SHEPHERD AND THE SHEEP

(Ezekiel 34:10-29)

 

John 10:7‑14

7      Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8      All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9      I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10    The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

11    I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12    But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13    The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14    I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

 

We are all following someone. Either we follow the hireling who is come to steal and to kill and destroy or we follow our Shepherd and Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Who are you following today?

 

Jesus came and died on the cross that we may have life.  And not just life but the abundant life.

 

Lets look at several reasons this morning to follow the good Shepherd:

 

I. THE GOOD SHEPHERD KNOWS HIS SHEEP

 

        A. I will search them and seek them out  (vs 11)

       

The shepherd knows the breed of sheep he wants to raise. 

He has a purpose in mind for these sheep.  He wants the sheep that will bring the most benefit to him.

 

 

This aspect of searching the sheep - corresponds to God’s choosing His children.

 

Ps 33:12

12    Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

 

Rom 8:28‑29

28    And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

29    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

Eph 1:4

4      According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

 

1 Pet 1:2

2      Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

 

Those who are His have been chosen.

 

God has a purpose in mind for you.  God has chosen those whom He, in His foreknowledge knew would be saved, to accomplish His purpose.

 

I will search them - means He knows them by seeing beyond the exterior to the character and conscience of those He has chosen.

 

Seeking them out means that none will be lost. 

 

By the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.

 

John 4:23

23    But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

 

Luke 15:4‑7

4      What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5      And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6      And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7      I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

 

        B. I will deliver them (vs 12)

 

        1. From sin

 

John 8:32‑36

32    And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33    They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34    Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35    And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36    If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

 

        2. From Satan

 

2 Tim 2:26

26    And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 

        3. From hell

 

Ps 9:17

17    The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

 

Prov 15:24

24    The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

 

        C. I will bring them out (vs 13)

 

This refers to the testimony of a Christian.

Bringing one out of the present environment.

 

The shepherd finds his sheep in whatever state it is, and after determining it is the right breed and a sheep worth the effort purchases that sheep and brings it out.

 

We have been bought with the precious blood of Christ.

Lifted from a life of sin. 

Placed on a solid rock of salvation.

 

When one has been brought out of a life of sin he has no desire to be soiled with the filthy mire of iniquity again.

 

The desire of every Christian should be to live a life pleasing to God.

The one who pulled him from the miry sinking sand pit of sin. 

Who washed him in the blood of Christ. 

Who placed the robe of Christ righteousness upon him.

 

2 Tim 2:3‑4

3      Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

4      No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

 

2 Cor 6:14‑17

14    Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

15    And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

16    And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

17    Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

 

Not only does the good shepherd know his sheep but ;

 

II. THE GOOD SHEPHERD LEADS HIS SHEEP

        A. By gathering (vs 13)

 

This gathering is bringing them into the fold. 

Bringing them together with other sheep whose purpose is the same.

 

 

It is the purpose of the church to bring about unity and fellowship.

 

We are all Christians with a common purpose, to glorify God.

 

We do that by carrying out the great commission.

 

Matt 28:19‑20

19    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20    Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

John 15:16

16    Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

 

John 15:8

8      Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

 

        B. Bring them in (vs 13)

 

This refers to the pilgrimage we experience passing through this world.

God is bringing us in to our own land.

That is heaven.

 

Heb 11:16

16    But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

 

Heb 11:13‑16

13    These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14    For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15    And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16    But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

 

1Thes 4:13‑18

13    But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15    For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

18    Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

        C. I will feed them (vs 14)

 

God will provide our physical needs.

 

Matt 6:33

33    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

Phil 4:19

19    But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

III. GOOD SHEPHERD WILL STRENGTHEN HIS SHEEP

 

        A. Cause them to lie down (vs 15)

 

This refers to the rest offered by our Savior.

 

Matt 11:29

29    Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

 

Heb 4:1-11

 

        B. Bind up the broken (vs 16)

 

Many are broken in this world.  Hearts are broken by abuse. Lies are told to destroy the innocent.  Some place their trust in people and they are let down.

 

But God will encourage those who follow Him.

 

2 Tim 1:7

7      For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

Col 3:16‑17

16    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

17    And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

 

Heb 3:13‑14

13    But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

14    For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

 

        C. Strengthen the sick (vs 16)

 

Some will sicken of this sin ridden world and want to lay down.

 

But God can give back the joy of our salvation.

 

Prov 13:12

12    Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

 

Prov 10:3

3      The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

 

Isa 40:29

29    He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

 

Ps 27:14

14    Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

 

Ps 41:3

3      The LORD will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing: thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.

 

Ps 42:11

11    Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I

shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

 

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