One of the truest remarks I have ever heard in the course of a sermon was at CLAN Gathering. I do wish what I heard was not true, but unfortunately it is. Dr.Jack Deere was preaching and he said that all over the world he discovered people in churches who were suffering from sheep bite! He said this is one of the first revelations to come to pastors; sheep do bite! Sheep can bite sheep; sheep can bite the Shepherd; Shepherds can bite the sheep! Bites hurt….
If you go to a church this Sunday, whether you are a sheep or a Shepherd, I really do hope that no one bites you. Unfortunately that cannot be guaranteed as it is not guaranteed in Scripture and experience tells me there are quite a few horrible Christians around! However by God’s grace and the asked for help of the Holy Spirit you can be in control of you. If you are a sheep I pray that you will realise it is in your control not to bite and not to bite back. If you are a Shepherd, don’t bite the sheep in your sermon especially if you are carrying a lot of sheep bites at the moment. Pastors, as one who understands your calling, I know how easy it is to be misled by a counterfeit anointing of cleverness which can lead us to try to cut the legs away from any who may be opposing us under the guise of preaching the gospel, and to forsake the anointing of true wisdom from above that pastors especially need and which has good fruit if we are patient. Resist the deliciously clever remark that comes to mind to slip into the sermon because you have just seen so and so is there in the congregation. It is unlikely to be of the Holy Spirit but is more likely to be your flesh bursting through. They will either miss what you say, or misuse it. Cleverness usually makes matters worse.
As far as it depends on you, shepherds and sheep, may God help you to have a bite free Sunday. May the Chief Shepherd who was brought alive again from the dead be with His appointed shepherds and with the flock. When He was reviled He opened not His mouth: this the Lamb of God and this is the Shepherd we follow.
May the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be with you.
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