Under-Shepherds

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Reprinted from December 9, 2019

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night, (Luke 2:8 NKJV). Apostle Luke told the story of how the angel of the Lord appeared unto a group of shepherds with the news of the birth of Christ (vv9-20). Today, I encourage each of us to keep watch as an under-shepherd of The Great Shepherd, of The Good Shepherd.

Shepherds are known for their special attributes and the rough terrain they travel. They were expected to spend long difficult days away from their families. Their determination was driven by the need to get their flock to green pastures. The shepherd’s natural “watch” was critical to the success of their task.

In ancient times, a shepherd also went ahead of the flock to inspect the land before taking sheep on dangerous journeys. Prior to his journey, he eyed-out the poisonous plants which could hurt the sheep; the nourishing plants that could heal his sheep; the shady trees which would provide comfort from the heat; and the cooling, still waters from which they could drink. The shepherd carried necessary essentials in his grip (bag) to sustain himself for the journey. Still, if the shepherd did not keep a watchful eye, the sheep most certainly would be lost.

King David, knew the value of a shepherd’s spiritual eye (quite different from the natural). While shepherds flocks and fields may differ, the spiritual eye must not be neglected for the success of the task. God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit for leading and guiding. A good shepherd must adhere to the watchful eye of the Holy Spirit. The natural eye cannot be equated to the spiritual eye. As an under-shepherd of His, if one fails to be guided by the Holy Spirit, you will become weakened and your survival is threatened (1 Corinthians).

Finally, keep watch as well as pray so that you will not enter into evil ways (Matthew 26:41).

Taking Stock – The Audit

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Yes, I am speaking to the choir – YOU. Each of us take stock of who we are and perhaps what we desire to be. We audit! Not only do we take self-audits, but at times, audit others. Generally, people are subjected to audits every day. Someone you don’t even know may observe how you walk, talk, act or approach a situation. Audits happen with and without our permission. You will leave an impression -intended or unintended.

The purpose of an audit is to determine your worth – liabilities vs. assets = a bottom line.

God determined your worth before you were born; before you were placed in time. He determined we did not meet His criteria; yet, He determined we were worth it. God determined YOU are worth His investment.

Allowing anyone else to put you in a box or discard you as insignificant, is an insult to Him. It would say that God wasted His investment. He saw every default and equated your value. He determined You could be an asset. Your balance sheet has its liabilities; but your net worth is so valuable to Him that He created you UNIQUE.

So today, it is not to brag, but it is to remember how gracious He is –

14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 New International Version (NIV)

“Make me worthy of your investment.”

#servantleadership, #servantleadership2020