Image Source: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/466341/Ewe-look-like-a-winner-Cute-lambs-win-our-Spring-Photo-contest (Photo by Raymond Watson).
For the Lord’s Day, October 4, 2015
As I’ve been preparing to preach Psalm 23 in the evening services of October, I’ve been reading a number of books by pastors who had also been actual shepherds in Scotland and East Africa that I’ll be drawing on a lot for lovely illustrations. I’d like to share something I read in J. Douglas MacMillan’s, The Lord Our Shepherd with you here that I hope will encourage you as we keep serving the Lord together in and out of season:
The shepherd moves very quietly in the hills as the lambing season approaches, and the sheep hardly notice he is there. They hardly notice he is there because (and only because) the lambing season is coming … I wondered if what you think of as barrenness is the beginning of a great lambing season again in the churches and in the flock of God … Let us pray that it is.
Beloved, as we plan and prepare our humble neighborhood outreach event this month, as we continue to spread the precious Seed through our community with monthly door-to-door evangelism, as we yet still by God’s grace maintain a weekly radio program, and while we slowly seek to develop a new, tiny, denominational home, may we be encouraged to keep waiting on the Holy Spirit to move when and where He wills. And may these words from The Word once again remind us that our seemingly barren times (at times) may actually prove to be birthing seasons:
Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:6-10)
These were words sent by God to His church to restart the abandoned rebuilding of itself upon barren ruins. And through men like Nehemiah and Ezra along with their people who had a mind and hands to work, God did erect the city walls and His temple anew! And they all surely skipped like lambs once they beheld completed what God had already seen finished!