Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Today, we will continue on our topic, “The Shepherd’s Heart.” One of the reasons I decided to write on this matter was because some of you may sometimes have a hard time trying to figure out why your pastor does or doesn’t do certain things. He puzzles you sometimes when he does things you wouldn’t do or that you would do totally different. Of course, I’m assuming you have a pastor who has truly been called of God, one who makes a sincere effort to be more like the Good Shepherd.
Yesterday, we focused on the 11th verse of John, Chapter ten. I mistakenly called it the 10th. Today, we will focus on verses 12-13, which read: “The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.” Before we continue, let me clarify that all pastors are really hired hands, under-shepherds, if you will. I know that people mostly refer to them as the shepherds of the flock, but we must never forget that these are not their sheep but the Lord’s. Nevertheless, a pastor with a genuine shepherd’s heart cares as much for the sheep because he, like David, never forgets that this is his father’s flock. Because He knows that the Father loves His sheep dearly, he too will love them to the point of giving his life for them.
One situation where pastors are sometimes misunderstood, me included, is when it seems he is defending a member of the flock who others believe needs reprimanding. Oftentimes the pastor is not really shirking his duty. It’s just that some members believe he didn’t handle the situation properly or at least in the way they believed it should have been handled. I don’t lose my cool very easily but one situation that will always put me on the offensive is when I feel a certain member is being treated unfairly or unkindly. In such cases, I will make it a point to vigorously defend him or her no matter who they are. And no, I won’t refrain from later addressing the error of any member who merits it, but by God’s grace I will do in the right way and at the right time, never forgetting this instruction: “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1) A true under-shepherd will always treat his flock like the Good Shepherd would.
Memory verse for the week: (Jeremiah 3:15) “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”