

      And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the LORD cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. Joshua 10:11.

      And there was no day like that before it or after it that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel. Joshua 10:14.

      I find the Book of Joshua very disturbing. I cannot see Jesus advocating a genocide. I therefore renounce Joshua in order to follow Jesus. Do you understand?

    • William Savage profile image
      Author

      Keep Moving Forward 2 years ago from Salisbury, Maryland Living in North Greensboro, NC

      I do understand your observation of Joshua, as well as the other old testament observations in scripture; however, please understand, that I too seek to follow Jesus, who swallowed up all things Old Testament to proclaim Himself as THE WORD made flesh. Christ accomplishes through his death, burial, resurrection and ascension, what literal stories and words could not, HE bought us face to face to God the Father, through HIS sacrifice. There are hidden understandings contained in the "Old" Testament that point to something much higher than what you speak of. Joshua was a type, a shadow of Jesus. That same Jesus who said, "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

      And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:34-38). The ultimate joy of walk in God is to DIE TO SELF, in order to have an allegiance to the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the very one that said unto us, "Search the scriptures for in them, for in them you think you have eternal life, but they are they that TESTIFY OF ME (Christ).

      Dear sir, I am not advocating that we be confined to the letter of the word, I am saying to a people SEEK THE LORD! Anyway, thank you for the conversation, I do not have any other motivation, but to promote people to go after, and long for Jesus Christ (the way, the truth, and the life).

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Here are a few observations for your consideration.

      1. We are All Word made flesh in that we all are spiritual energy and are temporarily attached to a material body. Just as Jesus was energy proceeding from the Father, so are we. We are all together. We are never really separate from the Father or each other.

      2. The resurrection of Jesus is an objective proof of an afterlife because He could not come back from nothing. Until a person actually believes he/she IS Spirit capable of living in an afterlife, God is not relevant. We are spirit energy and not merely attain to be.

      3. Sacrifice does not and has never removed sin. Forgiveness removes sin. Sin is in the mind in the form of negative emotions. When you forgive the person associated with the negative emotion, the sin immediately disappears. Human sacrifice is not justified and should not be taught.

      4. Yes, Jesus created conflict for the Rabbinic thinking process. He instituted a new way of thought separate and above Judaism. At no time did Jesus teach to take up a sword and hurt anyone with it. Jesus said to love your enemies, to sheath your sword.

      5. Sometimes I wonder whether the translation is correct or whether the authors actually understood Jesus correctly. The apostles were still tied to Rabbinic thinking and perhaps not fully cognizant of what Jesus was teaching. Let us renounce Judaism for Christianity.

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