A Shepherd’s Heart

When I was a young man reading the book of Ezekiel, I read in chapter 34 about the bad shepherds and I thought that those verses would make a wonderful text if I was ever given the opportunity to speak at the college where I went to school.

I have been in ministry over 25 years and I think that I must accept that I probably won’t be invited to speak at the college.

This past week I again was reading in Ezekiel 34 and this time I had a new thought.

I.  Our Calling  Ezekiel 34:1-6

And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. 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 sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.

As I read these verses this past week, I again thought how I would like to use them to preach to young ministers in training, but then I was realized that I did not have to use this to preach to ministers.  Rather I can point out something else.

A.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd:  John 10:11

 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

Jesus is the prime example of the good shepherd.  Remember Psalms 23 “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want…”

B.  Christ in our Hearts:  Ephesians 3:17

that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

So, if Christ is the Good Shepherd, and Christ dwells in our hearts, then we have a shepherd’s heart.

So these verses need not apply only to clergy, but to us all.

II.  Our Mission

A.  Heal the Sick

We can pray for those who are physically sick.  God is the ultimate source of healing whether it is manifested supernaturally, or through the successful treatment of modern medicine.  Healing is a gift from God.  We should pray for those who are dealing with various physical illnesses.

There is also the spiritually sick.  There are many who have a faith in God, but that faith needs to grow and develop.  We can help others to grow in their faith by encouraging them to search the scriptures, by praying with them and by living an example before them.

B.  Bind Up the Broken

There are many who have been mistreated by life, or by people in the church.  God can use us to bring healing and restoration to those whose lives have been broken.

C.  Brought Back

Some have left church.  Some still believe, others have had their faith all but destroyed.  God can use us to bring people back into fellowship with Him and with the Body of Christ.  We are not meant to live in isolation.  We are meant to be a part of a community of believers.  We are meant to be a part of the family of God.  God does not mean for his family to be dysfunctional.  We must seek to be the people that God has called us to be.

We need God’s help and we need each other.

D.  Seek the Lost

We all have the responsibility to look for the opportunities that God brings our way to share the gospel.  God is looking for His lost sheep and He wants us to help.

So, Ezekiel 34:1-6 doesn’t just have to apply to clergy.  We all are to have a shepherd’s heart and seek to heal the sick, bind up the broken, bring back those who have wandered off, and to seek the lost.

These are the sermon notes from 12/11/16.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

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