Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Meditation for the week of February 10, 2008

Luke 15:6 “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
John 10:14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
John 10:26 “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you.”
John 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

God says we are all sheep and as sheep we are all part of a flock. According to Isaiah 53:6, before we are saved, we are in the wrong flock following the wrong shepherd. Isaiah says, “All we like sheep have gone astray.” But David in Psalm 23 was not following a shepherd that would lead him astray. He was following a shepherd that cared for him. We tend to follow leaders and the leaders that we follow make all the difference in whether we are useful and happy spiritually or whether we would just as soon “go astray.”

Some shepherds own their sheep and some shepherds are hired to care for the sheep. A hireling will flee when danger comes according to the Lord in John 10:12-13. He doesn’t have the same love for the sheep that a true shepherd has. The shepherd who owns the sheep, knows the name of every sheep in his flock. He considers every sheep important and, if one strays, he leaves the ones who have not strayed and goes to find his one lost sheep. When he finds it, he throws a party.

Men who claim to be shepherds of the Lord’s sheep may not always consider us to be important, but the Lord Who is our Shepherd does. I have heard those who claim to be shepherds say, “If that person wants to leave, let them leave.” They really don’t care if the person remains in their congregation or not. That seems contrary to the way the Lord works. If a person is in charge of a flock, every sheep in the flock should have no doubt that the shepherd is taking care of them and has a personal interest in them. He feeds them, he leads them, he protects them and he tries to keep them healthy. He also goes looking for any that get lost.

Most people join groups where the they are made to feel needed and wanted. The minute they feel that they are just a cog in the wheel and that they are dispensable, they will begin looking for another place where they can truly belong. When basic needs are being met in a business setting, most management experts say that money is not a major motivator. Feeling valued is important however. Being able to make a difference is important. In the spiritual realm, this would translate into being in a congregation where our gifts are needed and wanted. We all want to make a difference and we all want to feel that our life has a purpose. Shepherds in the church should consider every one of the sheep in their flock important. They need to make them feel needed and wanted if our congregations are going to be true fellowships where everyone feels at home and where no one wants to stray.

Bruce Collins

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