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Whose Flock is This?

Dee Casper

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Dee Casper

Director of the CORE Evangelism Training Program

Recorded

  • January 30, 2021
    10:00 AM
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Oh Good morning Happy 7th everyone. Good to be with you today. And we will. Pree to begin here we're going to cover something I have not actually shared in at least 5 years it may be closer to 6 or 7 but was a very impactful moment in my life and all the lessons were learned during that season so I hope and pray that this will be a blessing to use a let's pray Sweet Jesus thank you for loving us so much thank you for the gift of your word thank you for object lessons and for giving them to us as a gift and helping us to better understand truth through the experiences we have with them and so I just pray that you would speak to us give me clarity of mind the ability to be. Brief and to the point and that I pray that this would would stir us and shake us and awaken us to our individual roles in the furthering of your kingdom and we asked this in Jesus' name amen. We're told desire of age is a commentary on the life of Christ by the way this message is called whose flock is this and so will be addressing something here from my time with sheep says in desire of Ages a commentary the life of Christ page 254 that his Jesus messages of mercy were varied to suit his audience he knew had to speak a word in season to him that is weary for Grace was poured upon his lips that he might convey to men in the most attractive way the treasures of truth he had tact to meet prejudice minds and surprise them with illustrations that won their attention and through the imagination he reached the heart or he didn't go right at him he would use Object lessons of things they could relate to which lowered their guard and left these these lessons upon the heart of mind that would not soon leave them his illustrations were taken from the things of daily life although they were simple they had in them a wonderful depth of meaning the birds of the air the lilies of the field the seed the shepherd in the sheep with these objects Christ illustrated the mortal truth in every afterward when his hearers chance to see these things in nature they recalled his words Christ illustrations constantly repeated his lessons maybe it had this you know out in the garden and God taught you a lesson about spiritual things while gardening and now every time you see a tomato plant you're always reminded that lesson that God taught you or in raising children or and having animals or something else that God teaches you lessons through these things that when you see it something later it always reminds of these spiritual truths Well I want to share with you my own experience with this I went through the Arise program in 2010. Just over 10 years ago and as soon as I graduated from the bible college my dad had already kind of gone through some financial difficulties preceding this by making a stand for this message leaving jobs on Sabbath and so forth things got pretty hard for us leaving jobs period because of Sabbath and all of that was quite a process for us it cost us a lot and. I shouldn't touch that my bad. Of all things you're going to have a nervous twitch don't touch cables that control the monitor Ok got it so anyway with this isn't some difficult seasons and my dad while I was at this Bible college ended up having to go to a homeless shelter and I myself joined him when I finished the bible college that can you imagine going to a school of Angeles and the bible college certificate of excellence in hand receiving training from David Asher in a bunch of people they have this church and now being homeless and when I went to this homeless shelter their main help was in St Louis but they had satellite locations and they had one out more and rural parts of Missouri and my responsibility of all things was to take care of sheep and of all things to feed them bread because in the winter times there is not grass for the neat and so for the we'll get more of that now but. So here's discuss some pictures I had to use my old laptop at that stage and have a camera no smartphone in that day and so these are just some pictures of the sheep it's a different type of sheep than maybe you were expecting the white fluffy ones I don't know what breed or species this is but if you do congratulations because I don't but I do know I took care of them and they won my heart so these are just some pictures of those cute little sheep these are the Lambs and I think this one here is going to be a video. That has some people that sounds can mean one thing or another but for me it's like music to my ears if you're taking care of them and hearing it every day to take care of them so these are just they've come up to the fence line we'd feed them some would be a little more adamant than others as you can see seeking special favor an intentional get of that here in a moment to. So. Well I explained why I was there but I have a question for you so again this guy's this hot shot fresh out of Bible college his teachers are saying all kinds of nice things about him. And then he finds himself homeless in the wilderness taking care of sheep 1st of all does that remind you of anybody who's a remind you of. John the Baptist Ok how about somebody who really thought that they knew what they were doing to get take care of business and need to be humble taking their sheep in the wilderness if that was this guy right here Ok I got the Moses treatment basically and so God said Ok you think you can take care of things let's go take your sheep for a while and humble you right and they did animal testing sometimes they do that you know this has an animal 1st then they do it with humans just of you know make sure it's safe in this kind of treatment that I got but what does sheep represent in Scripture us right God's people told us equal 3431 that you are my flock the flock of my pasture you are min and I'm your god and woman says the Lord God Now what does bread represent in Scripture. The Word of God right in John 633 says for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world speaking of Jesus even more clearly he says I'm the bread of life but the table of showbread in the sanctuary service we know or we were told represents the Word of God right and we're told in the beginning was the word the word was with God and the Word was God he was in the beginning with God and in a verse 14 of John one it says that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us speaking of Jesus right the full representation of that word and you know the week before I left there I was there for about 3 months I read this text 2nd same chapter 7 in verse 8 now though for this show you say to my servant David dust says the Lord of Hosts I took you from the she pulled from following the sheep to be ruler over my people over Israel and I'm not saying that God is calling me to be king or even you know a full blown overseer of a congregation but the point was I brought you through this time with this sheep to prepare you for spiritual leadership I brought you through this process for this of the things that we're going to learn here that we're going to hear about the stories that I'll share with you you need to kind of put on those spiritual glasses I remember doing a week of prayer to all elementary school and I was telling the kids make sure you put on your spirits or glasses in this one little boy put his fingers up like this for way too long like 10 minutes into the message he still doing this and thinks is the coolest thing ever. So he shared a lot of things with me and showed me a lot of things in this time and many of them will be mentioned early on but the final illustrations were kind of make the point so we're going to look basically at the role of the shepherd and then last we're going to look at the Good Shepherd Jesus Walsall see some bad examples listen scriptures Ico 34 is a big one we'll go to Zechariah by the way this is an entire Sermon on the sheet and we will never touch Psalm 23 to see you know we're mainly going through Zico 34 in John Chapter 10 but. At this part of the message we're going to look at the behavior of sheep and just again kind of keep those spiritual glasses on and so forth right see sheep is the church bread is the Word of God and so on I think you'll you'll be able to follow me so when I would got there it's December it's right after Christmas and the sheep couldn't eat grass they should eat grass that's what they do right but the world couldn't provide what they needed in their hardship. Right the world could not provide that that was that was taken from them so we had to supplement their diet was something at that stage and they didn't they could afford you know buying masses of straw and hay so these bakeries would donate to this in a ministry in St Louis because they get a ride all for giving away their stuff and whenever they got to a point where they couldn't feed that to people the more it got too old they had too much of it they would throw them in trash bags in a big van and then once a month or once every couple weeks to bring that van full of old bread out to where we were then we would feed that to the sheep the sheep or even some pretty mean we would say bougie for young ones over here but just this fancy of bread you know these fancy bagels from Pinera and you know Chris Sol Ansen all kinds of stuff that is eco Britain other things too but here's the point when the weather was bad and we had lots of snow they were fully dependent upon the bread because they were in a position to eat with the world would provide for them the world couldn't give them what they needed in their hardship and if you will can testify to that yeah the world has nothing to offer you it offers all these alluring things but when things get hard it offers you nothing. When it matters the most so we as shepherds had to feed them bread to give them what they needed in the interesting thing is the more bread they ate the more they wanted and it's kind of foreign to them initially because sheep aren't designed to eat cinnamon reasoned bagels from the era. But the point is the more that they ate it the more they wanted it how many people can testify to that this morning right maybe you didn't have a strong desire for the Word of God in the beginning of your experience right seems kind of foreign especially if somebody handed you a King James Bible it's an acquired taste right I have no idea what they're saying but it sounds spiritual. Sounds pretty deep but this is the point like it's meant to be something that the more time we spend with the Word of God the more we desire it the more we want to in the more that we hunger for it and I appreciate that so much about the word the same goes for us there are times in our lives. When storms and cold situations take place that cause us to really crave the word write both the written word in the word that became flesh and Jesus so we also would have some issues though the sheep would fight over bread and if you're wearing your spiritual glasses you're already understanding or I'm going with this but this is what would happen this is a video not from the top I took care of them. So this is what it looks like these are the Rams you know fighting each other and that kind of 3rd crunch sound is a sound you'll never forget a very distinct cell and this is not a video that I took this is something I found on the Internet of the shit of the same type of sheep so you get new videos of that but you know they would start eating in like $11.00 guy would want somebody else's bagel or somebody else's baguette or whatever and they'd start fighting and butting heads over it but the thing is it wasn't just a fight between the 2 of them because this breaks out in a large mass of sheep I don't know how many there were 50 something 75 maybe maybe little bit more I think was actually just under 100 and they would fight they would trample over the lambs like they were so focused on fighting each other they were totally oblivious to the wreckage and the havoc that they were causing Now if you're wearing your spirits of glasses this morning you'll understand that this happens in the church doesn't it you heard the Saints fight there with the Word of God says fight over the bread. Not in Pottsville Hey Thank you Pastor Amen. Dad's here you got to act nice right. Though but it can happen right thing fully we have it we have a healthy church here but that stuff does happen and the thing is when people are in these knockdown drag a logical rabbit trails we don't realize that casualties that come from these things were oblivious because I am right and I need to show him that he is wrong or I need to show her that she is wrong or you know standing and it causes a lot of problems and it hurts those who are young in the face right little lambs were being trampled over this because somebody else just wanted to get theirs and I remember seeing a situation where this is happening these 2 lambs or these 2 rams were fighting each other and this elder right this kind along this long gnarly beard like some had like a long neck beard some dill and I remember seeing these 2 fight and I saw this kind of elder one had the longer horns get in between the 2 of them and it kind of lifted up his arm like this like Get outta here with that nonsense if the a bartender Well you probably hope you have but anyway to throw the guy out as nuff of this stuff get outta here right and he would just get in and come and told me you need to knock that off and they listened and they stopped and but again they're trampling over these little lambs and stuff and this can happen in churches right could happen to religious movements or we have these theological debates and shove each other over them but there are people out there who are starving over the gospel of we're doing nothing to help them right people who need to know that Jesus what he endured for their sake and that they can be saved too and Wes even had guys who would throw bread at the sheep right they thought it was funny to take a bagel and throw it at him hit him in the head and stuff and you know we can do that sometimes too we can pretty be pretty aggressive in the way which were sharing the word of God of the people you need to hear this and you kind of throw it at him whenever that's not the way this was ever meant to work right someone has to have an appetite to want to eat right you get a kind of cultivate an appetite and somebody not just her will bring bread in their direction and seeing stuff like this makes people want nothing to do with the Bible the problem is is there anything wrong with bread. No but the way in which you deal with bread can make people not want to eat it right that day and read in the text will come back to that later but something interesting would happen I say interesting it's actually kind of sad these are 2 lambs here or there may be in the being about 20 lambs or so during the time that I was there in the cutest little things you've ever seen they're like they're like horses or deer that is soon as they're born they can walk around that kind of clumsy and they're gooey in their you know birth cords are fully cut initially and it's and they give birth in winter of all times right of all times you can be covered in Guru and I have a lot of for and so forth you don't really want that to be in winter but that's when they do it ends and so it wasn't uncommon for us to see lambs that were wet with their birth cord that wasn't even fully cut yet they were with their moms getting bread she did mess around right to speech she gave birth it's time to eat Let's go right and she would go and what they got to be a week or so although these little lambs they would start to head butt in the wrestle with each other wonder why that is. Where you think they learned that from watching the older more established sheep fight Yeah and that can happen can tip because they would see the older unestablished she fight they think oh well this is what we should do right it's that because they're always watching and this happens in our church settings too right people they don't know what to do do I sit now do I sing now I don't know what they're singing and there isn't anything in my bulletin to tell me there's nothing on the board so all this kind of home The nice thing is now that warring masks you can just have things move and people can't tell you don't know what the song is from it's and so you ever been to circumstances like that you don't really know what to go once you're just kind of watching everybody else right to just do what they do well this happens with new members it with visitors and the question is what type of example are we sending to them Are you with me in that right because they're going to do what you do they're going to model the behavior or they're going to imitate what they see like you know kids playing army man or something else. And so if they see the established members gossiping having the pastor and elders for lunch a potluck right now other things they're thinking that this is Ok right and in some unfortunate circumstances they do the same thing and later on down the road they're going to be that established member that leads a lamb astray Are you understanding right the example that we give matters some of them insisted on being hand fed the guys in dear he referred to her as Lady blah blah. If you have any pop culture understanding then you'll understand what they're doing there but others began to do the same when they saw that others were being hand-fed And so you know some of us can maybe be in the situation or we'd rather be spoon fed right than choose to have our own relationship in time with God in His Word and oh I need the pastor to tell me what to believe I need somebody else to give me something when every you know we gave the bread to everybody and they had access for themselves but this isn't a no I want you to feed me right and maybe I lean on my parents or my spouse right or my teachers are so forth whenever God in His great glory and awesomeness is inviting all of us to know him for ourselves or at the priesthood of all believers that all can have access to the Word of God in their own language and through the power in the guides of the Holy Spirit can understand it for themselves that we all get in these some instruction on how to interpret the word of God rightly but the point is all of us have that available to us and why rob yourself of that experience of knowing God for yourself by depending upon somebody else always feeding you right I found myself being you know more favorable or showing preferential treatment to the cute ones we called this one Bambi by the way to show that Bambi was a dude it was I did had no idea that Bambi was a boy why would you name a boy Bambi easy to get beat up in school for that what were they thinking anyway I was totally oblivious to that I guess I was a paying attention as a kid so. I guess the in the movies got this big antlers by had forgotten that so we were calling this one Bambi and then we didn't realize it was actually a dude it's a girl this one here is what she super cute she was a big smile on her face and they became my favorites right I started showing preferential treatment to the ones I liked the most right but James 21 in one says that we're not to show favorites favoritism right or partiality no matter how cute rich talented or spiritual that they are right sometimes it's easy to show favoritism because you know as a spiritual leader this person doesn't drive me crazy they're not Sunidhi right they're actually spiritual I'm going to spend more time with them than to spend time with those who need more investment and encouragement remember our message on Barnabas we were told to to love those who need it most right show love to them who need it most who needs it most those who have struggles and difficulties and have needs right. So I cut myself at times also being more focused on getting the bread to them than I was in watching them and seeing their needs and this can happen in ministry you get so caught up with preparing the bread and delivering the bread that you forget that there's people here that have other needs if I want to testify that you get so caught up in what you're doing for them that you forget that they just need you to be available to just be present to pay attention to their needs and not just doing those things you need to do right giving bread is a good thing but I let it get in the way of discerning what was needed within the flock when I could and should have done both right and this can happen to us as pastors as Bible workers as evangelists we get so caught up in the process of preparing studies and sermons and how to present them that we lose track of why we're doing it in the 1st place it's for the benefit of people not just to be involved in the process yeah sometimes we need those reminders we're told is a good 341718 and as for you all my flock this is the Lord God Behold I shall judge between sheep and sheep but he and rams and goats is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture the you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastor and a drunk of the clear waters that you must foul the residue with your feet basically was it not enough for you to get your food that you had to ruin what everyone else had to eat on and again if we get in a chippy or political or we dive into these crazy rabbit trails of theology or good judgment all we ruin something that was for the nourishment of benefit of others. Right we can ruin the bread we can ruin the water of life for people in the way in which we delivered or the impact that we have on those things that 1st 1000 it says and as for my flock they would you trampled with your feet and they drink what you fell to your feet right they have to take of this less pure form of what I intended to give them because of what you've done and in 2021 therefore this is the Lord God to them behold I myself would judge between the fat in the lean sheep because you push with side and shoulder and budded all the weak ones with your horns and scattered them abroad and this can happen right we can have a lot of lack of patience towards people who don't have the understanding that we have and get out here no bother me with that and you know that that's what the Bible says that's dumb right sometimes we get so caught up in being right that we forget that people are on a journey people are growing right they may make statements and Sabbath school that they don't know aren't theologically accurate or when they 1st give their 1st sermon or so forth and we need to treat them with grace and not come at them right because in turn are going to get discouraged and not want to do that ever again you know hard it is a speak up in Sabbath school because I have preached hundreds of times all over the place travelling for years and I still get nervous making comments in Sabbath school right so just have have some grace for people I want you to look to the route to the right side of your screen and watch how one of these sheep interacts with the lamb Ok it will take just a little bit but watch the right side of the screen. And I will warn you and prep you for it. To get. Right now look watch the lamb. And the look at that did you see that. The little. Shoves in pushes this poor little kid away and it reminded me that text is even Chapter 34. So the older sheep would push the Lambs aside to get bread when they should be leading them to it and helping them find it and this happened a lot of Fortunately So the question is are we doing things that are keeping the weak sheep from eating of the good pasture remember those theological debates or other things we're talking about are we doing things in our experience that make the Word of God less attractive and less of vailable to others Ok And it's going to make you think you know would you want to eat a piece of bread if it had a big print in it would you want to eat that I would neither so for trampling all over the truth and it makes it very hard to make it appealing for somebody else we need to keep that in mind. I'm actually going to skip that for times a business making sense so far right to some practical lessons things that we learn to take care of sheep how we compose or cells around the flock matters that doesn't it is special in regards to new members and our church as a whole we've got to pay attention that to be careful with that because we have things in the absence of culture that are will kind of weird to people who come from other denominations and even more weird to people who have no religious affiliation at all are we go to church on Saturday we had this thing that we call haystacks I went to an avenue I was in Agnes shit and on The Wiz in I mean I said hey we're going to have haystacks on Sabbath can you bring it to Maida and I said you just want me to bring a tomato and as like what's haystacks Oh you don't know and I get can can you bring lettuce in can you bring chips in can you bring something else I thought why do you want me to just bring intimated that isn't making the census of what what is that or you don't know you'll have to come and find out. I didn't come I protested I don't know what you people are about I don't know what you're talking about that sounds crazy to me so I intentionally just because I have a sinful carnal nature and as I am not going to go so I didn't come right edges but it's one of those things that like it by the way it's basically talk of salad for those who don't know what haystacks is we're just going to have chips and lettuce and tomatoes and all of those you know beans and something else some people are offended at calling it taco salad but look it's basically the same thing that's all it is but we have these things that we do right some people are vegans and so forth it can be kind of strange to people they don't understand why you do what you do let's not make it any harder than it is the understanding like being being understanding and considerate of the fact that our churches should be thrill of people who don't know what you know who don't think what you think who don't understand what you understand and to be cognizant of that in a church service right when you see somebody you don't recognize assume that they're a visitor here right bless them encourage their welcome them don't assume that that was just the greeters job and I'm going to go on with my life and oh by the way you're in my seat can you please move I've never seen you before and it's nice to meet you but you're in my seat the understanding of these are the types of things that we have to pay attention to they can lead people astray and cause problems what type of example are we setting are we service minded Are we a blip are we running down brothers and sisters in full view of new members and visitors right those are the questions we have to ask ourselves Are we asking all kinds of interrogating questions were like you know just give them some space to be here and feel welcome and I had that when I 1st had to go out as churches people were asked of some pretty thorough and detailed questions I just thought look like I don't even know your name broken like we just talked 1st boy I don't know if I'm filling out my view to right now or was like just just give people some space to just feel welcome right before we ask a bunch of probing questions and we can do those things with the best of intentions right but like I don't know about you but when are people at store start asking for my phone number and email of No I'm not about that because I know what you're going to do. Right so we have to go through this process of just saying hey it's nice to meet you Hey we'd love to follow up with user way that we could have your phone number just just to kind of think through the way in which we asked the questions that we asked does that make sense we'd like to stand contact we'd like to know them and connect with them but make sure you're not just kind of going in a way that just sounds really invasive right or sound like you're just kind of creeping people. So these are the types of things we had to pay particular attention to not just because it makes us look bad in front of new people but because it's not Christian right gossiping about people running them down getting a theological debates and arguments or accosting somebody because of what you think they're wearing or whatever like that's just not the way to handle interactions in a church setting they can cause big problems and a lot of lessons are learned from my time there so preparing them for the big move the last full week I was there we had to move them from one side of the highway so there were kind of like 2 parcels of property and there was a highway in between the 2 cases a 2 lane highway but it was you know people drive 5560 mile an hour on that road so we lived on one side of the highway and there was another pasture there where we were feeding them most the time I was there was on the other side of the highway but you know whenever they've kind of force a place and picked a pretty clean you want to move them around to the grass can grow back up so we're preparing to move them and to get them to move across the street we didn't feed them for about a full day today they're fasting before a big move in life some good examples area some good advice there it is kind of facile to be more in tune to the shepherd when he needs to lead them from one place to the next so we had them fast for a full day and this put them in a better position to fall the shepherd but instead of leaving them with a shepherd draw they traded it for a loaf of bread her mates. And all this I say before you hear what actually happened I want to go to some some kind of definitions of what a shepherd is to be and they will come back to that story but we need to see what happens when they don't know a stranger right or when a stranger assumes the role without being a true shepherd So if they want to hear a shepherd All right typical review pastors the shepherds right so what are we supposed to do is lay people that I mean we're not shepherds or are we in the Bible Shepherds are typically illustrative of church leadership but are we also responsible for their care their growth protection and support it's a fair question whether we use the term shepherd or not I don't think anyone here can deny the fact that some of these responsibilities also pertain to us as members right and I hope that's even more clear at the end one of my study bibles just basically gave This is the definition of a sheep one who cares for the sheep is really simple definition but the New Oxford Dictionary says that this way a person sins and rear sheep figurative a member of the clergy to provide spiritual care and guidance for a congregation it defines shepherding as a verb to guide or direct in a particular direction to give guidance to someone especially on spiritual matters but turns me to his ego Chapter 34 in verse 4 a is equal Chapter 34 and verse 4. Is equal Chapter 34 in verse 4 this is what it says is God here speaking. He says the weak you have not strengthened nor have you healed those who were sick nor bound up the broken nor brought back what was driven away nor saw what was lost but with force in cruelty you have ruled them Ok so this is a picture of what not to do right the fact that God is saying you did not do these things implies that they were supposed to do these things that make sense so he doesn't say what a shepherd should do he says what you did not do or hates which kind of implies what he should do which is either directly but in a verses 5 and 6 here's the result of them not do what they should have done so they were scattered because there was no shepherd and became food for all the beasts the field when they were scattered my sheep wandered through all the mountains on every high hill yes my flock was shattered over the scattered over the whole face of the earth and no one was seeking or searching for them oh my god does not break your heart there are scattered they're hurting and no one's looking for them or they were scattered because there was no shepherd they became food for the wild beasts Ok so here's where the shepherd should do according to what he alluded to in verse 4 there to strengthen their day heal the sick to bind up the broken to bring back the driven away to seek the lost and they shouldn't rule with force or cruelty Ok these are the examples were given in the Ziegel 34 verse 4 of what we should be doing now based upon God's Friesen and what frustration with the shepherds didn't do we see what they should do and so I can assure a story here of one with a hurt leg there was one little lamb he had a rod nub for a foot he didn't have like an actual proper. Hoof it was just kind of this pink thing so he had a leg that went down and had an ankle but it was kind of pink So you kind of had to hobble right on 3 legs in kind of would barely touch with his front right leg his her leg and this guy was cute as a button and he was never down right it's really easy when you kind of get dealt a bad hand in life you have health issues or challenges it's really easy to get discouraged going to have more melancholy view of life right because it just seems like everything's always against you you can't get ahead this is not going well but this little guy was always smiling he was always happy even though he couldn't keep up with the rest and maybe some of us just feel like spiritual We can't keep up like everybody says these profound things and Sabbath school and I can't even find the book of the Bible they're talking about and you just feel like man I'm a loser like I don't know what's going on I'm not good enough I don't have what it takes maybe some of us just feel that we have a limitation spiritually maybe not physically that makes us feel more down and discouraged but this guy was always positive he was always last to feeding times it was a magic as soon as they know that breads they're everyone sprints and this guy is always last. He's always there last and I remember one time his mother ran for for the bread right she ran to get to the bread in the moms did this a lot will come back to this point the moms would sprint for the bread they would eat and they look around to Rose wait a minute where's my son. Where's my kid and so they would go black but and then you hear the baby. From the other side of the field they've kind of you know like running through the field full of flowers reunited it feels so good in slow motion type thing rendezvous like that this happened all the time and so this happened the mom sprinted but she stops eating and she sees her son coming down the hill kind of hobbling and she goes in she walks back with him to the food at his pace but you love that. Right leading him to the bread at a pace that he can walk it's to just sprinting a looking behind him and yelling at him for not being able to keep up right recognizing if someone else is struggling or is unable to catch on as quickly does not make them feel dumb or slow but to come alongside them and help them grow at their own pace right because we all have our own pace no one's better just because they run faster maybe you had the privilege of growing up in church and you know how to find the books of the Bible that doesn't make you any better than somebody who is new to the church right and wants to know Jesus right isn't make you any worse if you happen to be in that situation God loves all of us equally He is thrilled that you're here in that you're seeking to grow and there's nothing wrong with you those things come in time don't worry about that right we're just glad that you're here and that you're growing Amen and rejoice over that we all grow we all develop our own pace and Dave one of the guys that took care of the sheep with me he told me a story I wish you could have been there to see the 2 little lambs ran back right in they came with him in his own pace right instead of just sprinting and leaving him to be the kind of suffer on his own or to get there is on pace they came and they came along with them and I appreciate that so much we can learn a lot from that can't we showing compassion if you see somebody struggling to help them out right if one of the sheep which is hollering at them from the bread to hurry up and get over here it only would have frustrated them and tempted him to quit and give up but if we wrap our arms around people and we stop condemning them we can help to lead them to the truth and develop strength within them that was Jesus' model right in John chapter 4 in John Chapter 8 there are 2 women living the lives of sin and yet Jesus doesn't condemn either one of them right and if there was anybody on the planet who had a right to condemn them it was Jesus but instead he told them both had to be cleansed in a word to find eternal life he met them where they were Yeah and we could do the same and we should do the same. It's a pro in the heart of stories to tell my friend buddy. I took this took place a few weeks before I left this ministry because my aunt had stage 4 cancer we found the hogs we left there to come back home and to southern Illinois where I was from to try to be there to help and disinvest either were going to be homeless or just trying to leave and get closer to them and so there's this little lamb. Named Buddy can see a little nubs there on top of his head. And so on the eve of the April the 5th this is about this is 10 years ago nearly 10 years ago on a Tuesday night that rusty one of the guys who worked there saw the little guy was kind of walking funny and had to lay down because this happened a lot with a with one head butt each other and fight you can get stingers right Mitt spinal cord injuries sometimes he would kind of get like a head like shake their heads and kind of get out of it because it was difficult for them and they could be paralyzed from this and so this little guy he's laying down in the field and I didn't know this the next morning when I go to feed the sheep and I hear the mom calling out that black and I see that there's a little lamb out the middle the field so I walk in the in the in the pen there in the big fold and I go to see I'm like hey what's going on he was so rude he didn't say anything you believe that he's an animal they don't speak English it's Ok to laugh at that. And so I tried to get him to get up a kind of pushing me just kind of sitting with his legs under his belly and this has kind of sitting up and I kind of push him to see if he'll get up and he won't and so I pick them up under his belly and I lift him up and his legs just dangle like spaghetti noodles it's clear that he's paralyzed and I knew that codes are going to hold him if I left him says all right what we're going to do and. There was a cage in the horse barn and so I took this cage put it out of the sheep fold put lika in these blankets and stuff over to keep them from cooking in the sun and I put straw in there and I knew at this stage because I've been doing this for a few months I knew all the lessons that God is teaching me or teaching me through this process and I realized that this needed to matter to me that God is teaching me lessons about his people to some of you that is dumb animals and who cares what's the point you're just feeding them because it's your job but I knew that God was teaching me during the season my life I needed to pay attention and what I'm about to share may sound crazy to you I really don't care. I knew because I had to matter that I was in take special care of the soul lamb and make sure that he was OK's I put this I grabbed this cage brought it out there put the straw in put bread in there put shoes a grass in there for him and water and so forth and I went to the dorm where we were staying the kind of house where the guys are staying and I got a bit of all of oil and I annoying to them and I fasted and I prayed over him and I went to visit him 3 times a day just to pray with them to pediment to talk to him and is to just encourage them to nurture him right as you get in there and to pick him up and. I had to get in there and I'd have to you know pull the straw out of there because he uses about them all over himself he can't walk and that hand feed him as you can see there and hand feed him bread and he jew on it eat it and then I'd have to give him bread or I'd give him water after that and his spirits are pretty good and evil actually began to show signs of improvement like literally after about a week and a half of this his 1st shoulder his front shoulder began to move. And I just kept praying I kept investing I kept encouraging him I kept laboring for this poor little guy in the guy just like what are you doing some dumb animal who cares leave it to die is to leave me alone this has nothing to do with you it doesn't affect my work don't worry about it so I just kept investing and kept investing and it got to a point that he actually gave mobility in all 4 legs. Like this thing was as good as dead. But over the span of 10 days he gained mobility in all 4 of his legs and a couple days before I left he was so close to walking I would pick him up and he put his forelegs out and I'd start to release his weight on to his legs but then his legs start to shake and they would collapse he just couldn't quite stand on his own he was so close but he couldn't stand on his own I still had to help him but the situation with my family was getting to a point that you know I really needed to go there and so you know I would get him Al I put him on the grass is that I'm kind of eat you know the grass and get some sunshine to get him out of the pen and I got to a point that literally like that we've moved all the sheep across the highway to that store in a minute and I buddy I had to move him to the us I would put him in a dog house that was on the other side of the property on the different part of the property and I would keep feeding him taking care of him and the day that I'm leaving him to soul like man like God please help buddy God please help buddy help buddy get better please and one last time before I get in the car to leave because I had to go see my family and try to get closer than connect with them while my aunt is going through a stage 4 cancer and my dad actually got moved to a different shelter there where I was and he was meant to come after me so I went 1st round things this is a so I got there around Christmas time and I left around Easter around the whole season of of the year. And so one last time I'm just praying my guts out guys I'm praying so hard God please help Buddy Walk and Buddy was growing but you can't rush this process it takes as long as it takes right and this is something you're going to have to know when you get in ministry some people grow really fast some people don't grow as fast and there's nothing wrong with that but the point is you need to work with them at their pace and give them that freedom and that space to grow at their pace are you with me today this is so important and so anyway I was pushing it just asking to try to hurry along like God please help buddy. And again the same thing you put those 4 legs out I start to release his weight onto his legs and he's holding and holding and then they shake in the collapses I was so bummed so I said Dave please take care of Buddy he's almost there now I know the days not going to pray for him and invest in him like I do believe he cared for the sheep more than the other guys are just throwing bagels out of and stuff and I want to make a side note here when you're investing in people you can't leave like that or this is a dumb animal in a farm in Missouri but we're talking about real human beings right you need to be committed to this when you start investing the people you need to be committed and see it through this isn't some hobby that you just pick up and set down whenever you please this should matter to you so one thing matters to God and it should matter to you these aren't just commodities right to put a notch in your belt or a star in your crown and you're in it for the accolades this is for God and God's people matter to him and they should matter to you and so I had to leave there I don't recommend this in dealing with actual people so I end up being in Illinois and like I'm trying to find a place to live what my gramma paid for me to stay in a hotel for a few days that I slept in my car a few nights my Pastor let me say his place for one night and then eventually stay with some people on their property for a while and it's on my dad staying in a tent on this really crazy guys property that's a whole nother story. It's a really interesting story but anyway. I I text the guy to have a cell phone at that stage I had Magic Jack in google voice he never heard Magic Jack you could make cell phone or you made calls through the Internet and so anyway i text this guy through google voice like a. House buddy doing and the response I got was this sorry but he died and immediately I knew why. I left. I wasn't there. And it taught me a lesson that I'll never forget the rest of my life at this was just an animal thankfully but when you're investing in people laboring for them they're going to need that continued support investment and encouragement and you need to understand that when you begin this process and I don't say that to discourage you from doing it it is a privilege to spend and be spent for God's children it's a privilege but you need to understand that this matters guys matters a lot and he was receiving the love of the care in the prayer and he's getting remarkably better all throughout that process but when I left he didn't have that and he died in a span of 2 weeks he went from total paralysis to mobility and all 4 lives in 13 days later it's all undone and he's dead and I developed a strong love and compassion for this little fellow over that time and you can understand why and this reminds me of a story that Charles Spurgeon tells if you haven't read this book it's amazing it's called the soul winner by Charles Spurgeon it is dynamite really really really good what a great gospel preachers the hundreds was a contemporary of our church counters. And Ill try to land the plane here pretty quick so last Sunday he says my dear brother told us a little story which I shall never forget he was a cordon hospital one night as one of those appointed to visit all the porters had gone home and it was time to shut up for the night he was the only person in the hospital with the exception of the physician when a boy came running in saying there's been a railway accident and so must go around the station with the stretcher the doctor said to my brother who's a pastor will you take one of this one into the stretcher if I take the other Oh yes he said with his cheerful reply and so away with the doctor the pastor with the stretcher they brought a sick man back with them and my brother said I went off into the hospital during the next week or 2 because I felt so much interest in the man whom I It helps to carry it in spurts and says something so profound He says I believe feels always take an interest in that man because he wants felt the weight of him when you know how to carry a man on your heart and the filth the burden of his case you will have his name engraved upon your soul so you that talk privately to people you are feeling the weight of souls and I believe that is why that is what many of our preachers need more of and they will preach better right he never forgot it because he wants felt the weight of him Have you ever felt the weight of someone that will mean just picking them up I mean how do you carry them on your heart have you allowed yourself to be that vulnerable to let people matter to you that aren't your family the journey vesting in for the kingdom have you allowed for that to happen in your life you'll be a better Minister when you do you'll be a better preacher when you do be a better person when you do here's The Point guys people matter to God a lot and he needs them to matter to us and so does this sound like something that only pastors could do is my question. No. This is a chapter 34 verses 2 and 3. And a couple more stories that will close out here. See the Chapter 34 to injury. Son of Man prophesied against the shepherds of Israel prophesied stated in the says the Lord the Lord God of the shepherds woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves should not the shepherds feed the flocks you eat the fat in your clothes yourselves of the war you slaughter the fat legs but you do not feed the flock verse 8 as I live says the Lord God surely because my flock became a prey and my flock became food for every beast of the field because there was no shepherd nor did my shepherd search for my flock but the shepherds fed themselves and did not feed my flock verse 10 this is the Lord behold against the shepherds and I will require my flock at their hand I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep and the shepherd shall feed themselves no more for I will deliver my flock from their Melzer they may no longer be food for them right God is not happy with shepherds neglect the flock and choose to only focus on themselves now obviously God wants all people to be saved and he's not looking to be against his children the point is that he needs us to see how important this is to him and his plan to reach the world because you're part of that plan you know that right every single one of you are part of God's plan to reach the world and he can't do it without disguise he can't. So in finishing the big move we I fed buddy the night before we move them and but he was in this little like Wedge corner of the pen there and I'm feeding him and I kind of hear a sound behind me and when I turn around the entire flock is staring at me there's a God 100 sheep staring at me black black because we didn't feed him breakfast right so they're staring at me a hey did you forget something and they're all in this small little corner of the pen and I knew it would happen here at this stage right I need this is where we can do this if we lead in the small channel we can lead them all out and that's fin stand on the driveway on both sides and we can get them across the highway so this is what I think is going to happen the next morning so the next morning I go out and it's a Sabbath morning and I did work on Sabbath they gave me Sabbath off and I worked on Sundays but we're leading the sheep to better pastures what better day to do it and I was the one that they were the most accustomed to I'm fine with that so I'm out there and the guys start doing it without me and have some total different idea Ok instead of going to the small kind of you know you shaped interims to kind of get them in there they instead choose an entrance this like a long flat area so I mean these sheep are all scatter they could try to get in through a narrow doorway it's a terrible idea they don't let me lead them they're trying to use fear and chaos they're honking horns or yelling or I think guys are trying to push sheep it's a total disaster some sheep get out run into some guy's yard across the street other sheep are going this way they're all confused they don't know what to do and I'm thinking to myself like Lord help us they completely removed the shepherd from the picture they were trying fear and coersion is a total disaster one guy's honking the horn across the street I was given no opportunity to do what I knew the Lord is leading me to do and guys are using fear in everything else that's Satan's tools in fear confusion. And it doesn't work to lead in any formal order or propre results and eventually they made a human wall they got them across the street we got the thing done I went back to my room I was so upset. And God told me Go read his eco 30 for him go read it again and when I get to verses 11 to 16 it was exactly what had just transpired that day is a good chapter 341-1216. Says this for that says the Lord God Indeed I myself will search for my sheep and seek him out as a shepherd seeks out his flock in the days among his scattered sheep so I will seek them out my sheep and I will seek out my sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on the cloudy and dark day you know the weather was that day was a cloudy and dark day and I was pleading the god to be the shepherd or the sheep because this is a mess and I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries not bring them into their own land I will feed them in the mountains of Israel the valleys and in the habit of places of the country I will feed them in good pasture as were taking them and their fold should be of the high mountains of Israel there they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountain of Israel and I will feed my flock and I will make them lie down says the Lord God I will seek what was lost and bring back what was driven away by dip the broken and strengthen the it was sick but I will destroy the fat and the strong and feed them in the judgment and. What caused the sheep to be endured to myself was the fact that I showed them love and kindness and gently fed them bread and when there was need for me to help I did right I was a good shepherd to them I brought back the lost sheep to their mothers in doing this over extended period of time caused them to build trust in me and they saw me doing what we learned from the opposite of his ego 344 and they knew that I desired their good in their safety and by doing these things someone who knew nothing about these dear animals became a shepherd to them anyone can be a shepherd if they invest the time and the care that is needed right you have to be trained to go to college to be a shepherd what you need is a tender and gentle heart access to bridge and a relationship with the Good Shepherd knowing these things now is anyone here a shipper or getting better about the Good Shepherd. And John Chapter 10 Jesus says this came after he told me to read as he could 34 he told me to read John 10 that same morning and then John Chapter 10 this is what Jesus says in verses 13 team. 110 versus 1318 Most assuredly I say to you he who does not enter the sheeple by the door but climbs up some other way the same as a thief in the robber but he who enters the door is the shepherd of the sheep to him the door keeper opens in the sheep hear his voice in it calls his own sheep by name and leaves them out and when he brings out his sheep he goes before them in the sheep follow him for they know his voice yet they will by no means follow a stranger but will flee from him for they do not know the voice of strangers and Jesus uses illustration. But they didn't fully understand what he said to them and he says Most assuredly I say to you that I am the door the sheep all who ever came before me are thieves and robbers but the sheep did not hear them I am the door if any one interest by me he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture but the feed does not come except to steal to kill and to destroy I have come that they may have life and they may have it more abundantly right so the Lord's going to take care of his sheep right the Good Shepherd does take care of his sheep but he's also employed us to be involved in this process but it's very interesting if you look at this and it's all clear in the in i v in his he could $34.00 if you look at verse 4 in a look at verses 15 to 16 everything the bad shepherds didn't do right everything they did not do God ends up doing he picks up the slack and takes care of business is a verse for that you have not strengthen the weak but in 16 he says that I will strengthen the weak in verse 4 he says you did bind up the injured in verse 16 he says I will bind up the injured in verse 4 of you have not brought back the strays but in verse 16 I brought back the stories in verse 4 you didn't search for the last verse 16 I will search for the last and then it says in verse 4 you've ruled them with cruel harshly brute brutally but he says that I will shepherd the flock with justice in verse 16 and this is the good news maybe you've been a bad Shepherd maybe you didn't know how when you cause problems the good news is God can come in and save the day and he can mentor you to become the Good Shepherd am. He can transform us and help us have that right and verses 22 to 31 to finish out his ego 34 it ends that way right God will take care of them from then on and never again will they be preyed upon he will provide for their needs and they will be a new heaven and a new earth we're told today and Jesus when he works of Peter in John Chapter 21 he asked them 3 things he says Simon Do you love me more than these he says yes and he says feed my lambs they need tells in the 10 my sheep and feed my sheep there's 3 different roles that Jesus gave Peter when he restored him 1st to feed my lambs to nurture the new members of the flock to 10 my sheep take care of the fold look out for them and protect them and thirdly to feed my sheep ensure that the whole fold is nourished as they need to be some of you may sound redundant what Jesus told them but I believe that there is more more in these texts may be recognized and I'll close the last story now of something that really really got a hold of me for the land that no one wanted we again they were born in the winter the mothers would show up and would you know the babies are covered in goo and so they would come and this one little lamb there's no mother for it and they're tiny they're like this big and no one would take care of it no one wanted it in fact they were shoving it pushing it out of the way and he's crying the whole time and we'd have a meeting that morning as we usually do so I would go feed him 1st and were feeding and I recognize that no one's taking care of this one I don't know where the mom is it was the mom died or just hated it we don't know and. So then they calls for a meeting I go to the meeting I come back and the sheep start moving and they kind of make these single file trails in the snow and they start leaving and the lamb is just getting left behind he can't keep up with them and the snow is kind of tall for him either that made a bit of a trail and so they would walk single file they would stop and they'd look back as he'd start crying they'd look back and wait for him to get up to the back of the lie then they'd start moving again and then he'd fall behind and start crying they'd stop they look back but eventually a time comes or they don't wait on him anymore we've waited long enough we can't keep waiting on you we're done and this poor little lamb is in a big open field crying freezing alone and I'm watching this whole thing and think god do something like God you got to stop this this is terrible do something and you know he told me he told me what he told Peter go take care of my sheep. So I walk him I walk out to the guy and I just pick him up and he was just so happy that somebody cared and I hold them close to me and I start walking to where the other sheep are the get together send the property and I said I'm down in the back away and he starts to cry again and the sheep they come out from the trees and they stare at him but no one's making a move nobody and I'm crying God do something God do something nothing happened so I pick him up a little bit further I said I'm down to back away he starts crying again same thing pleading with God to do something and eventually one of the older sheep in the group comes out and as soon as he comes out and stands one of the mothers comes and takes this little guy and takes care of them now I'm almost certain that that was not his mother but someone realize there is a need and I can do something to meet his need and find all do it. But it was devastating to me because it's so easy for stuff like this to happen with real people they're not moving fast enough they're driving us crazy I don't want to give up myself for somebody else I got my own things to do right if it's convenient for me and you can keep up with me maybe I'll do something but if not I'm not interested right and that's just that's not Ok guys we can't live like that and so this probably went on for like 5 min and it went on for quite a while it was really really really difficult but it reminds me of some things here that I hope will be. Challenging to us and encourage us at the same time I was so when dear to buy these little lambs in the sea that none of the sheep had any compassion for this little guy ate me up because it wasn't like they didn't know what to do all the other lambs are being provided for it was this one guy that they wouldn't take care of and that's what made it so difficult for me to watch and to see and it reminded me of Isaiah 40 verses 1011 see the sovereign Lord comes with power in his all rules for him see his reward is with him as recompense accompanies him he tends as flock like a shepherd and he gathers the lands in his arms and carries them close to his heart and he gently leads those who have young All right and I did that right is covered in goo but I held him close to my heart and just wanting somebody anybody to love him and rightfully so are I mean he was after all in the sheep fold where else would he go to find the love that a lamb needs certainly not in the world even a less than one day old lamb knew where to go he went where the sheep were gathered and eating bread and yet no one cared for him in fact he was an inconvenience to them how dare this little and get in the way of me eating my bread I came to eat not to take care of some baby in need of attention. But think flitter seeing the shepherd care for this precious little soul one of the sheep came to realize that need in did the right thing but is that you is that be I only come here to eat I don't come to serve don't bother me with that I don't have time for that it's dirty it's gross because everyone is born into the kingdom of missionary we're told you know that right that we are saved to save not to save to eat for our selves and the question is what are we doing what are our intentions what our objectives we come here to sit in my seat to hear songs that I like to hear sermons that I like because if that's the case you're not coming to worship God you're coming to worship yourself and that's not the call the Sabbath guys the call of the Sabbath is to worship God not my comfort my preferences my way of doing life and I'm not saying that this is terrible that and that is a curse it's a blessing anyone who's involved in soul winning can testify to that it's the best thing you ever could do with your time it's so rewarding it's a gift but it does require us choosing to stop doing mean all the time and to actually care about someone else are you with me today yeah and I believe that's the call that God is giving us and that's the call that God gave me right and that's what he reminded me of it's not about you so what if your teachers think you did a great job you come out in the wilderness and be homeless and take care of my sheep for a while realise it's not about you it's about them it's about them. And if these dumb animals can matter to you then maybe you'll care enough about my people are you with me. This is one of the best experiences of my life some people here that was homeless and they go I'm so sorry I'm not one of the best things I ever could have had happen in my life and I'm so thankful for it and the lessons that I learned. Again on the good shepherd the good shepherd gives us life for the sheep but the higher he who is not the shepherd one who does not own the sheep sees the wolf coming and he leaves the sheep and fleas and the wolf catches them and scatters them the higher Ling flees because he's a higher Ling and he doesn't care about the sheep but on the Good Shepherd and I know my sheep and I'm known by my own and as a father knows me even so I know my father and I lay Del my life for the sheep and other sheep I have which are not of this fold and them also I must bring them to go searching for them too and they will hear my voice and there be 11 flock and one shepherd So there's 2 examples here guys the hireling and the shepherd one who doesn't care and one who gives their life for the sheep right is that you. Why did you hear the call of God This morning asking us to lay down our life for the sheep I mean I mean you're going to die in doing so but maybe it means you're laying down an hour or 2 of your life each week making those phone calls making those visits given those Bible studies right praying with people encouraging them would you be willing to do that would you be willing to list yourself in that role of being a shepherd that's the question so one last time this morning is anyone here a shepherd. I hope all hands go up at this stage we're all given that call guys every one of us. Let's pray God in heaven thank you for this reminder for the stories of the object lessons and I pray that from this point forward anytime any of us see sheep in any form or fashion you would remind us that people matter to you and that there's a specific call on our lives to go and Shepherd your sheep this isn't just the role of a pastor or a Bible worker or an elder it's the role of everyone on the church books to love and nurture and lead and heal and encourage all who are in this world so God give us the courage give us that selfless spirit to be willing to do so to lay down our allies for the sheep and Lord I pray that we would take this seriously that we would recognize that this is why we're really on this earth to live and give for others not just to do me in get mine so give us that spirit deliver us from the spirit of being a higher learning and give us a spirit of true servant leadership in him being a shepherd and we ask this now in Jesus name Amen. Well one last quote here. And I'll close the things you're Taishan we're told that it's a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of soul saving depends alone upon the ministry ministers the humble consecrated believe Ron Paul in whom the master of the vineyard places a burden for souls is to be given encouragement by the men upon whom the Lord has laid larger responsibilities those who stand as leaders in the Church of God are to realize that the Savior is commission is given to all who believe in his name God will send forth into his vineyard many who have not been dedicated to the ministry by laying on of hands right those people are not ordained ministers 100000 who have heard the message of salvation are still idlers in the market place when they might be engaged upon some line of active service to these crisis saying why standy here all day idle and he adds go you go you also in the vineyard Why is it that many more do not respond to the call is it because they think themselves excuse in that they do not stand in the pulpit let them understand that there is a large work to be done else side the pulpit by thousands of consecrated lay members one as God waited for the spirit of service to take possession of the whole church so that every one shall be working for him according to his ability and when the members of the Church of God do their appointed to work in the needy fields at home and abroad in fulfillment of the Gospel commission the whole world will soon be warned and the Lord Jesus will return to this earth with power and great glory and then the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world as a witness and all the nations and then shall the end come that's our call guys maybe you can like preach like Paul maybe you can't sing like angels you can tell the love of Jesus in that he died for all you men. The praying over there as we're going in tomorrow is business meeting we're thinking about how we can invest in this community be praying over this what role can I play what difference can I make and how can I shepherd those mice your insolence in. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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