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The Lord is...My Shepherd Pt 2
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:
- to set, put, place
- to put down, lay down
- to set (serve) something to eat or drink
- 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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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.
2) THE SCHOOL MASTER
3) THE MASTER