Jim Shinn’s SHEEP THRILLS

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When I first learned that in the Bible, men are associated with sheep, I was a little offended. Sheep have a reputation of being dumb and needing guidance so they don’t wander into trouble. After a time of Bible study and self-reflection, based on the Word of God, being linked to a lamb is not a big deal. Truth is truth, and so it is better to embrace it than battle it.

Since I am a sheep, according to Mark 6:34, the shepherd, Jesus, has compassion on me and my situation, and He will teach me many things. As I go through life, and the different challenges it presents, I need a little tutoring. When I was young, I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do. Now, I know my Shepherd has my best interests in mind, and if I mind Him, I will get through the storm, or crisis, looking better in front of the flock.

In John 10:11, we are told He is the good Shepherd that lays down His life for His sheep. Wow! Someone willing to sacrifice themselves for me! It is very comforting to know that He will never leave nor forsake me. In John 10:15, it also says He knows me, and still is willing to give His life for me. I don’t know about your brain, but this sheep head, is often filled with bad stuff. I get grumpy, judgmental, impatient and I am definitely not loving sometimes. He knows all this, but still has my back.

In the Hall of Fame of shepherds, we will always find the warrior king young David. In  1 Samuel 17:34-37, he is getting ready to do battle with Goliath. Saul is “dissing David” when he says in verse 33 “you are only a boy and he has been a fighting man since his youth.” Well, David humbly shares his stories of killing both a lion and a bear as he was doing his duty as a shepherd. Talk about “sheep thrills.” If you hang around sheep (Christians) because of the threats of trials, tribulations and persecution, you too will have the opportunity to use God-given courage, and yes, beat the odds. If God is with you, the odds are on your side, despite whatever Goliath (or bear or lion), is attacking you, your church or your family. Keep the faith and you will be called on to be a warrior. Wimp out, like many sheep not known for aggression, and you may lose your chance to do battle and win. Wimp or win….sheep choices.

 Although we all go astray, as stated in Isaiah 53:6, the story ends well for “ewe.” In Psalm 23, you can count on the Shepherd to take care of his sheep. There are many blessings for those of us who bleat! In the first verse, “we shall not want.” He will take care of our needs. My wife and I will lose some health insurance in September, but I am confident we, with His grace and blessing, we will be covered somehow. He not only meets my survival needs (green pastures), but also give me rest from the storms of life. He has also conquered death, so whether it is me or loved ones, I can take that difficult walk through the valley of the shadow of death. The older I get, the more time I am a sheep in these shadows. A month doesn’t go by when I am not grieved by the death of a friend’s parents, and even more sad, the passing of someone’s adult child.

In sheep summary, He promises that I don’t have to worry about the evil of this world,  He prepares a banquet for me and my cup will overflow. He uses His healing oils on my head (and the rest of this 64 year old body!) and says goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life. I don’t need to keep looking in my rear view mirror, but just saunter ahead, looking forward to dwelling with my Lord in the sheep suites of his hotel. How about that for eternal sheep thrills?