Wednesday, October 19, 2011

~ "The Shepherd" (by Michael Brendel II)(Part 2)

This is the second installation of Michael's posts. I hope you enjoy reading it...

"The Shepherd" - by Michael Brendel II

H---A Shepherd of Heaven (and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever, Psalm 23:6) Our Shepherd is a Shepherd of Heaven! David begins with, "The LORD is my shepherd." and ends with "I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever." Not only is the Shepherd of Heaven revealed here, He is revealed in other attributes of Heaven as well. First, Heaven is a place of the Master---the Shepherd. (I Thessalonians 4:17) Second, Heaven is a place of Mansions---the Shepherd has built. (John 14:2) Third, Heaven is a place of Majesty---the Shepherd is there. (Revelation 21:10-23) For sake of alliteration, you could also say that Heaven is a place of Mystery---the Shepherd will surprise us! :) (I Corinthians 2:9) Either way, our Shepherd is indeed a Shepherd of Heaven, and we who are His sheep will "dwell in the house of the LORD forever".
"I have read and heard about Heaven. It's a place I long to be! In the Bible we're told of it's beauty---my Lord's preparing a place for me! Heaven! Can you imagine all the peace and tranquility! No more heartaches or care! No more burdens to bear! We'll last for all eternity!"

E---A Shepherd for Eternity (Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, Psalm 23:6) Isn't it great to know that we have our Good and Great Shepherd for ever? (Hebrews 13:5, Isaiah 49:15) The Bible reassures us that the Shepherd will not leave us, even in old age. (Isaiah 46:4) Because David followed this Shepherd, he was able to say that goodness and mercy would be with him. We have this Shepherd as well, and if we will follow Him all the days of our life, goodness and mercy will not only follow us all the days of our lives, but the days of other's lives as well. (Deuteronomy 7:9, Psalm 103:17)
"The Shepherd never leaves us, though WE may leave His side. The Shepherd always feeds us, but to eat WE must decide. The Shepherd always leads us, though WE may go astray. The Shepherd always keeps us, despite OUR sin each day. The Shepherd ne'er gets tired, the Shepherd ne'er gives in. The Shepherd's sole desire is to keep His sheep from sin. Make sure YOU don't get tired, make sure YOU don't give in. Then you will please the Shepherd who keeps you 'til the end."

R---A Refreshing Shepherd (thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over, Psalm 23:5) Our Shepherd is a refreshing Shepherd. In Time of Trouble, there's no more refreshing or restful sight than Him. (Joshua 21:44, Daniel 6:22, II Kings 6:17) In Times of Toil, He refreshes. (Mark 6:31, Matthew 11:28-29) In Times of Trial, He cares. (I Peter 5:7) Isaiah, I think, described this Shepherd's care best in Isaiah 40:11, which says, "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." This chapter begins with this verse, "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God." Our Shepherd is indeed a refreshing Shepherd.
"Be it thy joy, O anxious soul---Til thou shalt reach the Heavenly goal---Thy burden on the Lord to roll. Rest in the Lord. In quiet calm---In Christ's own rest---In secret strength for all opprest; all things are working for the best! Rest in the Lord. Rest in His truth, His power, His grace, rest in His knowledge of thy case, rest in the sunshine of His face. Rest in the Lord. Rest in His love---it cannot chill---Rest in His sweet and blessed will, rest in Himself; be hushed, be still. Rest in the Lord."

D---A Shepherd of Direction (He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters...he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Psalm 23:2-3) Our Shepherd is a shepherd of Direction. He is to be more than just a friend, He is to be a caring and loving guide who sees so much further, better, and wiser than those who with childlike faith place their hand in His. Without following His leadership, we are sure to fall into a snare. (Psalm 119:10, Psalm 91:3) His path, however, leads to rest for our souls! (Jeremiah 6:16) Today, it is your choice. Do you choose the still waters, green pastures, and paths of righteousness and rest; or do you choose the way that "seemeth right" but in the end leads to death? (Proverbs 14:12) Remember Psalm 1:1-2, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
""Disappointment---His appointment. Change one letter, then I see that the thwarting of my purpose is God's better choice for me. His appoint must be blessing, tho' it may come in disguise, for the end from the beginning open to his wisdom lies. Disappointment---His appointment. "No good thing will he withhold;" From denials oft we gather treasures of His love untold. Well He knows each broken purpose leads to fuller, deeper, trust, and the end of all His dealings proves our God is wise and just. Disappointment---His appointment. Lord, I take it, then, as such. Like the clay in hands of potter, yielding wholly to Thy touch. All my life's plan is thy molding, not one single choice be mine; let me answer, unrepining---Father, not my will, but Thine."