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<< Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today - June 22, 2007

  • 2007 Jun 22
  • COMMENTS

 

June 22, 2007

 

Just Say Baaaa!

By MaryBeth Whalen

 

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:6, NIV)   

      

Devotion:

I spent some time this morning just confessing before God that I am a sheep. And I don’t mean that in an “I’m not fat, I’m fluffy” kind of way. I mean in a dirty, smelly, dumb animal kind of way. Let me explain.

 

As I was praying, I noticed myself once again asking God for some affirmation and encouragement on a specific issue. Now, I have asked for this before - many times, in fact. And God is faithful to answer each and every time. And so, there I was again, asking Him to supply something I know He knows we have already covered. Why can’t I accept this covering once and for all? Why can’t I rest on His promises and accept Him at His word, once and for all? As I listened to myself asking my Heavenly Father for the same thing all over again, I wondered, “Why doesn’t He get tired of me already and tell me to go bother someone else?” And I realized, because I am a sheep. And He expects me to act like a sheep.

 

As I thought about this, I realized how many other dumb sheep things I do daily. I lose my way. I ask questions for which I already know the answers. My attitude stinks. I ram my head against the same brick wall, hoping for different results. I wander off from Him and then pout because I feel like He’s not there for me. I am a sheep. Yet, He is the Shepherd. Ezekiel 34:11-12a says, “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep” (NIV). How I need the comfort, nurture and protection of the Shepherd.

 

After I spent time just confessing how sheep-like I am, I spent time praising Him for His infinite patience with us, His flock. I praised Him for knowing how dirty, smelly and dumb we are and loving us anyway. I praised Him that He knows how very little we have to offer and accepts it as our gift to Him. A shepherd doesn’t expect his sheep to be wolves or eagles or anything other than sheep. Knowing that comforted me in the strangest sort of way. I love knowing that He leaves the 99 to get the one lost, hopeless sheep. (Matthew 18:12-13 NIV). He doesn’t pick the sheep up and yell at it for acting like a sheep. Instead He patiently, lovingly carries it back to the flock and resumes His watch.

 

I love knowing that when I bring my little insecurities to Him, revealing my weaknesses and confusion, He doesn’t say, “How can you be so stupid?” He says, “I expected nothing less from a sheep” and loves me anyway.

 

I hope that, like me, this will comfort you today. I hope that when you feel lost, hopeless, and smelly or just plain dumb for making the same mistakes or going to God with the same requests, you will just reflect on being a sheep. Spend time thanking Him for loving you anyway and being your Shepherd every day.

 

Dear Lord, thank You for being my Shepherd, and for loving me even when I act like a sheep. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Related Resources:

For the Write Reason by Select Authors, Edited by Marybeth Whalen

 

P31 Woman Magazine

 

Do You Know Him?

 

Application Steps: 

Do a word study in your Bible concordance on the words “Sheep” and “Shepherd.” How does reading these verses comfort you? Write your own psalm to God praising Him for His willingness to love us even though we are sheep.

 

Reflections: 

What sheep-like things have you done lately? Have you been beating yourself up for behaving like a sheep? Do you realize that God expects you to mess up, and loves you even when you do? Thank Him for this, and ask Him to help you be a better sheep today.

 

Power Verses:

Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 28:9, “Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.” (NIV)

 

John 10:14-15, “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (NIV)

 

 

Proverbs 31 Ministries

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Matthews, NC 28105

www.Proverbs31.org

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