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Posts Tagged ‘Shepherd’

Is Jesus Enough as our Pastor? Part 2

Psalm 23:1

According to Jesus, He knows His sheep, and His sheep know Him (John 10:14). I wonder, however, how well we actually know our Shepherd? Do we know anything of the excellence of His character? Have we glimpsed anything of His glory? May we stay close to Him, follow hard after Him and come to know Him.

He’s wonderful! He is the shepherd who has never lost a sheep. When Jesus is our Shepherd, the wolf cannot devour us nor can any robber steal us. G. Campbell Morgan tells of a story told by a friend who had been traveling in Israel and had come upon a shepherd one evening as the shepherd was putting his flock into the sheepfold for the night. The fold was an enclosing wall with a single opening for the sheep. However, one thing was missing, and that was a door.

He asked the shepherd if there were any wild beasts in the area. The shepherd told him he had always had to guard against them.

“But surely the sheep aren’t safe in there?”

“Yes they are, they are perfectly safe.”

“But there is no door to shut out the Wolves.”

The shepherd smiled at him and quietly said, “I am the door: When my sheep are in for the night, I lie down in the open space. Not one sheep goes out except over my body. And no wolf can enter without first passing over me. I am the door.”

Jesus taught us that, as our Shepherd, He is the door (John 10:7-9). That means we are safe. No wolf can get us. Before the enemy can get close, he will have to deal with our shepherd. What a pastor we have! Are we satisfied with Him? Is He enough?

Finally, if you have ever observed sheep, you will notice that, even when they are eating the grass, many of them will look up to make sure they are near the shepherd. They know they are safe when he is there. Is this true of us? Do we know what it is to look unto Jesus? Do we know what it is to, “in all your ways acknowledge Him?” (Proverbs 3:6).

Sheep are emblematic of believers. We are prone to wander: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6; Luke 15:4-7). But, isn’t Jesus wonderful? We are ‘prone to wander, ’ but He is more prone to bring us back.

With full authority, He has declared that His sheep shall never perish (John 10:28). That is why He calls His own sheep by name. It is a personal love that He has for you and for me. It is in Him, our Shepherd, that we have perfect security and sustenance (John 10:9).

Don’t worry about the future! He will provide. He is the good shepherd who has already given His life for the sheep. It is a rare thing for a shepherd to actually lay down his life so that the sheep would be safe. In normal circumstances, it would be better that the shepherd lived and didn’t die. Why? Because the death of the shepherd would usually spell disaster for the sheep. But such is the uniqueness of Jesus that He planned to die for His flock. In fact, He planned it so that His death would bring life to the sheep and would actually avert disaster for them. What a shepherd, what a pastor!

He is enough!

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

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Is Jesus Enough as your Pastor? (Part 1)

One of the best-loved Psalms in the Bible, Psalms 23, begins by pointing us to the sufficiency of Jesus, our Pastor. What it actually says is, “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want.”(In Scripture, the Shepherds and Pastors are one and the same). Of course, when we say Jesus is our Pastor we do not preclude the ministry of earthly pastors or under-shepherds. On the contrary, God ordained pastors play a vital role in God’s purposes here on earth. We should, therefore, value them highly for their labour in the Lord. However, ultimately, we are the sheep of the Lord’s pasture and, as such, we belong exclusively to Him.

This is why we need to keep our eyes on Jesus. We are His, and ultimately He is our Pastor. If we would focus on Him, then there would be less fussing and fighting in our churches. We often have too high an expectation of the Church pastor. This can set us up for needless hurts. We easily forget that he is just another sinner saved by grace. He needs our prayers, love and support. Too many followers of Jesus, however, have ‘Roast Pastor’ for Sunday lunch and then wonder why their children grow up and separate themselves from the things of God.

Our eyes and expectancy need to be on Jesus. He is enough! Get the balance here; while we should support and care for our earthly pastors and obey them in the Lord, at the end of the day, they can never take the place of Jesus. Jesus is our Pastor, and He will never fail us. Someone in spiritual authority may fall short and hurt us, but never Jesus.

Think of it, the follower of Jesus is following a shepherd who is good. He is a pastor who knows each one of us and calls us by name. Are you satisfied with Him? Can you trust Him to lead you in life? Can you get your eyes off men and delight in Jesus, your Pastor? Listen to John MacDuff describe this excellent shepherd of ours; He says,

“Every individual believer—the weakest, the weariest, the faintest—has His attention. His loving eye follows us day by day out to the wilderness—marks out our pasture, studies our needs, and trials, and sorrows, and perplexities—every steep ascent, every brook, every winding path, every thorny thicket.”

No wonder, then, that the scriptures tell us that because Jesus is our Shepherd, we shall not want! Is He enough for us? Look at Him, there He is out in front of His flock leading us to eternal life. He knows the way for, not only has he been over every inch of its trail, He also is the Way.

What a shepherd! He knows us better than we know ourselves (Psalm 139:1-60). He knows our trials and temptations and can help us with every one of them for He has been through them. He has been reviled and rejected for no good reason. He has been slandered and falsely accused. He has been deeply hurt so He knows exactly how you feel. And here’s some good news, He became one of us so that He could faithfully shepherd us to glory (Hebrews 4:15).

Learn to trust Him even in the valley of the shadow of death. That place holds no mystery for Him. He makes the present shadows clear and the ancient darkness light. Follow the shepherd, not men. Respect men in spiritual leadership but always remember the best of men are men at best. Pray for them, hold them before the Lord. Remember, although they are spiritual shepherds, they are themselves sheep. Being that they are human, they have all the inbuilt abilities to fail and make mistakes. Why, then, get bent out of shape if they mess up? The only one who cannot fail is Jesus.

He is enough.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!

Miles Mckee

www.milesmckee.com 

The Altogether Lovely Christ

April 17, 2013 1 comment

Wednesday word: The Altogether Lovely Christ

In Christ alone we discover who God is and what He is like. In Christ alone we also learn what man should be like. What a marvel Christ is .… God and Man in one person; there has never been anyone like Him! Consider this; the greatest of people are usually flawed. Einstein was brilliant, but he was also a sex maniac. Gandhi, the great peace-loving leader of India once paid a compliment to Adolph Hitler. Patrick Henry, the famous American revolutionary, occasionally locked his wife in the basement. Let’s face it, the best of men are men at best, they are all flawed, all that is, except for Christ Jesus. In the annals of human history, Jesus Christ remains the only one of whom it can be truthfully asserted, “He is altogether lovely ” (Song of Songs 5:16).

He is altogether lovely because He is the out-shining of the Father’s glory (Hebrews 1:3).

He is altogether lovely for although He is the glory of God against whom we are measured and fall short, He has become our champion and has brought us back to God (Romans 3:23, Hebrews 2:10)

He is altogether lovely because there He was, at the cross, “Bearing shame and scoffing rude,” and doing so without opening His mouth in His own defence (Isaiah 53:7).

He is altogether lovely because although He is the shepherd, He is also the Lamb. The faithful guide is the flawless sacrifice; the perfect protector is Himself the wonderous wrath offering (Hebrews 13:20, Romans 3:25).

He is lovely because He, by Himself, purged our sins (Hebrews 1:3)!

But, is He really altogether lovely? If so, then tell people about Him. What a simple message we have …“Behold the Lamb!” We don’t have to argue or be belligerent, we can simply tell about the Lamb. We don’t have to despise or condemn, we just tell about the Lamb. He is altogether lovely! We can help no one unless we point them to the Lamb. No one else can take away sin. No one else can bathe the conscience and cleanse it for it is the Lamb who was slaughtered; it is the Lamb who was the one final sacrifice for sin. He is altogether lovely.

Not only when we witness, but also when we have fellowship one with another may we say, “Behold the Lamb.” May we talk about His person, work and offices. May we continually think about Him, observe Him and know all that we can about Him. May we examine Him, meditate on Him, worship Him and sing to Him! The more we are occupied with Him, the more we will be transformed.

There was no greater wonder ever than that God should provide Himself as the Lamb for the sin offering. May we always be in awe of Him! Angels marvel at this mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh. May we join with them in astonished wonder and never cease to be amazed.

May we always be filled with the wonder of the flawless Lamb! He is not distant. He is here; He is not in hiding. Look at Him and see Him for who He is. He is the living Word, the Word made flesh, the Holy One come to earth as the sinner’s friend (John 1:14). He is loveliness itself, filled with grace and truth.

About 300 hundred years ago, Scotland had many prominent preachers. An English man went there to listen to some of them. First he went to hear Robert Blair. He came back and said, “That man showed me the majesty of God.” Then he went to hear a sermon by David Dixon, and he said,“ That man showed me my heart.” And then he heard Samuel Rutherford, and he said, “That man showed me the loveliness of Jesus.” What mighty preaching there must have been in those days. We may yet see it return to our pulpits.

And that’s the Gospel Truth

Miles McKee,

Minister of the Gospel

www.milesmckee.com

Our Safety is within God’s Ways

We are only safe when we wisely make use of all good advantages that we have access to. By going out of God’s ways we go out of His government, and so lose our good frame of mind, and find ourselves overspread quickly with a contrary disposition. When we draw near to Christ (James 4:8), in His ordinances, He draws near to us.

Richard Sibbes