The Sheep Of God’s Pasture

November 25, 2014

The Sheep Of God’s Pasture

            Sheep tend to stay together.  They run in a flock.  If one gets separated from the flock he starts to bleat in desperation.  There is something of the nature of sheep in most of us.  It is a part of human nature to want to be identified with something.  Some are members of clubs or civic organizations.  We identify with political parties.  Some identify with athletic teams.  Many are identified with a particular religion.

The Bible uses the analogy of sheep in speaking of God’s people.  Psalm 100:3 says, “Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.”

Christians find it difficult to live with those who don’t share their faith in Christ.  They don’t have the same moral values.  Time for personal prayer, Bible reading, and church attendance has little importance for those who aren’t saved.  That is why God forbids the unequal yoke in marriage.  II Corinthians 6:14 says, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion hath light with darkness?” I Peter 3:1-7 gives advice to those who find themselves in an unequal yoke.

It is important for Christians to be active in a good local church.  There they will experience the feeling of being a part of God’s flock. There they will find companionship and compassion in times of trials.  It is a refuge from the world.

It is important also that Christians know how to conduct themselves in the church.  The Apostle Paul mentioned that in I Timothy 3:15.  “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”  Paul, in his epistles,  gives instruction regarding our conduct.  Ephesians 4:31-32 is an example. “Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:    And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. A church won’t radiate warmth and love if the members aren’t living in harmony with God’s word.

It is a consolation for us to know that we are not alone.  Hebrews 12:1 talks about being “compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses.” That gives us courage.  Missionaries sometimes go out to start a church in an area where the gospel isn’t known.  Until they are successful in winning some to Christ, they are alone.  That’s why it’s important to pray for them and correspond with them.    They need to know that they are being upheld in prayer.

New believers need to be discipeled and incorporate as soon as possible into a good church.  They won’t know the consolation and security of being a sheep in the flock until they start attending a church. There they will  feel the warmth and love that the church offers.

Are you a sheep in God’s pasture?  If not, you can be one by coming humbly to him as a lost sinner, asking him to forgive your sins, and include you as one of his sheep.  At the same time, according to John 1:12, you will become one of God’s children.  “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

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