Posts Tagged ‘evangelism’

A Shepherd’s Heart

December 14, 2016

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. 

Advertisements

Good Will to All

December 24, 2009

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”  Luke 2:14 NASB

As we celebrate Christmas, it is good for us to remember that God loves all the people of the world.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

No person is an enemy to Christians.  All the people of the world are meant to hear the message of salvation.  Even when people reject the message, they do not become our enemy.  They are still people for whom Christ died.  We are to continue to proclaim the message of forgiveness, hope, and salvation; offered to all the world, through faith in Jesus Christ.  We are to continue to offer the love of God, and to pray that people will respond to the message, the real message of Christmas.

Casting

October 7, 2009

There are times when I surf around reading blogs with opinions that are contrary to my own.  I will offer comments and try to engage individuals in constructive dialogue.

Sometimes it reminds me of the phrase  “…nor cast your pearls before swine…” (Math 7:6)  They sometimes will “turn and tear you in pieces” with their words in response to my comments. 

These people are not likely to walk into my church to hear what I have to say, so I prefer to think that I am “casting” a line into the water, hoping to catch a few believers from the pool. 

Only God knows whether or not it actually does any good.  In fishing it takes time, patience and practice.  I pray that God will help me to know when it is time to try a new lure, or a new location.

Kingdom Work

August 24, 2009

The impact that we have in the spiritual realm is not limited to the number of people whom we lead in the sinner’s prayer.  Sometimes our lives and actions have their greatest impact beyond the realm of our observation.  The song “Thank You” by Ray Bolz, wonderfully expresses the view that we cannot know what impact we are having, while on this side of eternity.  Our lives should be lived in obedience to the Lord, seeking to let our light shine,  trusting that God is pleased, not with what is outwardly observable, but with what He observes inside of our hearts.