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#verseofthemonth
just hanging with my buds.
We have a new key ring around here, if you know what I mean...... • • “Yes, I truly have reason to bless the Lord for abundant supplies; His treasury has been wide open to me, His riches have constantly outweighed my necessities. He has multiplied His mercies above all my desires.” -Susannah Spurgeon
“I am afflicted and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving. This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. When the humble see it they will be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise His own people who are prisoners.“ -Psalm 69:29-33 That last verse holds more weight for me than it ever has. But, more than that, as I read this passage this morning, I realized how appropriate and applicable it is for the current landscape of our national state of emergency and the worldwide pandemic called the coronavirus. So many words have been spilled on this topic and I don’t presume to add any additional wisdom to those of medical professionals, trusted church leaders, or those with greater insight than I into what is going on. I don’t know any of that. What I do know is that which I am compelled (and commanded) to say. So here I stand (sit), joining my voice with thousands of others by proclaiming what we pray and believe is more pleasing to the Lord than a sacrifice of ox or bulls, and that is this: God has not left the throne. He has not and will not ever abdicate. He faithfully remains in sovereign control over every molecule in this universe. Therefore, we have every reason to praise our God with a song and magnify Him with thanksgiving. We should let our hearts revive by commanding them to bless the Lord and forget not all His benefits (Psalm 103) because He hears the needy (spoiler: that’s us all the time, not just in a global crisis). He does not despise his people who are prisoners—whether imprisoned in a jail cell or in isolation or by physical ailments wracking their body. He does not despise His own people. Period. End of story. Christ’s blood is too precious for God to waste by despising those purchased and covered by it. Therefore: “Let heaven and earth praise Him, the seas and everything that moves in them.” -Psalm 69:34 No caveats. No conditions. He is worthy.

Follow me as I follow Jesus

Sheep Without a Shepherd

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One of my favorite things about Romania is watching real shepherds lead their flocks of sheep. They stand watch over them, protecting, defending, leading and guiding from pasture to pasture.

I love driving to different towns and watching the sheep grazing or following the shepherd’s direction, never away from his attentive protection.

During our last trip to Romania in April, I was told the following story:

Romania Missionary Fellowship Director Florin Vasiliu asked a shepherd a question.

“What is the most important quality a shepherd can have?”

Thinking the man would answer that a shepherd must know the best pastures and fields in which to take the sheep, Florin was surprised at the answer.

“The most important thing is that a shepherd must really love the sheep.”

Wow.

This morning the RTM staff gathered with Romania Missionary Fellowship Director Florin Vasiliu and his wife Denise to pray and seek the Lord’s help for this weekend’s RMF Conference, evangelestic youth meeting and three Sunday services.

Brother Michael opened our time by reading Matthew 9:35-38,

And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

This is why we are in Eastern Europe.

We are here because the love of the Great Shepherd has called us into His flock and He tells us there are more to be brought in. But we must go to them. We must tell them of a Shepherd far greater than even the most loving, most protective, most loyal shepherd they’ve ever known or heard of.

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Imagine a flock of sheep left to themselves, without a shepherd. 

They would be an open target for predators to come and destroy.
If they wandered into mountainous areas they could fall to their death.
They would be unprotected.
They could be stolen and taken as someone else’s.

This is the state of the people in Eastern Europe.

The people filling the villages in Romania and Moldova are harassed and helpless.

They don’t know the Truth that can set them free.
They don’t know of a grace so rich it can pardon the most vile sin.
They don’t know real love.
They don’t know of the death that can bring them life.
They don’t know they can have hope.
They don’t know our Jesus.

So let us pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.

May the work done in these days through pastors conferences, youth meetings, church services and other events be instrumental in the raising up of faithful shepherds who will love and lead the sheep in Eastern Europe. Discipling them and equipping them with necessary tools to follow the ultimate Shepherd. The One who laid His life down for the sheep.

Oh, may it be so.

One comment on “Sheep Without a Shepherd

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