There is no more time for hand holding patience. The clock child, the clock! We must be off and there’s no time for dealing with your indolent brothers.
(Ah, if only they had realized the time of their visitation!)
There is much to do. Things will change quickly. You must stay in step. I am moving quickly to gather up those who are ready to listen. I have been preparing hearts everywhere. The harvest is vast! The numbers would frighten you if you knew.
I have a plan. Yes, the laborers are few, but oh-so-carefully chosen!
You have been prepared for this. You are ready. Don’t fear… I am as near as breathing.
“… But, says the LORD,” Jeremiah 30:18Jeremiah 30:18 English: World English Bible - WEB 18 Thus says Yahweh: Behold, I will turn again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have compassion on his dwelling-places; and the city shall be built on its own hill, and the palace shall be inhabited after its own manner.
I wonder how many there are? No I really wonder if you counted, “Would the numbers be staggering?” I’m talking about scattered “sheep.” Those who wanted to be a part of a vibrant and thriving Church, but for one sad reason or more took the back door, left the Church. Said a sad and brokenhearted, “Adios.”
I wonder if the Church is aware… or are they simply clueless?
(Do they even care?)
I saw a man come into the service one winter Sunday. Clothes rather shabby and more than a little soiled, no coat, hair long; matted. He sat on the end of the row, across the aisle. I watched to see what would happen. There had just been a sermon series about “loving others and reaching out” to the community. I wondered, “Would anyone actually reach out this man?” Had any of those high-sounding-sermons made the slightest difference?
No one approached. No one came near him. He left just as he had come, alone.
I thought, “So this is what you call loving outreach?”
Isn’t it tragic that such a large group of people who say LOVE is their highest aim, are so rude and ungracious, and dare I say it? Just downright, mean at times.
(Don’t they get it?)
I want to ask them: Do you think people don’t feel your rejection? Your condemnation? Do you actually believe that your haughty looks, and cold shoulders, don’t matter?
(Not to mention the really mean things I often hear said.)
I’m just one sheep. And I know, I’m probably going to get plenty of flack from Christians for saying these things, but I suppose that’s the point. Isn’t it?
I’m just weary of it. I’m a sheep, too, but doggone it. I don’t want to sit in a room full of people anymore with that mean-spirited “clubhouse” mentality!
(You know the one I mean.)
“Us four… and no more!”
The Super-Saints who regularly meet to show all the other lowly mortals and disgusting sinners, The So-Called-Soiled Outcasts or Lepers, just how super-undesireable, unloved, and unwelcome they are.
Dear Lord, please save us from the Super-Pious who say they are Lovers of Jesus, but who are so obviously Haters of those they consider “the great unwashed.” People who for one reason or another, fail to come up to their moral highground of superior faith and “genuine” Christ-likeness.
And you think you are going to evangelize the world?
With your loveless ultra-superior stony-stares of disapproving-disapproval?
Is that your idea of the kind of love the bible speaks about?
No wonder people are taking the back door of our churches in record numbers!
Why would they not?
“Are we really so clueless?”
(Or, …is the truth a whole lot uglier.)
Those to whom you turn up your noses? The despised? Are people Jesus laid down His life for, too. The scattered. The unwanted. The ignored. The broken. The messy ones.
(You know, the ones you are so disgusted by?)
Scattered sheep matter to God!
You may turn your backs… but my bible says God will not.
…”Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them… For the LORD God says: I will search and find My sheep. I will be like a shepherd looking for his flock. I will find My sheep and rescue them from all the places they were scattered…”
Ezekiel 34:2-6, 11Ezekiel 34:2-6, 11 English: World English Bible - WEB 2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and tell them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed the sheep?
3 You eat the fat, and you clothe you with the wool, you kill the fatlings; but you don’t feed the sheep.
4 You haven’t strengthened the diseased, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought back that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with rigor have you ruled over them.
5 They were scattered, because there was no shepherd; and they became food to all the animals of the field, and were scattered.
6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill: yes, my sheep were scattered on all the surface of the earth; and there was none who searched or sought.
11 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I myself, even I, will search for my sheep, and will seek them out.