Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Good Shepherd

One of the most wonderful things in the world is to discover that we are under the care of the most tender shepherd. The Good Shepherd cares for his sheep. He leads them and He goes before them. They may not know where they are going but they follow the One who knows the way.

The Good Shepherd speaks to his sheep.

My sheep hear my voice.

The Good Shepherd never deserts any of His sheep. In his life, Jesus, the Lord, lay down his life for his sheep. Peter denied Jesus..but Jesus came back to claim him.

The cross shows our Good Shepherd and where his love for us led him. We can never fully understand this kind of commitment. We can only be in awe of a shepherd who cares for us in all our sin and brokenness and stretched out his arms on the old wooden cross for a world of sinners.

He came for all of us. He calls all of us. We reach out to others with our imperfect love and imperfect ways.

Christian, the Lord says, "Follow me."

Jesus has given us all we need to find protection and grace. He ever lives to make intercession for us, his little sheep. When we don't know where to go, we can always go to the Shepherd of our souls.

And so as we reflect on His commitment to us we look out at the world he died for and pray
Lord, help me to hear your voice and help me to obey.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Call is an Assignment from God.

Calls do not only come to pastors and other leaders: they can come to any Christian at any time.

Calls are mysterious in that they originate from God and tend to be a "bigger" task than the individual would have attempted on his own. The call stretches us beyond our comfort zones or abilities into a dependency on God to work through us to complete the assignment.

Paul was called to "preach to the heathen." Galatians 1:15-16. This was not Paul's idea, to say the least, but he obeyed the assignment and this took him many places and he endured many hardships.

Calls come with power that you might call "staying" power. The call is not a one season thing. It is a life direction.

I can't think of any Christian work in which the leader has had the "call" that has failed because it is God's idea, not man's and God knows what He is about. Most of the time we don't

When I was first called to plant seeds of Biblical truth in children, I did not have a clue what to do. I went to my mission's pastor and he instructed me to start a non-profit for children. At the same time I was talking to my friends about wanting to do a work for children in the local area. God started to give me a deep concern for the children that I didn't have before. I saw the faces as I walked the main street of my town. I had no idea that I would become president....not ever having had a position like that but when we incorporated in l994 that was the unfilled spot and my friends told me I was it!

The heart of the call is obedience to the Lord and bowing to His plan over us for Christian service. Never in my thoughts had I considered children's work. The call changed all that.

The leader must continue to hold to the call and not let up. When discouraged get back to home base which is prayer. God is always over the call and the called person.

In putting together a team we must allow God to position people as He directs not as we might think. In several cases I thought I know who would be good in a position but allowing time for prayer the person got a "no" and another person got the "yes". We need to allow God to pick and wait for God's pick.

When we star to lead we are in the wrong position. Nothing will happen. We have to let God work and go where He is working and not worry about the rest. The call directed Paul and it must direct us.