Saturday, May 10, 2014

Benefits of being part of the flock

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Ezekiel 34:17-31

TO CHEW ON: "I will establish one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them—My servant David. He shall feed them and be their Shepherd." Ezekiel 34:23

Who is this David-shepherd? By the time Ezekiel lived and wrote, David was long dead so Ezekiel was surely not speaking of literal King David. A Bible footnote explains:

"My servant David is a messianic ruler from the line of David who will truly be a man after God's own heart. This is clearly fulfilled in Jesus Christ" - Howard M. Ervin, notes on Ezekiel, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1095.

(Doesn't this bring to mind the words of Jesus: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep" - John 10:11?)

Our Ezekiel reading goes on to list many benefits of being a sheep under this Messianic shepherd. Though these are commonly viewed as prophetic and incompletely fulfilled in our time, I think they are for us too—to pray for, claim, and identify—as we examine our lives for evidences of how God has and is working.

What are some of the benefits of being part of Jesus' flock?

  • We have a shepherd—someone who cares for us and looks after us (Ezekiel 34:23,24).
  • We are promised safety (Ezekiel 34:25).
  • We will experience blessing (Ezekiel 34:26).
  • Our efforts will be productive (Ezekiel 34:27a, 29).
  • We are slaves no more (Ezekiel 34:27b,28).

Are we praying for and claiming the benefits of membership in Jesus' flock now? And are we looking to the future with hope and expectation, knowing that our shepherd will one day return the earth and all its creatures to rightness?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for being my shepherd. When I can't understand what's happening in my life, help me to trust Your shepherding wisdom and ability. Amen.

MORE: Good Shepherd wisdom

All quotes are taken from Journey on the Hard Side of Miracles by Steven Stiles, Kindle edition.

"It can be difficult to follow the Shepherd, but it is dangerous to follow any other" p. 57.
"It is not our place to understand everything the Shepherd does. It is our place to follow" p. 86.
"No matter what our circumstances, God's help is closer than we think" p. 114
"Our spiritual growth never reaches the point where we can survive a moment without the care of the Shepherd" p. 256.
 Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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