Good Shepherds

Some of the most desperate cries being uttered by God's "sheep" today are those pleas for the Lord to send them a Pastor. In every "pasture", the sheep are saying, "Lord, send us a good shepherd". If your heart is right before God, he has a good shepherd to meet your spiritual needs. A good shepherd will keep you from spiritually starving, and will not allow you to "fall through the cracks" unnoticed, neglected, or empty. Every child of God can be fruitful and useful when being led by a good shepherd. There is a wonderful peace, security, and protection for sheep held near God's bosom in the loving arms of a good shepherd

Jesus was the supreme example of a good shepherd. He told his followers: "I am the good shepherd" (Joh.10:11). Even more than good, Peter declared that Jesus was the "chief" shepherd: "And when the chief shepherd shall appear..." (1Pet.5:4). The writer of Hebrews pointed to Jesus as the "great" shepherd: "...the Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep" (Heb.13:20).

A good shepherd is beloved of God because he lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:17). It would also please the father to have good shepherds (also called pastors) who, like Jesus, sacrifice their lives for the sheep, thus following their master's example.

It is vital that God's sheep know how to find a shepherd (pastor). Just as important, is for pastors to know how to be a good shepherd, for one of the judgments on disobedience is that God will raise up "evil shepherds": "For lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither seek the young one, nor heal that is broken . . . woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock" (Zech.11:16-17). "Idol shepherds" are sent by God to delude those who do not "love the truth" (see 2Thes.2:10-12). But obedient sheep will love God enough to hear and follow only the good shepherds whom God truly sends. Here are some qualities of "good shepherds":

  • A good shepherd obediently commits his life to the sheep: "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling..." (Joh.10:11-12). The reason that finding a good shepherd is so difficult today is that most are simply "hirelings". A hireling is a person who takes their position for money. He has no intention of staying, or loving, except when it fosters his position - the praise of men and the desire for more money. A hireling's position is a convenient "step" toward bigger and better things. He is a trained professional, voted in or appointed by men. In short, he will "make merchandise" of God's people (2Pet.2:3). Certainly, many do not begin with and most will never confess such motives, but in time you will see their fruit. The Church's destitute condition fosters such error, and that is why one will have to "come out of Christianity" to find a truly good shepherd.

  • A good shepherd knows his sheep: "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine" (Joh.10:14). A good shepherd is knowing and letting himself be known by the sheep. Rarely will today's religious systems permit a pastor to know his sheep intimately, for there is a pressure heaped upon them to "grow". A "small flock" would represent failure to his peers and overseers. Good shepherds are not looking for "other sheep" --- they have made a lifetime commitment to the flock God has given them.

  • A good shepherd feeds the flock: "I will feed them in good pasture..."(Eze.34:14). Refusing to feed the sheep, a carnal idol shepherd feeds his sheep lifeless, second hand food. The doctrines of his denomination. The creeds of men. The teachings of earthly psychologists and so on. The good shepherd has fallen on his face, and has heard from the Father: "the words which I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me" (Joh.14:10). A good shepherd will not leave you spiritually hungry. His pastures are always green. By the power of the Spirit, he has what you need.

So where do you find one? You must hear from God: "...he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them OUT" (Joh.10:3). God will send you a shepherd, but a good shepherd will always "lead you OUT". The call is to God. And God is not inside anything that is not led by the Spirit, regardless of what men call it.

The church consists of those who have been "born of the Spirit". By one Spirit we are baptized into the body of Christ (1Cor.12:13). Any man who teaches you that a person can be in the Church (God's Church - Jesus' body on this earth), without receiving the baptism of the holy Ghost (with the evidence of speaking in other tongues) is an idol shepherd. God has not sent him to you, for he is a thief and a robber. Stealing peace, and robbing you of hope. Flee that man.

One does not go "shopping" for a pastor (or a church). It is a work of the Spirit. You will NEVER find a good shepherd in Christianity, because Christianity will not allow a good shepherd to be one. The holy Ghost, in this hour, is MAKING good shepherds for the precious sheep: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchase with his own blood" (Acts 20:28).

Therefore, the answer is to "walk in the Spirit". God will be pleased to join you together with those who have a like mind and a like spirit. He will only trust you to a good shepherd. Wait on God, and do not settle for gathering in any place where the truth is not fed to you. Good shepherds will be found by the sheep who hear his voice. And obey it.

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