11/29/16: Shepherd Evaluation
All through Scripture, shepherds and sheep are spoken of symbolically representing the leader or pastor and God’s people. God holds the position of a shepherd to an extremely high standard. After all, the shepherd is directly responsible for the welfare of the sheep.
When the shepherds of Israel messed up, God did not mince words. He told them exactly what they had done wrong, enumerated the results of their mismanagement, and pronounced His judgment. Listen in at Ezekiel 34:2-10:
* … “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… they became food for all the beasts of the field… My sheep wandered… no one was seeking or searching for them…
* “Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require My flock at their hand…” (NKJ).
The checklist evaluation of what a shepherd of God’s people is supposed to be doing is right here in this passage. It’s not our job to judge God’s chosen leaders; God is perfectly capable of doing that Himself. However, it is our responsibility to place ourselves under leadership that is reliably following God. Are our pastors concerned with:
- Strengthening the weak?
- Healing the sick?
- Binding up the broken?
- Bringing back those who have been driven away? and
- Seeking the lost?
Those called to be pastors and church leaders (shepherds), there’s the evaluation of your motive. Those called to be sheep, there’s your prayer list for your shepherd.
©2016 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
Mission Trip Update! I think about Africa every day. My new Motherland friends and I stay in contact thanks to Facebook. God is the true international God; Jesus is the international Savior; the Holy Ghost is the international Spirit. Love for our God crosses country checkpoints without needing a passport or a visa.
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