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Tomlapaz
  • From:USA

Date Posted:31-03-2018 10:16:01Copy HTML

If there is one animal that fits us, it is sheep.  All we like sheep have gone astray, each to his own way.


From Grace Mail devotional.

Calvary PHX
Phoenix, Arizona
www.calvaryphx.com


"But he led his own people like a flock of sheep, guiding them safely through the wilderness" (Psalm 78:52).

When you hear the word "wilderness" what comes to your mind? If you're like most people, your mind probably conjures up images of untamed lands full of unexpected surprises and hidden dangers. Maybe you think of wide-open expanses of untouched desert or think dense forests. When the Bible uses the word "wilderness," it is usually talking about a desolate, lonely place where people come face to face with God's plan for their lives.

Have you ever felt like God has led you out of a lush garden right into a wilderness? Jesus experienced a wilderness time in His life. In fact, like many of us, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. Matthew 4:1 says, "Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil…" Every life has wilderness times—times when we feel intense spiritual need. Every life includes times when we may feel isolated and lonely. During those times we might believe we've missed what the Lord intended for us and ask, "Lord, did I make a wrong turn somewhere? Did I mistake Your direction?"

When God leads us into a spiritual wilderness experience it's so He can do the work in our lives, which needs to be done so we can become the people He has called us to be. God has a plan and it includes dry times. It can be a time the Lord wants us to go through to test us and prepare us for what He wants us to do for Him, or it may be a time when our faith grows stronger.

"Lord, please use this wilderness time in my life to build my faith and refine me so that I don't simply live on spiritual emotions. I truly want to live by faith and praise you."

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #31
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:27-04-2018 08:31:07Copy HTML

4/26/18

"But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out" (John 10:2-3).

If you've ever done a study of the 23rd Psalm, you'll realize that shepherds know their sheep. They have names for every one of the sheep in the flock; the shepherd knew them all. Most significantly, the sheep would know the voice of their shepherd and would follow their shepherd. It's true to this day that you can mingle flocks together in the same fold, and when it's time to go, the shepherd just calls and the sheep will follow him because they know his voice. It's amazing! They won't follow other shepherds.

No matter where you were before you found Jesus; He led you out, didn't He? He led you out of where you were to where He is. That's evidence that you are one of His sheep. He's the faithful Shepherd and He knows your name!

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT: Sometimes we wonder, "Am I a sheep of God? Am I someone who is following the Lord?" Well, have you followed Him? Have you left an old life and followed Him into a new life?


Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Yobbo Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #32
  • From:New_zealand

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:27-04-2018 09:07:20Copy HTML

A load of inane waffle.  You are talking of primitive methods of farming sheep.  Possibly still applies in nations yet to enter the 19th century but in the 21st such things no longer apply.

Like most of Tom's wittering any contemporary association is totally by chance.
"Les hommes ne font jamais le mal si complètement et joyeusement que lorsqu'ils le font par conviction religieuse." Blaise Pascal
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #33
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:28-04-2018 02:06:54Copy HTML

Actually the topic is actually sheep themselves, and how we all (including you and I) are like sheep.


Again - we (including you and I) have all gone astray, each to his own way.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #34
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:29-04-2018 12:19:27Copy HTML

04/27/18


"They won't follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don't know his voice" (John 10:5).

When the world calls, God's sheep are uncomfortable. Evidence that you're born of God is that you don't like the world. It doesn't mean that sometimes you aren't drawn into it. Before we were saved, for the sake of illustration, let's say that we were like pigs—right? We loved the 'muck.'

After I went off to college, my mom and step-dad moved out to some acreage. My mom had always lived in the city, and wanted to do the country-life 'thing.' So, they had cows and two pigs that they named 'Huff' and 'Puff.' I can remember going home for winter break at Christmas time to see the family during college, and there would be these two pigs. If you got downwind, it smelled so disgusting! I was thinking, "Whoa! People eat these things? They're just disgusting! They love the filth and the slop." I remember feeding them, and they would turn their bowls upside down and get their food in this stinking filth they were standing in. They would mix it into that muck and then eat it! They would make this pig noise. You could've taken those two pigs and buffed and cleaned them up. You could've taken their eyelashes and combed them out. You could've polished their snouts and cleaned up their little hooves. But, you know what? They would've run back into that slop because by nature, that's what a pig does. They like it! That's who they are.

But, if you've ever been around sheep, you know that isn't the way sheep are. If a sheep steps into that 'stuff,' they don't like it. This is really baaa-aaad. This isn't what I want! Get me out of here! This is bad! The shepherd comes and cleans the sheep and that sheep doesn't want to live there any more.

You see, we've been changed. We have a new nature now that we have come to Christ. Romans 6, 7 and 8 talks about how the moment we came to Jesus and we were accepted by grace through faith in Him; we were given a brand new nature. We're not the same any more. I'm not a pig anymore! I'm a sheep! Sometimes, you're walking along in the barnyard of life, and you smell the old pig sty. Maybe there's something that tempts you. But, you'll never be happy there again. You don't see sheep in the pig sty. It's not where they want to be. They want to be in green pastures. As the Scripture says in Psalms 23, they want to be by the still water. You'll never be happy in the world.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Yobbo Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #35
  • From:New_zealand

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:29-04-2018 12:40:12Copy HTML

My son farms sheep, selling about 6000 lambs annually.

So, when I need to know about sheep I'll ask him or one of his colleagues.


"Les hommes ne font jamais le mal si complètement et joyeusement que lorsqu'ils le font par conviction religieuse." Blaise Pascal
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #36
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:29-04-2018 01:25:09Copy HTML

That is fine.

Personally, I would ask several - one gets a better picture.  

But here, it is not simply about sheep - it is about how you and I are like sheep.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #37
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:02-05-2018 03:51:34Copy HTML

April 13th, 2018 devotion from Grace Mail (from the Psalmist who also was a shepherd).   As the sheep finds protection under the shepherd, so we can find protection from the Great Shepherd.  No need to be subject to the fear of death.


"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me..." (Psalm 23:4, NASB).

The valley of the shadow of death can speak of death itself. Death is our enemy. It's an enemy to a Christian as well as non-Christians. No one looks forward to dying. People say they do, but they don't look forward to dying—they look forward to heaven! No one looks forward to the process of getting there.

Jesus wasn't afraid of death, but He didn't look forward to it. It says that as He faced the cross, He despised the shame. It's not human—it's not the way God created us to look forward to death.

But, if we or our loved ones do face death, there's great hope and assurance in Christ. Though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, no real evil can come upon us. We absolutely know that death does not cause our existence to cease; the Bible declares: "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (Colossians 2:5, paraphrased). To depart this body is to be with Christ, which is very much better. When we die, we immediately go into the presence of Jesus!

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #38
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:03-05-2018 11:25:17Copy HTML

April 15th, 2018.   Grace mail.

The Good Shepherd


"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me..." (Psalm 23:4, NASB).

I was reading the beautiful testimony of Allen Gardner, a missionary to Patagonia. He went through some really hard times.

The vessel he was sailing shipwrecked and his lifeboat landed on an island full of cannibals. He spent his days and nights hiding under his ruined lifeboat. The island's inhabitants never discovered him, and he was never found alive by anyone.

Before his death, Allen went through the valley of the shadow of death. He hid under the boat but there was nothing to eat or drink! He didn't dare venture into the jungle to search for anything knowing that he would be captured and killed.

He kept a journal of what he was experiencing as he slowly began to die of thirst. Listen to what those who found him discovered when they read his journal. At one point he wrote: "I am lying under an upturned boat, out of reach of the sea. I am dying, but I am in peace. My chief discomfort arises from a strong feeling of thirst."

A later entry in a weaker handwriting said: "Last night it rained heavily. By thrusting the corner of the sail out under the gun wall and getting it drenched, I have been able to quench the most intolerable pangs of my thirst."

He had to capture some rain on a little bit of canvas that was sticking out and just suck the little bit of moisture that took the dryness out of his mouth. Then, they said that the very last entry he wrote was barely legible. It said: "I am overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God."

What a testimony. He was shipwrecked on a cannibal island, hiding under a boat dying of hunger and thirst, yet he was overwhelmed with a sense of the goodness of God?

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me..." (Psalm 23:4, NASB).

He wasn't under that boat alone. The Good Shepherd never lost him.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #39
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:05-05-2018 05:16:36Copy HTML

April 16th, Grace Mail

We are all sheep - question is, are we sheep of God, or not?


"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me..." (Psalm 23:4, NASB).

What's a valley? It's a depression. This valley can speak of the dark times that we, the sheep of God, are called to go through. Dark times: Times when it seems like hope is eclipsed.

Have you ever seen a lunar eclipse? Slowly the moon's light is covered by the shadow of the earth. There are times in our lives when we feel like the only light we have is being overshadowed by dark, hope seems to be eclipsed.

"God, where are You? Why do I have to go through this depression alone? Why do I have to walk through the valley of the shadow all by myself?"

These are times when we need to realize we're not alone.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #40
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:05-05-2018 05:39:33Copy HTML

April 17th, 2018

Jesus is the gate.  The way, the truth and the life.  There is no other way, anyone trying to sneak around that is no better than a thief and a robber.

His sheep, however, hear his voice, and enter through the gate (Jesus).


"I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber!" (John 10:1).

The Lord is saying that there are two kinds of people, one kind is stealthy. Thieves break in and by craft they sneak into a house. They do it in the dark. They do it at night, and the object is to steal. Others are robbers—a different Greek word is used. Robbers are people who actually force someone at knife or gunpoint to surrender their possessions. Jesus is saying that there are two kinds of people who take advantage of God's sheep. There are those who work by stealth, and those who work by force.

You've seen that there are religions like that. They force conversion. They force their ways upon people. Unfortunately, even some forms of Christianity in the middle ages and during the inquisition did the same things. But you can't force faith on people. You can force some kind of outward behavior, but you can't force people to have saving faith in Jesus Christ! It's so upside down. What we can do is be diligent, study, pray, and share our faith with everyone. The work of conversion and change is not ours, but God's.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #41
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:06-05-2018 03:04:06Copy HTML

Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.   No one can come to God our Creator apart from his Son Jesus.

He is the good Shepherd.


April 28th, 2018  Grace Mail


"So he explained it to them: 'I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them'" (John 10:7-8).

If anyone else claims to be a way to get to God, they are not! Jesus says it emphatically. He is the way; He is the door of the sheep.

"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" (John 10:9, NASB).

There are three things here that I want to emphasize. First of all, if you go through Jesus, you are saved and have eternal life. You're saved! Maybe today you're thinking, "How can I know that I am going to heaven? If I died, how would I know that I was going to heaven?"

Jesus is the door. Have you gone through Jesus? If you've gone any other way, then you won't get to heaven. You will be saved if you go through Him.

Secondly, He says that you "will go in and out." Jesus controls the way in and the way out. He protects you. You'll be safe.

Next, He says that you'll be satisfied. He says you will "find pasture."

  1. You are saved,
  2. You are safe, and
  3. You are satisfied. You find pasture in Christ.
Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #42
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:06-05-2018 05:40:44Copy HTML

Excellent illustration of Jesus as the door. and as our great Shepherd (for those who are his sheep).


April 29th 2018   Grace Mail


"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture" (John 10:9, NASB).

One time when visiting Israel I went to a place on the road to Jericho near the Inn of the Good Samaritan. There's a perfect sheepfold there, and I was surprised because I hadn't seen a picture of one before. I'll try to describe it to you. It's a large rectangular area, with three half walls about five feet tall. But in the middle of the fourth wall there's a six-foot center section that was un-walled. I learned that this fold was just like the sheep fold Jesus described in John, chapter ten. Back then, there were wolves, bears, predators, and people who would just come to devour or steal the sheep; so at night the shepherd would bring the sheep into the fold to keep them safe.

But I was still wondering how the sheep would be safe since there was no door. I asked, "Where's the door?" They said, "Well, here's the way it worked. At night, the shepherd would go in and lay down and he was the door." Wow, A light went on! I really understood what Jesus said, "I am the door," that's what He meant. They explained to us that the only way the sheep could get in was to go by the shepherd. At night, no sheep could get by the shepherd unless he deemed it safe, and then the sheep could go out. Jesus emphatically states, "I am the door, and the sheep will go in and out, and I lead them to pasture." This is exactly what the Lord is talking about here when He said, "I am the door!"

That's why we have security in Christ. Think about it! You're one of God's sheep here in the fold, right? The only way you could ever get out is if you go through the Shepherd. Is He going to let you out when there are predators and it's dark outside? No! What if something wants to get in to take you out? Is the Shepherd going to let that person in to get to you? No way! So, the Lord is the door. Isn't that cool? He's there, keeping you safe, He is keeping you saved, and secure.

Lord, we are satisfied with You. Where else could we go? Where else could we find pasture?

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #43
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:08-05-2018 02:38:54Copy HTML

April 30th, 2018.   Grace Mail.    I for one can testify - Jesus has never left me or forsaken him (I, for my part, have not been anywhere as faithful).


"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" (John 10:11-12).

The hireling would say, "Come on! I'm not paid enough to die for a sheep!" That's not the way the shepherd feels, because He owns the sheep. This is His sheep! Jesus says that He lays down His life for His sheep. He says, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly" (John 10:10b, NASB). The "abundance" spoken of here speaks of a huge surplus. It speaks of a super-life that goes on and up and out.

The hired hand would never put his life on the line for the sheep, "The hired hand runs away because he's working only for the money and doesn't really care about the sheep" (John 10:13). But Jesus is the owner of the sheep, He is "...the good shepherd," and cares for and protects every one of His sheep.

"Father, thank You for the wonderful love of Jesus who, as Our Shepherd, laid His life down for us, proving His great love for us. Lord, we want to follow You. In Jesus' precious Name, Amen."

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #44
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:09-05-2018 04:45:22Copy HTML

Why do folk not hear from Jesus?   They are not of his sheep.


May 2nd, 2018    Grace Mail

"I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd... A division occurred again among the Jews because of these words" (John 10:16, 19, NASB).

A division occurred. You suppose? Jesus just claimed that there were other people besides Jews who could be saved. It's difficult for us to comprehend how this would have "hit" them, unless you were raised in a denomination or cult that told you that it was the only true religion. But, Jesus says, "No! I have other sheep and I am drawing them to Myself."

Would that be true of Christianity then? Are there other sheep outside Christianity that could be saved? Remember what Jesus already said about being the door? He said that He was the only way. What He is saying to the Jewish religious leaders is that any sheep anywhere in any race or culture can come to God through Him. There are not many ways to get to God; there's only one way to God, and everyone is invited to come that way. But, you can't come any other way. The call is inclusive, and it's exclusive at the same time. It's inclusive, "Whosoever will" may come, but it's also exclusive, you can only come through Jesus Christ. That's what is taught throughout the pages of the Bible. We must come to God through the Messiah and through His sacrifice.

There was a division among the Jews, and many of them couldn't believe in Christ on account of this. Isaiah chapter eight says that this child would be a divisive child. Luke, chapter two says that He "...is appointed for the fall and the rise of many..." (Luke 2:34 NASB).

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #45
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:10-05-2018 02:40:26Copy HTML

May 4th Grace Mail.

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me..." (John 10:27-28).

This is very important. Jesus says that there's another way you know that you're one of His sheep. You hear His voice. That's the call of God on your life, calling you to faith in Christ. You hear that voice, and then you follow Jesus. You could say it this way: FOLLOW = OBEY. Following Jesus is obeying Jesus.

A Christian is someone who is Christ-like. It's someone who does what Jesus says. Those are words that people today don't want to hear. Jesus says:

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."

That means "My sheep do what I say." I remember the Lord saying, "Why do you keep calling Me 'Lord, Lord!' when you don't do what I say?" (Luke 6:46).

"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life."

Have you followed Jesus in obedience and faith? Have you heard the gospel and said, "Yes! I believe that Jesus is my Savior. I believe that Jesus died for me. I believe that Jesus rose from the dead for me. I'm placing my faith for all eternity in Him." Have you done that? Yes? THEN, YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE. Then, He goes on to say:

"...I give them eternal life, and they will never perish."

"We're so thankful that we've heard Your voice; that we've followed You; that we're saved and safe Lord, thank You for the work of Your Word in our lives; bringing to us assurance, speaking to us words of encouragement."

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #46
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:17-05-2018 03:49:56Copy HTML

Tuesday May 1st 2018 Grace Mail.   Have to admit though, in my case, praying out loud seems more distracting for me.


"...I know My own sheep and they know Me..." (John 10:14b).

This "knowing" Jesus is not saying, "Oh yeah! I know about Jesus. I've heard of Him." Rather, it is an experiential "knowing" of Jesus. It's speaking about knowing Him personally. This is developing a relationship with the Lord. He's saying, "I know my own by experience, and they know Me the very same way."

"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 10:14b-15).

Take time to spend thinking about the Lord and how you can know Him better.

Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Read the Gospel of John and imagine yourself as being the person that Jesus ministers to. Insert your name in each incident the Gospel records.
  • Pray, but pray out loud. This decreases distractions and helps you do more than "think" prayers; we communicate to friends with words, not through thoughts.
Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #47
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:18-05-2018 01:37:28Copy HTML

May 9th Grace Mail.    The past few devotions, the pastor has been talking about eternal security.  Jesus gives eternal life to his sheep - the ones who hear and listen to his voice.   And He will never let go of them.


"The sheep that are My own hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never lose it or perish throughout the ages. [To all eternity they shall never by any means be destroyed.] And no one is able to snatch them out of My hand" (John 10:28-29, AMP).

Would the truth of the eternal security of the believer encourage people to think they have the liberty to go out and live like they did before they were saved?

Many people think that it is more motivating for Christians to live a holy life to tell them that if they sin they could be lost.

No! What needs to be done is to teach Scripture. The Scripture says that a real believer is secure in the Lord. But it also clearly teaches that a real believer won't want to sin—not on purpose!

As a real believer you don't plan to practice sin. That's not the way a real believer thinks. You may stumble and fall, but you aren't planning and practicing sin. Like I've said, "You're not going to be sinless, but you are going to be sinning less." Right? That's because the Lord is working in your life, and He's growing you in His grace.

I know that in my experience rather than making me feel like I can go out and do whatever I want, knowing that I am secure had the very opposite effect in my life. I live a much more careful life knowing that I am saved forever than I ever did when I was living to try to be saved.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Yobbo Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #48
  • From:New_zealand

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:19-05-2018 06:54:58Copy HTML

No automatic alt text available.
"Les hommes ne font jamais le mal si complètement et joyeusement que lorsqu'ils le font par conviction religieuse." Blaise Pascal
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #49
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:19-05-2018 10:31:19Copy HTML

As noted, all we like sheep have gone astray.   Each to his own way.


And the Lord has laid the iniquity of folk such as Yobbo and I on Jesus.   What we do with that is a choice we make.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #50
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:20-05-2018 05:12:45Copy HTML

May 10th  Grace Mail


"Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me" (Psalm 23:4b).

Psalm 23 is so beautiful. Part of its beauty comes from the fact that it's written through the eyes of a sheep, by a shepherd. The sheep says:

"Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me."

How could a rod and a staff comfort me? When I think of a rod, I think of a spanking. I don't know about you, but I think of that verse that says, "Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children" (Proverbs 13:24).

How do a rod and staff comfort the sheep? Obviously, these are two pieces of equipment that a shepherd carries with him and they're both vital to the comfort and encouragement of the sheep.

The rod was not a long stick; think of it as being more like a club. Often they would tie a rock with a knot on the end. The rod was used to defend and protect the sheep. If a bear or a wolf would come to hurt the sheep, the shepherd would have that club, and he would strike the predators with it, protecting the sheep. That's why the sheep says, "your rod comforts me." The rod is the authority to protect.

Today, remember that Jesus is your strong protector.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
katie5445 Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #51
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:20-05-2018 05:25:36Copy HTML

I would say we have different opinions on the rod and staff, I'm more of the flavor to protect and comfort me and I've never thought of it as a "spanking" protection and comfort is not a "spanking" in my world.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #52
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:20-05-2018 11:06:25Copy HTML

There are those who can testify that having received spankings proved (in either the short or long run) comforting.

But I know not all are comfortable with it.    I think myself I would have entered adulthood better prepared had I had not missed out on some needed spankings.


I am also curious - had heard once that at times a shepherd will need to break the leg of a sheep that constantly strays, so it learns otherwise during its healing.    But I have not confirmed that one way or the other.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #53
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:22-05-2018 05:24:09Copy HTML

May 11th Grace Mail - we are so like sheep, what a good animal to illustrate us.


"Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me" (Psalm 23:4b).

A rod does not sound like an instrument of comfort does it? So how does it work? The rod the shepherd carried was not a long paddle! It was a short club.

A sheep needs the rod to be in the shepherd's hand to defend it because of all the other creatures, a sheep is one of the most defenseless.

  • It doesn't have a dangerous bite. I've never heard of anyone dying of a sheep bite.
  • It doesn't have claws to defend itself.
  • It can't run very fast; if it does it risks throwing itself over on its back and not being able to get up.
  • It can't climb, who's ever heard of climbing sheep.
  • It can't dig a hole to hide in.
  • It can't swim away from its enemies.
  • It can't even camouflage itself. (Wouldn't it have been neat for God to have made sheep green? Then, when the enemy came, they could just stand still and look like a bush! Instead, they are white! What other desert animal is white? It's like putting a target on them. Here's dinner!)
  • A sheep has no venom or poison that it can inject into its enemies and protect itself.
  • A sheep has no horns that it can use to run off an enemy.

When you think about it, it's totally defenseless. There's no way that a sheep can protect itself. It's one of the craziest animals on earth. It needs a shepherd, and without the shepherd it would probably have been extinct a long time ago. The shepherd always has to step in and stand between the sheep and danger.

That's exactly what Jesus has done for us. Whenever the roaring lion comes to devour us, Jesus stands between him and us. Jesus comes between us and that devourer. If there's a choice between your life and the shepherd's life, it's always the shepherd's life that goes on the line for the sheep.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #54
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:24-05-2018 05:12:38Copy HTML

May 15th   Grace Mail


"Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me" (Psalm 23:4b).

Shepherds use a staff to protect and comfort their sheep. Similarly, Jesus uses His staff to comfort and encourage us. We're familiar with the shepherd's staff. That was the crooked stick that the shepherd would carry in his hand. All we would have to do is to see the silhouette of a man on the wall, and you wouldn't be able to tell who he was, but if you gave him that shepherd's staff, immediately you would say, "Oh! It's a shepherd!" We think of the shepherd when we think of the staff.

What's the staff that Jesus uses to comfort and encourage us?

Well, let's think about what the staff was used for:

  • It brings the sheep into the world.
  • It guides the sheep.
  • It draws them close to the shepherd.
  • It corrects the sheep.

I believe the "staff" in the hand of Jesus is the Holy Spirit. It's a perfect description for the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives; He is the "staff" in the hands of Jesus:

  • He is the One responsible for our new birth. We were born again by the Spirit, weren't we?
  • He's the One responsible for guiding us. "When He, the spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth" (John 16:13a, NASB). He's our guide.
  • He's the One who draws us close to Jesus.
  • And, He's the One who corrects and disciplines us as sheep of Jesus' pasture.
Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
Tomlapaz Share to: Facebook Twitter MSN linkedin google yahoo #55
  • From:USA

Re:All we like sheep

Date Posted:25-05-2018 04:51:40Copy HTML

May 16th   Grace Mail


"Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline..." (Revelation 3:19a, NIV).

You may think that God is angry at you when He disciplines you. You may even think that your life is under God's curse. You must understand that if you are really a child of His, this discipline you're experiencing is actually an indication that you really are His child.

"Blessed is the man whom You chasten, O LORD, And whom You teach out of Your law; That You may grant him relief from the days of adversity" (Psalm 94:12-13a, NASB).

When we learn from the discipline of the Lord we are actually blessed. "Blessed is the man whom is chastened (or disciplined) of the Lord." Why?

Why is this a blessing? I'll tell you why! It's such a blessing because it's proof of ownership—you really do belong to the Shepherd.

Jesus: For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you believe not his writings, how shall you believe my words? Psalm 37:21 The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives.
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