Jeremiah 23:1 Woe To The Bad Shepherds

“Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:1

God was preparing to destroy Judah because of the sins of the people. He gave many warnings that it would happen. Even though this was God’s plan, there were many of the leaders of the temple that were trying to say something different. They had their own priests and prophets saying that God would bring about peace. They were also leading the people into the sin of following false gods. The people were being destroyed and scattered because of the way they were being led.

God gives them a warning that He would punish them for doing this. As He would destroy them, He would also bring out a remnant of the people, who they were leading wrong, to restore and build up again.

Shepherds are the ones who are supposed to lead the sheep to the best food and water. They are to protect them from the enemy. If the slack off on any of their duties, the sheep will scatter and be destroyed.

Ministers, preachers, and evangelists are always considered the shepherds or leaders of the people in the church. Although this is true, that does not mean that other people are not shepherds also. Many people, who are not preachers, also are leaders of other people. They are the ones who lead and guide some people in the walk in this life. Many are parents, while others are teachers, or mentors, or bosses of others.

People today are teaching or leading others down paths of sin that are against God. False teachings are being taught in the churches, as though it is God’s word. Prophecies are being made that God will overlook sinful acts, because of His great love. Prayers for God’s peace are being made, without a call to repentance from sin. Adultery, drunkenness, lying, cheating, gossiping, stealing, jealousy, hatred, oppression, racism, and many other sins are accepted in the church as acceptable. These are just a few ways of destroying and scattering God’s sheep. God will hold them accountable.

As a believer, you must correctly speak God’s word. Speak the truth in love at all times. Do not allow yourself to be guilty of destroying His sheep, because you spoke of God’s word in a false way. Seek God’s direction in His word as you live it and lead others with it.

I pray today that you will know God’s word in truth; that you will speak God’s word in truth; that you will not be guilty of leading others wrong; and that God will strengthen you to live in righteousness for Him.

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Don’t Be Afraid: Good News

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11

While some shepherds were out tending their sheep, suddenly an angel appeared in the sky, causing the shepherds to be afraid. He told them to not be afraid because he was there to bring some great news. This news was that a savior had been born.

At the time of this event, Israel had already been destroyed as a nation for several hundred years, and the Romans were in control. The Romans were very harsh in that if they did not serve Rome correctly, they would be killed or put in prison. The people had to pay a very high tax to support the Roman government. There appeared to be no hope for them at all.

Today, nearly 2,000 years later, many people live as if there is no real hope. Everything seems to be falling apart and chaos seems to reign. Bills are due, vehicles break down, families fight, there are wars and violence everywhere, crime seems to be winning, corrupt lifestyles appear to be gaining power, and no one appears to be in control.

In spite of all that is going on in this world or in your personal life, there is still good news. Jesus said that you are not to let your heart be troubled and to just trust in Him, because He will give you His peace.

Jesus was the Savior who was born that day in Bethlehem. He was the One who the angels said was good news. He is still the good news for you today.

Just as Jesus was the Savior for the shepherds and Israel, He can be your Savior today. Even though everything may look hopeless in this world, Jesus brings a hope for a future, an eternity in heaven filled with abundant life.

Accept what Jesus is willing to give you today. Trust that He is the One who will save you. Rejoice that God is still bringing good news to everyone as you celebrate Christmas today!

Have a very Merry Christmas!

I pray that today you will know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior; that you will know the peace God is providing you; that you will not be afraid of this world; and that you will tell others about Jesus.