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Thursday, March 16, 2023
This kid goat and lamb are kept in the same pen on the Old Windmill Farm and have become good friends, always eager to greet curious guests to the farm! (Can you tell which is the goat and which is the lamb? Their faces look alike but look at the hair on their bodies for a clue.)
"We All, Like Sheep, Have Gone Astray"
Message summary: “We all, like sheep, have gone astray”. Have you returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul?
Listen to our message on your audio player.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Peter 2:25).
We were out on the rural roads of Lebanon and Lancaster Counties on Tuesday and saw lots of sheep and many lambs. We'll share some photos below our message today.
Seeing these sheep and lambs reminds us of the many Bible stories and illustrations about sheep. There is much to consider as we look at sheep in relation to the Great Shepherd. The Bible frequently uses the image of a shepherd and sheep to demonstrate man’s relationship with God.
In fact it begins as early as Genesis 49:24 and continues through the final book of Revelation 7:17. Of course the most beloved and comforting passage using this metaphor from the Old Testament is Psalm 23, “The Lord is My Shepherd”. In the New Testament the most familiar passage is our Lord’s words, “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11).
Isaiah, in the great chapter concerning the Messiah, bluntly states our plight as humans, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). Indeed we have all gone astray, for “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
Sheep gone astray are sheep now surrounded by danger since they have no ability to protect themselves. They are the first domesticated animal mentioned in the Bible, "Abel was a keeper of sheep" (Genesis 4:2).
They’re at the mercy of other predatory animals and aren’t built for speed even if they do run. They’re easily lost with no GPS to find their way home. Poisonous weeds look just as inviting as green pastures for grazing. Much like the sheep that face lethal enemies daily, we too deal with an enemy Peter describes as “the devil [who] prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
We've all gone astray. Peter reinforces this, “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls”. Have you returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your soul? Although the Shepherd seeks the lost sheep, we have a free will. Are you in His fold of safety today? If you’re in His fold, rejoice; life’s biggest problem has been resolved!
If you have gone astray and away from the sheepfold return to Him. Hear the voice of the Shepherd calling to you, “Come home!” Respond to the beckoning voice of the Great Shepherd today for today is the day of salvation. Any fleshly temptation to indulge in passing pleasure pales in comparison to being under this Shepherd’s steadfast love and care.
This morning we were listening to WDAC, our local Christian station. Yesterday they announced that police in York were searching for a missing juvenile, 13-year-old Tyleea Elliot, last seen in the area of Pattison Street wearing a red jacket and blue jeans. The update this morning is that Tyleea was found so the announcer was rejoicing and thanking God that the missing teen was home safe. We rejoice with the family as well and consider the joy when a lost one is found.
Take note of the word "Overseer" in our second daily text as well. This is the only place in the entire Bible that the underlying Greek word “episkopos” ("bishop" in the KJV) is used in a description of God. It means “one who watches over or superintends”.
That’s what I need for my soul today and so do you. For any straying that I have done, whether in the physical realm or in the wanderings of my soul, I have returned to that Great Shepherd and Overseer of my soul and I never want to be lost again! Praise the Lord!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen and Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we thank You for the great Shepherd of the sheep, who equips us with everything good for doing His will, and who works in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Help us to always have a heart to follow the Great Shepherd and not wander in treacherous territory where the roaring lion seeks to devour us. Amen. (See Hebrews 13:20,21).
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
Nick, an 80+ year old friend commented on yesterday's message with this wisdom: "It seemingly takes a lifetime to learn how much time we've wasted "chasing after the wind." Wish someone had taught me this very early in life."
"All We Like Sheep" Click to listen on YouTube Don Moen
"Psalm 23" Click to listen on YouTube Shane & Shane
"The Lord's My Shepherd" Click to listen on YouTube Stuart Townend
Click to listen on Yo
These sheep were in a barnyard on Elizabethtown Road in Lebanon County.
Looks like this barn has seen its better days but is still functional! I rather doubt that these sheep compare their living quarters with some of the sheep who are housed in rather elaborate barns built in our area.
Brooksyne walked toward the pen and managed to get a close-up before they scattered. As you might well guess once she gets close they all jump to their feet to check out the approaching stranger. They're not as alarmed as they are curious.
These sheep and lambs are on Milton Grove Road, Lancaster County. There were many more housed within the doors of the barn.
These sheep and lambs were grazing on Hereford Road in Lancaster County.
Our little Maltipoos lay beside me as I work. Brooksyne gave them a good clipping which they don't seem to mind unlike Sadie who does (our Shih tzu/Lhasa apsa). From the time they joined our household in November they have reminded us of little lambs. In fact there is a specific Maltipoo lamb hair cut that strives to resemble the appearance of a baby sheep, but when Brooksyne clips she has only one goal: cut it short and get the hair away from their eyes and out of their mouths. Goal accomplished!
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