Home> The Lower Lights> Sept 2003





  Alan Jones, Editor

  (734) 942-7956




"Brightly beams our Father's mercy

From the lighthouse evermore;

But to us He gives the keeping

Of the light along the shore."

       Published monthly by the church of Christ, 35900 Palmer Road, P.O. Box 86-233, Westland, MI  48186     

Volume 3                                                                        September 2003                                                                             No3 




   Sheep are one of the most helpless animals.  They must have constant attention and care from a shepherd to survive.  In no way is this more evident than in their need of leadership.  Sheep are notorious creatures of habit.  They have no sense of what is best for them.  If left to themselves, they will go back and forth on the same trails until they are muddy ruts.  They will graze the same hills until they have totally consumed the green grass, even gnawing its very roots.  The well-worn areas then become fertile breeding grounds for parasites that attack the sheep.  Sheep must be led from pasture to pasture or the land will be ruined and the sheep will become thin and sickly and die.

            It is no wonder that the creature that men are compared to in the Scriptures is the sheep.  When Jesus saw men, He saw them as sheep without a shepherd (Mk 6:34).  He saw men who did not know how to direct their own steps (Jer 10:23).  He saw men who had no sense of what was best for them.  They were walking in the same destructive habits of attitude, speech, and actions until their paths were nothing but muddy ruts.  If we are honest, we too, will admit “all of us like sheep have gone astray,” (Isa 53:6) to the ruin of our lives on earth and, worse yet,  to the ruin of our relationship with God.  “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death (separation from God).” (Prov 14:12).

Evidence of man’s need for guidance is abundant in our own lives, as well as in the society we live in.  Philip Keller, a shepherd and the  author  of  A  Shepherd  Looks At Psalms 23,


put it so well, “Broken homes, broken hearts, derelict lives and twisted personalities remind us everywhere of men and women who have gone their own way.  We have a sick society, struggling to survive on beleaguered land.  The greed and selfishness of mankind has left behind a legacy of ruin and remorse.” 

When Jesus saw men as sheep without a shepherd, He began to teach them many things (Mk 6:34).  God would lead us, if we would but let Him instruct us.  As He taught the Israelites when He led them in the wilderness, “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord” (Dt 8:3).  “All Scripture is inspired by God (that is, “breathed out of His mouth”) and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17).  As the Psalmist said, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105). 

Do you want to love life? Do you want to see good days?  Let God’s Word guide you so that you “turn away from evil and do good” ((1 Pet 3:9-11).  Then you will rejoice as David to say, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.  He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake… Surely goodness and loving-kindness will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Ps 23:1-3,6)



Man needs God for his very life, for help through life’s difficulties, and for guidance in how to live, but his deepest need of God is his need of salvation.  “All of us like sheep have gone astray” (Isa 53:6).  When we left the path that God would have us to walk, we sinned against Him and fell short of His glory (Rom 3:23).  A pure, holy, and righteous God could no longer have fellowship and friendship with us.  We became spiritually “dead” or separated from God after our sin, as Adam and Eve did after their sin in the Garden of Eden (Gen 2:17).  We became God’s enemy (Rom 5:10) and can expect nothing but His wrath (Eph 2:3) and the painful punishment of hell (Mk 9:43-48),  “eternal destruction, away from the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess 1:9).

            But, though as sheep, “each of us has turned to his own way”, “the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him”, that is on Jesus, who fulfilled Isaiah 53:6.  Our Good Shepherd is also our Savior, as He was willing to lay down His life for the sheep (Jn 10:11).  Jesus “Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross” so that by His wounds we can be healed (1 Pet 2:24).  In His agonizing death the penalty for  man’s  sins  was  paid and God found a way


to be just and merciful at the same time (Rom 3:26).  He no longer must count our sins against us (2 Cor 5:19).   Therefore our relationship with Him can be restored and He can view us as “holy and blameless and beyond reproach” (Col 1:21-22).   Justified by the blood of His Son, we can be saved from His wrath (Rom 5:9) and have the hope of an eternal relationship with Him in heaven (1 Pet 1:3-4).

Please meditate on the Scriptures above, as well as the song below.  Be moved to respond to God in obedient faith.  Realize that if you do not obey Jesus’ gospel and let Him pay for your sins now with His blood, you will receive God’s wrath and pay for them in hell for all eternity.

“Soul, a Savior thou art needing, Soul a Savior waits for thee!  Hear His words of tender pleading, Hear His gracious ‘Come to Me.’  He has died for thy transgressions, If thou wilt, thou canst be free; Soul, He waits for thy confession, ‘Savior, I will go to Thee.’  Do not linger till the morrow, Let thy loving answer be, ‘Savior, in my joy or sorrow, I will ever go to Thee.’  He is calling, softly calling, on thine ear His voice is falling; He is calling, softly calling, ‘Come to Me and be at rest.’”  --  Jesse Brown Pounds



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