Some time ago I heard the true story of a local shepherd and his sheep dog. Early every day he and the dog would follow the same path round his fields, checking to see that his sheep were safe and healthy. This routine was followed for a number of years. Eventually the old shepherd died, but his widow was surprised the next morning when the dog asked to be let out at the usual time. As she watched, the dog set off in the usual direction and he returned some time later, having done the full round, carrying on the work of checking on the sheep as his master had done, and he continued doing the same thing every day until he, too, died. Obviously the sheepdog was unable to check on the sheep in the same way that his master had done, but he faithfully continued to do what his master had taught him to the best of his ability.
A faithful disciple will follow his, or her, master as closely as possible and Jesus taught His disciples to do all the things that He did, showing compassion to all the ‘lost sheep of Israel’, and teaching the disciples how to minister healing and deliverance to those who needed help. When He sent them out on their missionary journeys, they discovered that they could, indeed, do the things He did and they came back rejoicing (Luke 10: 17). He gave them, and us, the Great Commission, and the power and authority in the Holy Spirit and in His name, to carry on His good work.
This work doesn’t always have to be in a church setting or during an evangelical outreach, (though if we are intending to minister deliverance we should always make sure we have proper spiritual covering), but in our daily meetings with friends and neighbours we can show Jesus’ care and compassion for those around us, and offer to pray for them when appropriate. It has been said that while not many people read the Bible, they will ‘read’ those of us who claim to know Jesus! Are they getting a picture of the faithful servant carrying out his Master’s wishes?
Prayer: Dearest Father, It is my prayer that one day You will be able to say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, but I know that there are many occasions when I let You down. Please forgive me, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit of love and compassion for those I meet, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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