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Monday, March 24, 2014

Shepherding The Sheep

So many times I turn on my radio to hear teaching from my local Christian radio
station while driving, only to turn it off with in a few minutes. Why?


Because invariably the man teaching is essentially beating up on the sheep. The whole tone of his message is negative and really robs the listener of hope and joy. I wonder to myself, if anyone who is a non Christian were to hear their message would they be driven away from accepting Christ and the Christian life?


Today's teaching by pastor Jim Ewing shines the spot light on this mistreatment of God's people. 



Leadership From God's Perspective

John 3:16 - 18

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

I'd like to emphasize here and now that for the Christian, the issue of forgiveness is forever settled ...

Christ settled it on the cross, and His resurrection from the dead guarantees our own resurrection unto life eternal. Condemnation therefore is not an issue with the genuine believer. But what about the discipline of the Lord?

I believe that there is some confusion nowadays concerning His rebuking of His own. There is something presently existing in the Church today concerning the chastisement of God that I believe flies in the face of His own intention. We must always remember that God LOVED His fallen creation, and didn't stop loving us when we fell. He gave us His Son to not only take away our sins, but also raised Him from the dead, so that we could have eternal life! Christ's resurrection guarantees our own...

The thing that is so missing in today's Church is the RESTORATIVE aspect of the Lord's rebuking of His children. There is always a divine purpose in Godly rebuke. It is never to bury us in our own guilt- just imagine how easy that would be for Him to do if He didn't love us with an everlasting love!- but rather, God's chastisement always has in mind the intention of bringing us OUT of our present defeated condition, and- here it is... restoring us in PRACTICE what is already POSITIONALLY ours!

You might never know this from some who might want to use their 'authority' to CONTROL those whom God has placed under their care. This must be addressed and corrected immediately! Those whom God has placed in authority over us in a pastoral or leadership sense, have the God-given responsibility to lead us in the way of godliness and righteousness- never for their own ends, never to lord it over a person or group of people, or to further his own agenda, but always for encouraging the sheep entrusted under his care to follow the Savior with all of their hearts.

 Coercion and intimidation are never God's way, and anything or anybody that would steer you away from seeking the Lord FOR YOURSELF through prayer, reading His word, and worshiping Him and Him only, should be avoided.

Again- God does and will rebuke and chastise His own:

 Proverbs 3:11 & 12- "My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of His correction; For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth." 

 and Hebrews 12: 7 & 8 "If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then ye are bastards, and not sons."

Do you see the restorative nature in God's discipline? It is always done in love, it is always for our highest good. Why?

Because He loves us with an everlasting love! Beloved, do not ever let condemnation- regardless of the source- grab a hold of you- in any manner shape, or form... You, Christian, are His joy, and His shining pride- Never forget that!

En Agape, pastor Jim

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