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

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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.

John 10:4-5 Know His Voice

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:4-5

Jesus was talking about how a shepherd can lead his sheep. When the shepherd leads the sheep, he does so by his voice. He knows each sheep by name. The sheep will follow him because they know his voice. He had also pointed out that only the shepherd enters by the gate. All others will come in from a different way.

Over the next few verses, Jesus states that He is the Shepherd and all believers are His sheep. He is the gate into heaven and He knows every one of His sheep by name.

All true believers will know the voice of God in their lives. They know it by studying the Bible daily, spending time in prayer, and listening to God. Take any one of these things out and you will soon forget the voice of God.

The world tries to tell you that there are many ways to heaven. They are willing to listen to many different voices, including those they do not know.

These voices can sound good and logical, but are false. People will lead you down the path that seems good, but ends up without God. The voice of God is the only one you should follow.

Jesus said that His sheep will flee all other people because they do not know their voice. When someone in the world starts telling you something that is against God, you must run away. Do not stick around and think about what they are saying. If you do, you may end up not hearing God and start following someone else.

When you hear someone speak, match it up against the Word of God. See if it lines up straight or not. Allow God’s Holy Spirit to guide you with His wisdom as to if the statements are true or not, are they of God or not.

I pray today that you will know Jesus in a personal way; that you will recognize His voice; that you will only follow the voice of God; that you will flee the voice of this world; and that you will point others to Jesus.

Matthew 10:16 Sheep Among Wolves

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16

Jesus is giving a few instructions to the disciples as He is sending them out to be a witness. He talks about going just among those in Israel, not to take extra money or food, and only go to those who will listen. Now He tells them to be like sheep among wolves.

Sheep are a very calm type of animal. They do not go around harming anything. Wolves love to eat sheep and will seek them out for easy food.

Then Jesus tells them to be as shrewd as snakes. This is very interesting in the fact that the snake is usually representative of the devil.

Jesus is not saying take on the actions of the snake or the devil, but to be shrewd like the snake. Shrewd is another term for being wise or prudent.

Snakes are very shrewd in that they can sneak quietly up on its prey without being noticed. Some snakes even have a way of mesmerizing its prey till they strike.

As a believer you must be shrewd or wise in the same way. You are sent out into the world where the devil wants to destroy you. The world will fight against you and try to tear you down. You must use wisdom in getting into the enemy’s camp to release some prisoners for Jesus.

Just as a snake does not purposefully place itself in danger, do not do so yourself. Do not give the enemy a reason to strike you other than your stand for Jesus.

This comes to Jesus’ second part: be innocent as a dove. Doves are creatures known as a symbol of peace and innocence.

Live your life in such a way that nothing can be honestly brought against you. The enemy loves to use negative things in your life, do not let him have any. Let the only evidence against you be evidence of your following Jesus. Bring the news of God wanting to make peace with every person.

As you witness be both these things. Do not be harsh and condemning, but full of God’s love and mercy. Go out into the world and be God’s witness today. Go out as a sheep among wolves.

I pray today that God will give you the strength to be His witness; that God will give you the wisdom you need; that you will live a life of innocence; that God will make a way for you into the enemy’s camp; and that God will draw many to Jesus through you and build His kingdom.