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The Shepherd

The Shepherd

13 September 2010

Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 33-35; Revelation 18

Scripture:

10 “ ‘Watch out! I’m coming down on the shepherds and taking my sheep back. They’re fired as shepherds of my sheep. No more shepherds who just feed themselves! I’ll rescue my sheep from their greed. They’re not going to feed off my sheep any longer! 11 “ ‘God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I’m going looking for them. (Ezekiel 34:10-11 MSG)

God directs his warning message through Ezekiel to the leaders of his people. He addresses them as his shepherds and tells them what they’re doing wrong and how a shepherd should care for sheep.

Here in Ezekiel 34, there’s a list of the wrong things the bad shepherds are doing and there are instructions for how the sheep should behave as well, but right now I’m just looking at the responsibilities of the shepherd.

These are the things a good shepherd does:
• Go after the sheep and rescue them from all the places they’ve been scattered. Bring them back.
• Feed them in rich pastures, beside streams of water, in their familiar home country.
• Make sure they get plenty of rest.
• Collect the strays.
• Doctor the injured.
• Build up the weak ones.
• Oversee the strong ones.
• Protect them from exploitation.
• Resolve conflicts and ensure fairness between one sheep and another.

These are the God-assigned duties of a shepherd. These are the responsibilities of parents, educators, church leaders, in fact of leaders at all levels in all areas of society.

These are my responsibilities as well – toward any and all I influence and lead.

Prayer:

Father, I want to be a good shepherd of my family and a good leader and influencer in my church. Help me to lead wisely and well, motivated by the same love for the sheep that you describe in Ezekiel 34 and John 10. Make me a good shepherd. Amen.

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