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Do You Know the Shepherd?

On board a cruise ship, the entertainment after the evening dinner was a famous singer; however he became ill a few hours before and cancelled the show.   The ship’s entertainment director hit upon an idea to fill in for him.   After dinner, she told the audience they would make their own entertainment and begin to ask if anyone would like to come up on stage and sing a song, recite poetry, a short story or do something else.   At first no one volunteered, but a man in the front stood up and he was immediately recognized as a famous New York lawyer.   He went up on stage and said he would read the 23rd Psalm.    After reading it, there was a tremendous ovation as he was an excellent orator.   Many were applauding how well, how beautifully he read it.   After the lawyer, others got up and did different things and finally no one else volunteered.   The entertainment director then told the audience that if no one else wanted to volunteer, that would end the show.   Just then, an older gentleman in the back raised his hand and she motioned him to come up on stage.   She asked him where he was from and what he did for a living.   He said he was a preacher and gave a small town in Texas.   He said he wanted to do recite the 23rd Psalm also.    When he finished, there was silence as he walked back to his table and a young man leaned over to his wife and was overheard saying, “You know the lawyer knew the words, but the preacher knows the Shepherd”.

Where are you at today?   Do you know the words or do you know the Shepherd?   It is extremely important to know the words, that is, know what the Bible teaches.   Many today do not know the Bible and you cannot know what to do for salvation if you do not know your Bible.   God speaking through the Apostle Paul said in Romans 10:17:

17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

Your faith, your belief and trust comes by hearing and understanding what God teaches.   It is a simple concept and applies in learning any subject.   If you want to work in a specific occupation, such as engineering, nursing or policeman or other profession, you know and understand that you have to get training at college or some sort of trade school.   They give you a degree or certificate that you can take to a perspective employer that will get you in the door for an interview.   Without that training, you will not have a chance at that job.   Now that is a simple concept we all understand.   With that in mind, how will you understand what is needed for salvation.   Yes, you need Bible study as an ongoing process your entire life to improve your understanding and knowledge of what God teaches in scripture.  

But there is a second part to this knowledge and that is what the young man meant when he told his wife that the lawyer knows the words but the preacher knows the Shepherd.    Again, it is good you know scripture and never stop studying your Bible, however all the knowledge in the world will not do you any good unless you apply it in your life.   There must be an application in order to be saved.   Listen to the words of Jesus in Luke 6: 46-49:

46 "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? 47 "Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. 49 "But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great."

In verse 46 Jesus is talking about people who hear what he is teaching, understands that he is the Lord, but you can sense the voice of frustration here, as he says they do not act upon that knowledge.   In verse 47, he clearly ties both thoughts together; hearing what he is saying then acting on it, then gives us an illustration to make sure we understand exactly what He is talking about.   In verses 48 and 49 Jesus compares the building of two houses, one was laid deep into the rock, the foundation (Jesus is the rock, the foundation, read Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 3:11; 1 Cor. 10:4) and the other was built on the ground and when trouble came, the one built on Christ could not be shaken and the one build on the ground, the one who did not act on what Jesus taught, collapsed.  

Where are you today?   Have you heard the word of God and not acted upon it.   If so, it is never too late in this life on earth.   Listen to God speaking through the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 6:1-2:

1 And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain— 2 for He says, "AT THE ACCEPTABLE TIME I LISTENED TO YOU,
."  Behold, now is "THE ACCEPTABLE TIME," behold, now is "THE DAY OF SALVATION"—

We welcome you and please join with us at church on our journey to Heaven.   There is no day like today.

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