Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of October 7, 2007

Isa 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (NKJV)
John 10:3 “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (NKJV)
John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (NKJV)

Sheep are considered dumb although that may not be true. On July 30, 2004, BBC News on-line carried an article that showed sheep can be quite intelligent. They were able to figure out how to get over cattle grids so that they could rummage around in neighborhood gardens. They are also known to have a “herd mentality” where they want to do what the other sheep are doing. So while sheep may be smart, they have a tendency to play “follow the leader.”

Most of us would like to think that we are individuals who think for ourselves. Biblically that doesn’t seem to be the case. We ALL play “follow the leader” when it comes to the decisions that we make in this life. Our individuality seems to come in choosing the leader that we want to follow. Some of us may follow intellectuals, and some of us may follow entertainers and some may follow politicians. But ultimately, we all follow Satan or we follow Christ.

The story is told of a student who could not understand subtraction. He had addition down fairly well but, somehow, subtracting numbers didn’t make sense to him. His teacher knew that his family raised sheep so she tried to use them to illustrate subtraction. She drew a pen on the blackboard and put four sheep in the pen. Then she drew a hole in the pen and moved one sheep from inside the pen to the outside. Then she asked her student, “If one sheep goes through that hole, how many sheep will there be in the pen and how many will be outside the pen?” The student quickly responded, “Four will be outside the pen.” The teacher said, “You don’t understand subtraction.” The student said, “I may not understand subtraction, but you don’t understand sheep.” The student knew that if one went through the hole, the others would follow. The Lord says, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” We may think that we are making our own decisions and that we are thinking for ourselves, but unless we have broken free from the “herd mentality”, we will never follow the Lord. And Satan doesn’t really care whom we follow as long as those we follow keep us from following the Lord.

When we see that we are being led astray, then and then only will we want the Lord to be our leader. When we understand our sin and rest in Christ for salvation, then we become sheep that belong in a different pasture. Instead of the world feeding us, the Lord feeds us. The Lord leads us instead of Satan and those he uses to deceive us. These are the sheep that in my mind are thinking for themselves. These are the ones who are intelligent. These hear the voice of the Lord and respond to it. These sheep are called by name by the Lord, and they respond to the voice of their shepherd. I have seen sheep called by a stranger, and they totally ignored the stranger. The moment the shepherd called the sheep, they came racing across the pasture to be with their shepherd. The Lord’s sheep hear His voice and they follow Him.

There is nothing quite like having the Lord as your shepherd because He cares. David says that the Lord is a shepherd who provides for us and who is always with us (Psalm 23:1-4), He knows the names of His sheep and takes a personal interest in them. If we all have a “herd mentality”, it is nice to be in the right herd.

Bruce Collins

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