Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26, 2016: Wayward Sheep

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2016 - Day 147  

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a You Tube video of the group Phillips, Craig, and Dean, singing a song I often use to illustrate God’s love in our ODB entries, the song they wrote and performed He’ll Do Whatever It Takes, declaring the reality of a Good Shepherd Who will pursue us with His saving grace until, as wayward sheep, we’re willing to follow Him.

Highlight Passage:  Isaiah 53:6 [NKJV] …  
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; … we have turned everyone to his own way; … and the Lord Has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 
… Our Messiah will give all wayward sheep the opportunity to come back to Him as the Good Shepherd.
Highlight Context – Isaiah 53:1-6 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… The prophesy of a Messiah who will save wayward sheep from themselves.

Reference Passage #1 - Luke 9:23 [NKJV] …  
23  Then He (Jesus) said to the me all [His followers], … “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. … “ 
… Jesus - on the essence of discipleship.

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 15:1-7 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
 … Jesus - the parable of the lost sheep, … which was me!

Reference Passage #3 - John 10:1-30 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK 
… Jesus - on being the Good Shepherd … MY Good Shepherd!

My Journal for Today:  … Our Daily Bread author, Lawrence Darmani, tells a personal story to illustrate how God’s Children are like wayward sheep, … desperately in need of a Good Shepherd to save them. In today’s ODB entry, he writes: One of my daily chores when I lived with my grandfather in northern Ghana was taking care of sheep. Each morning I took them out to pasture and returned by evening. That was when I first noticed how stubborn sheep can be. Whenever they saw a farm, for instance, their instinct drove them right into it, getting me in trouble with the farmers on a number of occasions. Sometimes when I was tired from the heat and resting under a tree, I observed the sheep dispersing into the bushes and heading for the hills, causing me to chase after them and scratching my skinny legs in the shrubs. I had a hard time directing the animals away from danger and trouble, especially when robbers sometimes raided the field and stole stray sheep. 

Anyone who’s ever been in the role of Pastor, teacher, or even small group or committee chair knows the truth of the highlight passage today from Isaiah 53, especially verse 6, where God’s word, thru the Prophet, likened mankind to sheep, … who are wayward and selfish wanderers. … Common, admit it! … We’re all like that, aren’t we, … at least sometimes?

Well, for 22 years of my younger life, I was a VERY WAYWARD lamb, wandering about as far from the Good Shepherd (see the reference passages above); as one could get, … actually pushing Christianity away as an atheist, rebellious sinner. But as the song relates [linked above], God, our Savior, … our Good Shepherd, … The Messiah, … came after me; and was willing, as the attached photo depicts, to bring me back to His fold.

I pray today, that all who read here are safely in the fold of God’s watch-care; because if you’re not, it’s time to come back home to the Good Shepherd and to follow Him for the rest of your life [see Luke 9:23].

My Prayer Today:  O, Heavenly Father, … O Lord, ... You are my Good Shepherd; and when I hear the lion roar (see 1st Peter 5:8), I follow You to safety.    Amen  

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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