Posts Tagged 'sheep'

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”  ~ Mt 7:15

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Here are some typical pictures of wolves in sheep’s clothing:

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And here is a picture of what wolves in sheep’s clothing REALLY look like:

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 You will know them by their fruits, not their looks. Not their personalities or mannerisms, not by the way they talk nor even many of the words they say some  cases… It may take a lot of time for fruits to be manifested. Hence the need to be well-schooled in the Word of God, lest we be taken in by their big brown eyes, sweet faces and soft, fluffy wool.

“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thron bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit; but the bad tree bears bad fruit.” ~ Mt 7:16,17

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Silly Sheep

The Bible often refers to God’s people as sheep. Jesus, asking Peter if he loved Him, told him to “Feed my sheep”.  The psalmist places himself in the position of a sheep when he claims the Lord as his shepherd. Jesus, Himself, in John 10 calls himself the Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for the sheep.

If you know anything at all about sheep, you must know they are renowned for being stupid and flighty. They tend to be herd bound, will drink bad water if they find it, inexplicably leave good pasture to feed on weeds… And they are very fearful. Of almost everything.

Well, the following video serves as a great visual for just how fearful they are of things that don’t warrant any fear whatsoever (much like human beings) and how they will let habit, and something that moves in the right ways drive them hither and yon (or just keep them in the barnyard), regardless of whether that something has any real power over them.

So maybe the following is not only a great visual aid, but a wonderful metaphor as well.

With that I present… Champis the swedish rabbit, who has learned to herd sheep from watching the trained sheepdogs. In fact, a sheep dog trainer says the rabbit does it better than most dogs!

Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us and not we ourselves.
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.
~Psalm 100

Happy Thanksgiving!

(I’ll be back next week with Part 3 of my Journal Entry series)

Guilt is a Sin

Guilt, according to the American Heritage dictionary is

  1. Remorseful awareness of having done something wrong.
  2. Self-reproach for supposed inadequacy or wrongdoing.

It’s a sin because it’s adding to the work of our Lord on the cross. If He took all the punishment for all our sins — and He did — then why would we feel we need to punish ourselves?

1 Jn 1:9 says, “If we confess, [name, cite] our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Jeremiah 3:13 says, “Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the LORD your God…”

Acknowledging that you have sinned carries no merit. You’re just agreeing with God that what you’ve done/said/thought is a sin, and at that point He forgives you the sin and cleanses you from all unrighteousness. The cleansed vessel of the soul is then suitable to be filled or controlled by God the Holy Spirit and fellowship is restored.

Guilt — beating yourself up for what you’ve done — has no place in that. It’s human works, human effort to atone, to make sure you’ll never do it again… I struggle a lot with the guilt function so I’ve had ample opportunity to consider it in all its ramifications and it really is quite arrogant. After all the word of God says our hearts (the way we think and perceive the world and ourselves) are deceitful and desperately wicked, that from the tops of our heads to the bottom of our feet, there’s no soundness in us, that we are stubborn and willful and none of us in ourselves is good. Not even one. (Ro 3:10)

We were all born in sin, we still have the sin nature after salvation. We are going to sin. We are going to make mistakes. We’re stupid sheep, we are easily entangled in sin and deception… guilt assumes that we can do better. Guilt assumes that somehow our sin is an aberration, a shock, something we should very well be able to avoid. If only we’d work hard enough or hurt bad enough, then we won’t do it again. It’s the flesh’s mode of self-improvement, and like all else the flesh produces, God finds it disgusting.

Guilt is something that has motivated me almost all my life, something carried over from my first 21 years as an unbeliever.  I’ve talked about it on this blog before… that feeling that I must do X or something bad will happen. Usually the “something bad” is that “they” will think poorly of me. But who is they?

At first I had no idea, but gradually I realized it’s something in my own conscience. Not something based on the word of God, but on stuff I picked up as a child and internalized. It doesn’t matter if God says there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, if my conscience says I should do or be a certain way, then that’s all that matters. If I fail to toe the line, then my conscience will punish me.

Because, apparently, Jesus didn’t do enough. Because, apparently God really didn’t mean it when He said there is nothing good in us, and that the only way to actually live the Christian way of life is the same way as we received it… by grace, through faith.

You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing (the Gospel) with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?   ~ Galatians 3:1-3


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