Deuteronomy 22:21 Taking Care Of Your Neighbor

Lone sheep

If you see your fellow Israelite’s ox or sheep straying, do not ignore it but be sure to take it back to its owner. Deuteronomy 2:21

Taking care of one’s neighbor is not a very common sight to be seen. The majority of people are out for themselves and only to take care of themselves, even at the expense of others.

During the time of Moses, oxen or sheep were one of the main livelihoods of the people. It was their source of income, their help in plowing the fields and providing clothing. It was also traded for other items of need and ultimately used as a sacrifice to God.

There would be times when an ox or sheep would stray away from the owner. God had told the Israelites to not ignore it, but to immediately return it to the owner.

It is common for people to ignore the needs or property of others. Although today, most people do not use sheep or oxen for their livelihood, there are other things of value to people. People will see a neighbor’s fence falling down on the backside of the property out of normal sight. They ignore it and do not tell the neighbor anything about it.

Other times they may see something wrong in their neighbor’s property or life and will just ignore it, rather than letting the neighbor know what was seen or perceived. People are all about minding their own business, unless it affects them or it is juicy gossip.

The greatest need of any person is the need to know Jesus and receive the salvation that He offers to every believer. Most people will not say a word to the person about Jesus, because he does not want to offend the person with the gospel message. Yet, every person has the right to know.

If they have the right to get their property back, which is here today and gone tomorrow, they definitely need Jesus and the salvation He is offering them. Believers must take care of their neighbor and let them have what God wants to give them or has already allowed them to have.

Do not take anything that belongs to your neighbor, but even more so, do not keep back anything from them that can be theirs. God has salvation ready for all who believe. How can your neighbor believe, if you do not tell him.

Take time today to care for your neighbor.

I pray today that you will have God’s love for your neighbor; that you will not take anything that belongs to your neighbor; that you withhold anything that belongs to your neighbor; that you will take care of your neighbor as God takes care of you. 

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Homeless: Sheep VS Goats (Guest Blog)

Here is a blog by Glenn Kaiser, who I follow. He puts out some very good points on homelessness and believers. Please check out his blog. 

Homeless: Sheep Vs. Goats

With permission, I snuck in and sat in the back (next to my wife!) of a kind friend’s seminar on homelessness today. “Snuck in” because it was Deeply Rooted, a women’s fellowship, worship and teaching gathering.

I had no idea Beth was going to discuss The Bonus Army [see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonus_Army ] or key issues of African-Americans immediately after the American Civil War as elements of history to help us understand homelessness.

Indeed, today, Veteran’s Day in the U.S., far too many vets are in deep trouble!

Jesus in Matthew chapter 25 lists 6 things we need to be concerned with if we profess to love God and neighbor; indeed if our attitudes and choices reflect being one of His or not:

To read the rest of the article please go to: Homeless: Sheep VS. Goats

Ezekiel 34:31 You Are His Sheep

You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD. Ezekiel 34:31

In this passage God is upset with the leaders of the temple. They were focused on themselves, rather than the people. He calls them shepherds who are not taking care of their sheep.

Now God calls the people His sheep and that He is their God. He plans to take care of them and meet all of their needs. They are to live with no fear, because He is their good shepherd. This is ultimately seen in Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Jesus provided for His sheep the highest offering one can give, His life.

Going through life, is like walking through a wilderness that one has never been in before. For each person, each step is new and brings with it new challenges.

Walking in the wilderness can bring about things that appear to be dangerous. Things such as briars, poison ivy, and fallen trees. These are the immobile things. Then there are the wild animals and bugs that can cause harm. Some of these things are unseen, until one is right upon them and it is too late. There may also be limited light, because of the tree and bush coverage. This makes it difficult to see the path or things in the way.

As a believer, you can walk with assurance, because God is leading you. He will ensure that you have all that you need, just like a good shepherd takes care of his sheep. If a shepherd’s sheep get harmed or die, it does not do him any good. In the same way, if God’s sheep are harmed, it does Him no good.

God has given His word to be a light to your path. He has given His Son to take away sin, which is the sting of death. God has also given you a mission to do, which provides the nourishment you need. He also provides the peace and rest in the middle of the wilderness you are traveling in.

There will be a day when God calls you home, so that you will no longer have to travel in the wilderness. Until that day, you can trust Him to provide for all of your needs. You are His sheep, His pride and joy.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your shepherd; that you will trust God’s provision for your life; that you will follow God’s lead in your wilderness; and that you will know God’s peace in your life. 

Isaiah 53:7 Quiet In Affliction

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7

The passage that this verse is found in has the most direct prophecy about Jesus of any of the verses in the Old Testament. It gives the reason that Jesus came to the earth. He came to give His life as a sacrifice for the sins of every person.

Here it talks about how Jesus was silent as he was being led to the slaughter. The word slaughter brings about the picture of something being mutilated very badly. He was not just killed in a simple clean way. Before Jesus was even put on the cross, He was beaten and whipped severely, and then had a crown of thorns forced on His head. After all of the extreme brutality done to Him, He was nailed to the cross to hang upon and die. Even while on the cross the people ridiculed Him.

In all of this torture He was silent, because Jesus knew that going through all of that was God’s will for His life. There was a purpose and He hung onto that purpose. That purpose was to bring a full, abundant life to every person on the earth. It had nothing to do with Himself, but everything to do with everyone else.

Being silent is not something easy to do when others are doing wrong to you. People today are very quick to draw up a lawsuit in slander or abuse. Quick to call on authorities to get an arrest made. Quick to throw people in prison or give the a fine.

As you are going through a situation in which someone is slandering you or being rude to you, seek out God’s direction for your actions. Is what is happening occurring because of your belief in God? Or did you actually do something wrong?

If it is because of your belief, ask God to strengthen you to allow Him to be in control. Allow Him to get the vengeance. As Jesus did, show love and mercy. Keep silent while under affliction for Him. Don’t strike back with words that will hurt. Speak in love or keep quiet.

I pray today that you will know the love Jesus has for you; that God will strengthen you to love your enemies; that God will guide you when in affliction; and that you will be a witness of the love of Jesus to everyone.

John 21:17 Do You Really Love Jesus?

“The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:17

One of the last things John records of Jesus is His asking Peter if he loves Him. This question is asked three times. Peter answers, yes, all three times and Jesus responds with the statement to feed His sheep.

It is very easy for people to say that they love someone. Think about children saying that they love their boyfriend/girlfriend. This can start even in elementary age school, but definitely happens in high school. They “love” each other for a while, then something goes wrong and then they start to hate each other and break up. This love is more of a like, than a true love. Many people go into a marriage with this same type of love.

Loving someone is more than just a word. It requires action and a commitment. It requires self-sacrifice for the other person.

As a believer in Jesus, you should show true love to Jesus. God showed His love to everyone in the world by sending His Son to it. Jesus showed His love to the world by dying on the cross for everyone in the world. The goal of God’s and Jesus’ love was to save everyone in the world.

If you really love Jesus, you would have the same goals as He has. You would support His desires. To reach the world you need to tell others about Him. To reach the world you need to teach others how to reach others.

All of this is feeding His sheep. The food is doing the will of God. Remember Jesus said that His food was to do the will of God.

Are you feeding His sheep? Are you telling the lost sheep of Jesus what He has done for them? Do you really love Jesus? Or do you just like Jesus?

I pray today that you will know the love Jesus has for you; that you will learn to love Jesus more; that Jesus will show you ways to feed His sheep; that Jesus will show you ways to love others more; and that you will do the will of God for your life.

John 10:25-26 Do You Believe

“Jesus answered, I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep.” John 10:25-26

Some people came to Jesus during a festival and asked Jesus to tell them directly if He was the Messiah. Jesus tells them that He had already told them but they refused to believe the answer. He tells them to look at the works He has been doing. They refused to believe because they were not really His sheep.

Since Easter has just passed, the question of who Jesus really was has come up a lot. Every year many news articles are done asking that very question.

The world is more than willing to debate who Jesus was. The only thing that they seem to agree with is that He was a very good person. Beyond that He was nothing but just another man.

Many see, with their physical eyes, the miracles Jesus had done or is doing today, yet, they do not see it with their spiritual eyes. They cannot see that those miracles recorded in the Bible and those happening today are a result of who Jesus is.

Jesus was the one who said He will save you if you believe in Him. How many times does a person work at being “good” enough to be saved? People state that they want to believe in Jesus, yet, they do not. They often want more proof of who He is.

In order to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, you must be willing to listen to His voice. You must know His voice. You must know who He is. In all of this you must believe what you know about Him.

Do not keep asking Jesus for more proof of who He is. Look at all the evidence that is already there. Look at the proof that is presented in your own life.

Don’t just look for more miracles. Act upon what you know about Jesus. Trust and obey Him. Show that you believe in Him. Be one of His sheep today.

I pray today that God will open your eyes to who Jesus is; that you will know His voice; that you will obey Jesus; that you will see the works Jesus has done in your life; and that you will tell others of who Jesus is.