Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

Being A Sheep Under A Shepherd.

A sheep Under A Shepherd.

Note that:

  • God sees us as sheep. ‘ Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:3AMPC
  • Sheep need a shepherd.
  • Sheep need love, care, and growth.
  • When sheep lack a shepherd, they become weary and scattered. They also faint. Matthew 9:36-38 NKJV But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
  • The work of a shepherd is to feed sheep – give them pasture. (Vs 1)
  • Jesus Christ is the chief shepherd. ‘ And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.’
    1 Peter 5:4 AMPC

Why We Need A Shepherd:
We have already seen that God sees us as sheep in need of a shepherd.

The Psalmist says ” THE Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.”
Psalm 23:1 AMPC

When we accept to be sheep under a shepherd, we are:

  1. Fed
    To feed is to provide/supply/give food to someone or an animal. A shepherd will take care of both our spiritual and physical hunger. They are going to teach you the precepts o our lord as in Jeremiah 3:15 -‘ And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding. ‘ NLT

May God lead you to your shepherd this year!

  1. Guided.
    Man is prone to make mistakes. An old adage says “man is to err” which justifies the former statement.
    Without a shepherd to guide you, you will make silly mistakes that may cost you a lot in life. For example, you may end up marrying a strange woman thinking she is a good woman, you might also take up jobs that will draw you farther from God, and you may also enter into a different stage in life prematurely.
    A shepherd acts more like a mentor, they will have gone before you and that will come in handy as they give you counsel on important matters concerning your life, your ministry, et al.
    For a shepherd to do this effectively, you need to be a sheep who is submitted to their shepherd and receive instructions and rebukes alike.

I pray you receive a heart that allows you to be guided.

  1. Shielded.
    So much happens when we are out in the world unprotected. A shield is essential for anyone who is out in a battle. Soldiers need shields, and Christians are also asked to wear a shield of faith – Our faith can guard us during trials in the same way a shield would during battle. For example, when doubt creeps in and our beliefs are questioned, our faith in Christ will protect us. We can stand firm in knowing what we believe. In addition, our faith can protect us when we experience anxiety and fear. (Weekly Devotional: The Armor of God – Shield of Faith)

Pause and Reflect:
Do I have a shepherd in my life?
In what areas of my life do I need feeding, guidance, and protection/shielding?

Pray:
Dear God, may you send me a shepherd this year who is going to feed me, guide me, and be a shield to me. Amen.

Advertisement

Look from where you’ve fallen.


Revelation 2:4  Berean Literal Bible
”But I have against you that you have abandoned your first love.”

Dear Christian,

Has it occurred to you that this short holiday has had you drifting farther from your Christian life, living for God? We all have backslid; do you remember the last time you had your Quiet Time? Have you sat down and read your Bible? Or, have you listened to any message that is supposed to feed your spirit? What about sharing the Good News with the world? (If your answers are more of No than Yes, you need to do something.)

Revelation 2:4  Berean Literal Bible
But I have against you that you have abandoned your first love.

What I’m supposed to do?

I’d say, “Go back to your first love.”

What do I mean by that? Remember how enthused you were when you first accepted our Lord Jesus into your heart, all the things you could do without being asked to. The zeal that burned through your body left you restless and on fire about the things of God. Remember when you could wake up at the crack of dawn just to seek the presence of God before you took your phone to scroll through social media before you went out to meet the world.

Ask Yourself;

What does my soul pant for?

What does my soul thirst for?

The soul is an important part of you, one, because it is the eternal part of you – your body will one day die and let your soul go to either eternal rest or eternal torment – and secondly because if your soul is unhealthy, your life would be miserable.

Nobody wants to live a life full of misery, or is there? I bet not, I don’t dream of this either. The only thing we have to do is look after our souls, a healthy soul would pant for God and thirsts for the living God. Refer to Psalms 42:1-11.

‘My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. ‘ Psalms 42:1-2 NIV

The theme of the year 2023 for my church is “The Year of The Presence of God.” Let us use this theme for example. A healthy soul will always want to be in the presence of God. Is your soul healthy?

How do I know if my soul is healthy?

As we have seen in the psalm above, a healthy soul is that which seeks to be in the presence of God. Now, let us take a look at the signs your soul is not healthy;

– You no longer go to the house of God.

– You are no longer interested in the things of God like reading the Bible.

– You find it hard to pray.

– You are downcast and troubled – stressed.

– You no longer shout for joy and praise God.

– You no longer have your hope in God.

Once you can identify these signs in you, repent and return to your first love (start the journey of  healing, take the measures necessary for you to rebuild a healthy soul)  and then, only then, will you be allowed to keep your lamp stand in its place.

“For most Christians, the great danger is not that we will renounce our faith. It is that we will become so distracted and rushed and preoccupied that we will settle for a mediocre version of it. We will just skim our lives instead of actually living.” 

                                                                                                – John Ortberg

Pause and make a PRAYER that God will help you thrive in your faith, reignite the first love fire in you and give you the hunger and thirst for Him and His presence.

To conclude, I’d love to tell you not to allow anything to come between you and your love for Jesus. Return to your first love. Listen to the Spirit of God and press in: The Lord is speaking to you at this moment. Choose  to be an overcomer, press in spiritually by staying in the presence of God.

To Each A Gift

Lest we forget, God equipped us with distinct spiritual gifts before we inhaled our first breath. He formed each of us in our mother’s womb, and He knows every intricate detail of our being. And, He made us to operate in a certain way, so that others will be blessed and encouraged by our contribution. So, how we are wired is God-driven and God-ordained. Maybe you are:
…an entrepreneur who knows how to execute the most remarkable plans.
…people-oriented, and you know just what to say and do to bring comfort to someone in need.
…a “behind-the-scenes” person, and you always ensure that tasks are done even if no one ever notices.
…a hospitable person who knows how to make a room inviting and brings a calmness over others.
…an amazing writer who is able to convey truths about God in ways that help others understand Him more. Read more about this here.

***
Did you know that everything you have and can do effortlessly is what God intends to use in you for the benefit of others? One may ask why it is always about others. Yes, I also ask myself such questions when the people I’m to serve disappoint me. But it is not about me, that’s what makes me continue in service.

God’s intention is for you and I to use the gifts and talents to the benefit of all, we read this in the book of 1 Corinthians 12.

God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:
– wise counsel
– clear understanding
– simple trust
– healing the sick
– miraculous acts
– proclamation distinguishing between spirits tongues
– interpretation of tongues.
All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when. (1 Corinthians 12:4‭-‬11 MSG )

The reason why God wants us to serve others with our gifts is because we receive them freely. Do not charge someone for having benefitted from a gift God gave to you for free. Rather, use your gift so well and generously that the gift starts opening doors for you.

One thing to remember is that the gifts of God are of no repentance. We talked about this in our previous article. It is your decision to use your gifts in a manner that God desires of you, you have to make that hard and difficult choice to let God glorify Himself through your gifts. The gifts are not meant to bring you glory but to glorify God. If you can sing very well, your gift should be able to show how you can be a blessing to the society you live in.

You’re going to get better as you put your gifts into use. You cannot be a singing minister who can transform the world if all you do is sing in the bathroom. You have to get out, join that choir or group and show them what God blessed you with.

Are you wondering why your gifts haven’t started financing your life like it has done to non-believers? We are going to tackle that on our next article, stay here for more.

Bless.

Gifts On Loan.

We all have things we can do without struggle, things we love to do, with our hands, and body. Some of us are good public speakers, we can get a hall full of humans to listen attentively to what we have to say, whatever it is. Others can dance, break bones in the process. Others are passionate about art and can really draw mind-boggling pieces of art. We all have gifts, and talents in a nutshell.

What should we do with the gifts? One may ask. The answer is simple, use them to serve God and others. But how can I do that? Another wonders. You see, gifts are given to you that you may be able to show to the world what God can do in people’s lives. It is good to note that no gift is better than the other. All gifts are God-given and are perfect, good, in that matter.

We will look at how to maximize your gifts in serving God and humanity in a few ways listed below;

Acknowledge God for the gifts you have.

The Bible, in Psalms 3:6 that if we acknowledge God in all our ways, He shall direct our paths. How powerful is that! Knowing that all you need for God to direct your paths in this unpredictable world is acknowledge Him in all your ways.

Do not forget that the good gift that you have is a result of his grace and mercies, James 1:17.

Do not hide your gift/talent.

I believe you’ve read the story of the three servants who were given talents and were required to give back after some time. There was one of the servants, who had been given one talent apparently, who hid his in the ground and waited for his master to return. We all know how the story ends, he is dismissed as being wicked and lazy. (Matt 25:26) Is that a label you’d love to have at the end of times? I won’t want that too.

Hiding a talent doesn’t really mean not showing the talent to people or acknowledging that you’re gifted, but only letting the gift serve you alone.

Use your gifts to serve others.

How do I do that? You ask. Service to others may mean, if you’re a graphic designer, youmake designs for your Bible Study group, your church, and the likes, if you have a good voice, singing uplifting songs and songs of praise that will raise people’s hearts and expectations to God, if you can draw, drawing beautiful arts to the glory of God, selling them and giving towards a drive to serve others maybe in the form of making available essential resources to those who might be in need, if you can cook, like really good food, organising cook outs to feed street children, the less privileged and even your Christian community.

Use your gifts to serve God.

There is a quote that many of us have used, or still use concerning service to God. Service to humanity is service to God. It is true, yes, but service to God is not service to humanity. To serve God means to do what is in His will for you. Whatever He has commanded you to do, not what you think He would love you to do. The Bible guides us in all these. In Exodus 23:25, a promise is laid, that if you serve God, He shall bless you, your land and water. What a blessing to have your land and water blessed! That means no diseases, no hunger, no drought, no wars. Good life.

God gives us gifts to serve Him and He doesn’t take them away from us (Romans 11:29) when we don’t use them to serve Him. That will explain why we have popular musicians serve the devil with the choice of lyrics they sing or how they present their music. What happens is that at the end of times, a report will be required of you, of how you used the God-given gifts, and a judgement passed. Will your fate be ‘come, good and faithful servant and have a rest’ or yours will be a condemnation to hell? Ask yourself the question and answer it accordingly.

Some of us have been struggling with identifying what our gifts, talents and purpose is in this life. It is easy to know what your gifts and talents are compared to a purpose. Gifts and talents are things that you can do without even thinking twice about them, you just wake up in the morning and you’re elated to do the same, somebody looks at you and says there’s something about you that is different.

We will talk more about gifts, and how they should direct how we live in the next article.

It is all in your head.

Some trust in chariots, others in their possessions, I don’t know what you trust in, but I trust in God, my Lord. It is one thing to know and another to believe. But both of them would birth trust. Here’s a case, you have read your Bible, or someone has read it to you, or you heard someone say it during your Sunday School days, in which you suffered truancy.

The word tells you of how God so loved you – the world – that He gave His only son, the only one, to die so that He can save you. I’m not asking you what you did to deserve that because you can never do anything to deserve such kind of love. It is by the grace of the our Lord. Do you believe God loves you or you know He does? Hard one there right?

It shouldn’t be hard for any authentic Christian, this is because for you to experience the love of God, the love we have talked about a few lines above, you need to believe God loves you. You have to believe it in your heart and not in your head. When it is in your head, it is mere knowledge of the love of God, and that flies out of the window whenever your mental faculties are not working as you expected, but when it is in the heart, it is just more than the knowledge, it is the intimate moments that make it easier for you to navigate this sorrowful life.

It is easier to trust God from your head than it is trusting in Him with your heart. The reason why you pray for God to help you in certain situations but go on to call for help from men is because it is all in your head. Fear overcomes you the moment it takes ‘longer’ to receive whatever you have asked God for. You see, the Bible tells us that whatever we ask in prayer, if we believe then we have it. When you were asking for something, you always feel like you need the answer immediately. That is not the case with God. For you to receive all that He has promised you, you need faith and patience, faith without patience will only lead to fear and disappointments.

The other thing that you need to get off your head is the world. You might ask, why? Or, how? There is a version of the world that you have in your head that either does not exist, or you can never achieve. That version you have in your head is what makes you think you can give your spouse the whole world and drive us into Mars, or Jupiter. It is the same version that makes you think God does not care about you, because He let bad things happen to you, a ‘good and perfect’ human being who deserves soft life.

We are prone to instant gratification, and wanting to have everything go our way. Rich, coming from a fallen being. That reminds me of a law, a universal law that helps keep the universe in an homeostatic state, the law of exaltation and humility. This is easier to talk about as it is what we see everyday of our lives, this is how this law works; whenever you humble yourself, you just get exalted, both the world and the heavens obey this law. Whenever you’re puffed up and feel proud about your achievements, your blessings, the favour you are operating in, the law comes into effect, to humble you. I feel like anything done willingly is easily navigated through compared to something you’re forced to go through. Humble yourself before you’re humbled, the latter is humiliating.

I had this article in my head for almost a month, last Friday, I was to publish it, but as I said, the idea was just in my head, I couldn’t get it out. Today, I managed, it takes effort and intentionality. And of course the help of the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit. Get out of your head and live in reality! Adios