Dealing with a Sheep

Sheep are notorious for not doing what is expected of them. It’s one thing when dealing with an actual sheep; it’s quite another when we are dealing with one of God’s sheep. Keep in mind that some only appear to be sheep. Jesus explained in John 10:27-28  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” Those who go on hearing and following Jesus are His sheep. Nevertheless, some genuine sheep do stray. We should say “good riddance!” to these, right? Wrong! Jesus’ account of the straying sheep should mold our attitude toward and concern for true sheep. They may have to suffer because of their straying. A shepherd trains, corrects and even hurts sometimes to train a wayward sheep to behave in a way that is for its ultimate good and safety. To discipline a person in a local church for wayward behavior should cause sadness. It should prompt loving concern and action. A strong effort to locate and restore the wandering sheep is a matter of highest priority. It is ludicrous to think that we should go to the straying sheep and play with it. The idea is to get the sheep back to health, safety and food. In II Corinthians 2:8 and 11, Paul speaks to this: “Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.” Why? “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” Paul gives further advice in Galatians 6:1: “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” This certainly should be attempted to head off the need of discipline. I believe it is also to be applied to one who has been disciplined. We can’t socialize with them, but we can lovingly and prayerfully reach out to them. Elizabeth C. Clephane, in her hymn: “The Ninety and Nine,” musically captures the concern of the Savior and what should be our concern: “Lord, Thou hast here Thy ninety and nine; are they not enough for Thee?” But the Shepherd made answer: “This of Mine has wandered away from Me, and although the road be rough and steep, I go to the desert to find My sheep, I go to the desert to find My sheep.” “Lord, whence are those blood-drops all the way that mark out the mountain’s track?” “They were shed for one who had gone astray ere the Shepherd could bring him back.” “Lord, whence are Thy hands so rent and torn?” “They’re pierced tonight by many a thorn, they’re pierced tonight by many a thorn.” But all thro’ the mountains, thunder-riv’n, and up from the rocky steep, there arose a glad cry to the gate of heav’n, “Rejoice! I have found My sheep!” And the angels echoed around the throne, “Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own! Rejoice, for the Lord brings back His own!” Selah! Jesus paid an infinite price for His sheep; He wants them restored! (Some sheep die because of their straying)!   Ron

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One thought on “Dealing with a Sheep

  1. A great Hymn speaking of going after the the sheep that have wandered away. May God give us wisdom in our approach.

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