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Saturday, April 27, 2013

SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD


SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD
 A Sermon by Pastor Mark Taylor

“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”  Matthew 9:36

We all love the 23rd Psalm. Especially verse one: “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.”  But what about those among us who have no shepherd?

Our Lord and Savior was often “moved with compassion”.  Jesus felt this way when He encountered the sick (Mt 14:14), the blind (Mt 20:34), the demon possessed (Mk 9:22), those who lost loved ones (Lk 7:13), the hungry (Mt 15:32) the lonely (Mk 1:41) and the bewildered (Mt 9:36).  Compassion means “suffering with others”.

Why don’t we begin to see people as Jesus saw them.  When He saw a need in the lives of others coming to Him.  He did not say “Here comes another problem.”; but He said here comes a needy person “with a problem”.  We are so often tempted to look at people that are in need with an attitude of judging them instead of asking ourselves or the Lord “What can I do to help?”.

“Sheep without a shepherd” need to be with other sheep.  Mother Teresa has said, “We have drugs for people with diseases like leprosy. But these drugs do not treat the main problem, the disease of being unwanted. That’s what my sisters hope to provide. The sick and poor suffer even more from rejection than material want. Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.”  

I have always looked at the church as a hospital for those who are sick.  I look at the morning and evening worship service as the emergency room where they can get some treatment.  We would be deeply offended if we went to the hospital or emergency room and the nurses or doctors told us to go home and clean ourselves up first, and then they would treat us.  Speaking on this issue Jesus said:  “They that are whole do not need a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matthew 9:12).

“Sheep without a shepherd” need healing.  Sometimes it is physical and sometimes it is spiritual and sometimes it is emotional.  When sheep get away from the protection of the Shepherd they get hurt.  In the 23rd Psalm we read “You anoint my head with oil..”  This is what the Shepherd did for His sheep who needed healing.  Our Lord tells us that we are to find the lost and hurting sheep and give them healing.  Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” (James 5:13-15).  Can you pray for someone?  Can you read the Bible to someone?  Can you provide them with some words of encouragement?  Can you bring them to Church so others can pray for them?  These are some things you can do for the sheep without a shepherd.

Our Lord wants you to listen to “His voice”.  Listening and following Him will keep you from becoming a “sheep without a shepherd.”  If you are listening and following the “Good Shepherd”, the Lord Jesus, you will never get lost and no one can take you away from God’s love and protection.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.”  (John 10: 27-29).
We have so many distractions and so many things demanding our time and attention we wander away from the Shepherd and become a “sheep without a Shepherd”.  We do not take time to hear His voice.  We need to be careful what and who we are listening to.  If we spend the majority of our time watching violent TV shows and movies and listening to music that promotes thoughts that lead to sin, we are not listening to His voice.
To keep from becoming a “sheep without a shepherd” we must take and make time to listen to our Shepherd. Listen prayerfully while you read God’s Word.  Listen prayerfully as you enter the worship services.  During these times do not allow your mind to think about your problems, about other people’s problems, or what you need to do tomorrow.  Listen, Listen, Listen.
Say silently or aloud "Lord I’m here. Lord...I want to hear your voice.”  A shepherd leads  the sheep, loves the sheep, and protects the sheep.  Are you trying to make an important decision?  Are you grieving over a loss in your life?  Regardless of your need, the Lord Jesus is speaking to you.  You will hear His voice and gain the strength to move forward and be successful.

“He gives power to the weary; and to him with no vigor; He increases strength. Even the young shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall; but those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).


We need to thank the Lord Jesus every day for being our shepherd.  We need to love those who are “sheep without a shepherd” and help them find the “Good Shepherd” which is our Lord Jesus.


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