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The sheep!

Yesterday I listened to a message by Pastor Michael Youssef titled "The Good Shepherd." Such a wonderful message. I could listen to it over and over again. It was a message on how much God loves matter what. In fact, He loves us so much that He is willing to take on the responsibilities of a shepherd. In the Bible, a shepherd's job was considered the lowest of the lowest. It was a job that no one wanted and one that was normally given to the youngest boy in the family. The job was lonely, dangerous, and dirty. A shepherd spent most of his time; day and night, outdoors. Even on the best of days, tending sheep is not a pleasant job. Many years ago, my husband and I owned a few sheep. They were pets that our children just had to have. You already know the rest of the story. In fact, you've probably been there. The "kids" sheep became the responsibility of mom and dad. I must say that after owning sheep I was left with the impression that "sheep" are the dumbest animals on the planet...or maybe they had the dumbest shepherds on the planet. We were not good shepherd! Why? Because we did not "know" our sheep! We didn't take the time to "know" anything about them. We took care of them, we provided for them but we did not "know" them. When the weather turned warm...and the sheep needed shearing...we came up with the bright idea of shearing them. Worst job in the entire world! Can you guess what was under all that wool? Not to mention the greasy mess that was protecting their skin? Once again, we were not good shepherds! I have a new appreciation for those who shear sheep. Can you imagine though when Jesus stoops down from heaven to take on the "dirty" job of taking care of with us? What dirt are we hiding? What greasy messes lurk beneath? Does Jesus look at us and think "that is the dumbest creature on this planet?" No...because He is a good shepherd! Jesus know His sheep...He knows every single thing about us...and He stoops down to take care of us anyways. He stoops down to redeem us. He stoops down to guide us, He stoops down to care for all of our needs, He stoops down to protect and defend us. And then...He lifts us up! A shepherd's love for his sheep is unconditional. He knows each one of his sheep by name. He knows everything single thing about his sheep. He loves his sheep and would lay down his life for his sheep. Jesus; our good "Shepherd," loves us intimately. He laid down his life for us! He doesn't just love us today or tomorrow He loves us all the way to eternity. (TODAY'S FOOD FOR THOUGHT! How much does God love us? He loves us so much that He fights our battles for us every single day... when we can't fight for ourselves. He protects us when we don't even know we need protection. He knows our strengths and your weaknesses. He knows our limitations. He knows our thoughts before we even think them. He knows what burdens we are carrying. He knows what causes us to stumble. He knows what causes us to fall. He knows what blesses us. He knows what encourages us. He knows us not only by name...He knows us intimately. He knows...and He cares about every single detail in your life! What an AMAZING shepherd! Rest in that love! Know that God sees! Know that God knows! Know that God will provide! A good shepherd knows his sheep... and they know him. When the shepherd calls, his sheep respond. Listen for Gods voice today...when He calls... respond! I have prayed for each of you this morning! “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. Matthew 6:34

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