I have also had the opportunity to observe and study sheep. While I lived in San Bernadino, California back in the late 90's, I used to watch a herd of sheep grazing on the hillside not far from San Bernadino University. A dog would be running from side to side, keeping the sheep bunched together. Little did I know at the time, that it was the sheep controlling the dog and not the other way around. Contrary to popular belief, in reality, sheep are surprisingly intelligent with impressive memory and recognition skills. They build friendships, stick up for one another in fights, and feel sad when their friends are sent to slaughter. By the way, they are also considered to be some of the most destructive creatures on this earth. Another piece of interesting information is that there are difficulties in raising sheep. They are not as easily fenced as cattle, but they are much easier than goats. Sheep are also more vulnerable to many types of predators. Although they tend to be less susceptible to diseases than other types of livestock, they are susceptible to parasites. By observing the sheep on the hill, I learned that much of what I thought about sheep wasn't correct!
Much of my interest in sheep was sparked by our King Jesus as He referred to Himself as the good shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep."
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice My life for the sheep." John 10:11-15 Notice what He stated in verse 15 of God's Constitution. He laid down His life for us that we can share in His promise and all we have to do is to believe in Him. If we believe in Him, He promises us eternal life with Him. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16-17 NKJV There are people all around this planet who are embracing Him as King and Lord but not as a religion. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd. John 10:16
Notice He stated "one flock and one shepherd". Again He compared the people with sheep and Himself as the shepherd. There is no division in the Kingdom of God. Remember what the King said: I am the good shepherd; I know My own sheep, and they know Me, John 10:14 Kingdom citizens have one Lord and King, and they know the voice of their Lord and King. It is very distinctive from other voices.
Jesus said we are His sheep. We've learned that sheep are surprisingly intelligent, have good memories and good recognition skills. They don't like to be fenced in! They build friendships, defend those friends and feel sadness when one of their own die. They can be very destructive but vulnerable to predators. It's good that they are intelligent so they may outsmart their predators! I've described sheep, but does that sound like anyone you may know in your life?! When King Jesus sent out His disciples, He compared them with sheep: Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16
Those who have the Governor--Holy Spirit--living inside of them are citizens of the Kingdom and are sensitive to listening to His voice to lead and guide us in our daily lives. Knowing God's Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit is what keeps us from following a stranger's voice. What that stranger says will be a strange sound because it does not line up with God's Word that is in you! It is our relationship with the Father and our faith in Him that causes us to be victorious in this world. “If you love Me, obey My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it isn’t looking for Him and doesn’t recognize Him. But you know Him, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. John 14:15-18
For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:3-5 NKJV
Remember, your faith in the Lord Jesus is your greatest asset in the Kingdom of God.
All scriptures NLT unless noted.
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