11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. 12 The worker who is paid to keep the sheep is different from the shepherd who owns them. When the worker sees a wolf coming, he runs away and leaves the sheep alone. Then the wolf attacks the sheep and scatters them. 13 The man runs away because he is only a paid worker and does not really care about the sheep. 14 15 “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep, as the Father knows me. And my sheep know me, as I know the Father. I give my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not in this flock, and I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock and one shepherd.—John 10:11-16 (NCV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
A good shepherd will not allow any of his sheep to be harmed. Someone who is paid to keep sheep or is just tending the flock for his own benefit might run from the dangers and leave the sheep alone. David was an example of a good shepherd, he fought the bear and the lion and literally took the sheep from their mouth.
34 But David said to Saul, “I, your servant, have been keeping my father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and took a sheep from the flock, 35 I would chase it. I would attack it and save the sheep from its mouth. When it attacked me, I caught it by its fur and hit it and killed it. –1 Samuel 17:34-35 (NCV)
Jesus is a better shepherd than David. He loved us so much that He gave up His glory in heaven to come to earth so that we could be redeemed. He became human and dwelt among us. He came so that we would know His voice and choose to follow Him. He died to redeem and reconcile us to God. He is still in the reconciliation business. He fights every battle for us and yes, He even pulls some of us from the mouth of hell. Jesus hates the sin but loves the sinner. He expects us to have that same attitude. There are those God has put in our paths that He has chosen for us to shepherd. Be a good shepherd and love them into the fold just as Jesus did for us.
22 Show mercy to some people who have doubts. 23 Take others out of the fire, and save them. Show mercy mixed with fear to others, hating even their clothes which are dirty from sin—Jude 22 (NCV)
28 “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul. Fear only God, who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.–Matthew 10:28,29 (NLT)
God is waiting to show you the way.
6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.–Luke 12:6 (NLT)
In social jargon, the “fifth wheel” is the person without a date or a mate. If that person happens to be you, you just might experience some uncomfortable moments. You might even feel like a “misfit” and wish you were home by yourself. These times could cause a person to feel worthless. If you read today’s scripture passages again, you might notice there is a little problem with the math. In Matthew, 1 coin buys 2 sparrows, but in Luke, 2 coins buys 5 sparrows. Shouldn’t 2 coins buy 4 sparrows? Yet, there it is, written in God’s Word, 5 sparrows. It is as if the 5th sparrow is worthless. As if because it cost nothing, it therefore has no value. But then, notice what the rest of verse 6 says: “Yet God does not forget a single one of them.”
Always remember, everyone of us is important to God. Perhaps, we can’t preach like Billy Graham, sing like George Beverly Shea and maybe we haven’t been used of God to do miracles, but of this one thing, we can be sure. We are just as important to God’s eternal plan as any of those people. Abraham, Moses, Joseph, David, and Elijah all had their moments. But Jesus said: “None is greater than John the Baptist”.
**The idea for today’s devotional and the “math” problem was from a sermon entitled “Does God Know That I Exist?” by Rev. Eddie Herring, Prospect United Methodist Church, Lawrenceville , GA