Abundant Life–Gifts of the Good Shepherd, Day 14

The past two days we have been learning about the responsibilities of shepherds so we can better understand the role of Jesus as our Good Shepherd. Here is our working list:

  • Most shepherds take care of sheep, although they may be responsible for goats as well. Many shepherds must be on call for their animals around the clock. In the same way, our Good Shepherd is always on call!
  • A shepherd’s primary responsibility is the safety and welfare of the flock. He is our faithful and trustworthy GOOD Shepherd.

And now a third:

3) Unlike other animals that shed their hair in the spring, many breeds of sheep must be shorn — have their fleece cut off with shears or clippers. An experienced shepherd is expected to shear up to 125 ewes a day without nicking or cutting the skin, and to remove the fleece intact.

Shearing is a Shepherd’s harvest. It is the time that the “fruit” of the “crop” of sheep is gathered.

John 15:16 says:

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

Even if the “harvest” is not for the benefit of others, it is healthiest for the sheep. Wool sheep cannot be left to go without shearing. The wool continually grows and will become heavy, soiled and unhealthy if not annually sheared.

Whatever is growing in you—in your heart and soul and spirit, in your actions and words—that is your wool. Sometimes it is pretty and helpful to others. That is when it is a good harvest for the Lord. Sometimes it is dirty and unhealthy. It still needs to be sheared and shared. Even the dirtiest wool has purpose. God can use any and every situation for His Glory.

A sheep without her fleece is pretty naked looking, and her nakedness exposes a lot. On shearing day any flaws in the ranch feed and health program are glaringly obvious.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 says:

Now all has been heard;

    here is the conclusion of the matter:

Fear God and keep his commandments,

    for this is the duty of all mankind.

For God will bring every deed into judgment,

    including every hidden thing,

    whether it is good or evil.


These are sobering words.  We would do well to remind ourselves of this verse on a daily basis!  If your “shearing” reveals gaps in your spiritual health, use it as a time to make changes and move on. Ask the Lord of the Harvest to produce the good fruit of the Spirit in your life—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. With this fruit of the Spirit, you will experience the abundant life God intended for you to have, and you will bring glory to the One who saved your soul. Praying for you today!


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