‘Little flock’! What a term of endearment and affection that is! This is what Jesus calls His followers, His people, you and me, who belong to Him. Who looks after this ‘little flock’? Jesus Himself. He is the Good Shepherd. He loves His flock. He died for His flock. And we belong to His flock. We’re members of his Kingdom, citizens of heaven. And it’s a place of total safety.
In our world people tend to equate ‘success’ with (financial) independence: providing for ourselves and our family, making a profit, saving for old age, and enjoying the rewards of our labours. There’s nothing wrong with that. But Jesus is talking about a whole other scenario of living: living in the Kingdom of heaven.
There’s something counter-intuitive to our human thinking about living in this Kingdom of Heaven. It’s an upside-down Kingdom from the world’s ways. It’s about having a different focus for our lives. Jesus adjusts our perspective from our old age right to eternity, for eternal life in His Kingdom. It’s about having a different focus for our lives. Jesus adjusts our perspective from our old age right to eternity, for eternal life in His Kingdom.
I believe Jesus is still saying the same thing to us: ‘Fear not, little flock ... for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.’
If I want to experience my Shepherd’s care for me, and His provision for my here and now needs, I have to learn to live His way. And that means giving. It’s not just my money. Indeed, I may not have any money. But it’s about giving of myself, my energies, my love, my care, my time, all I am and have, as He directs me day by day.
I am learning this. The funny thing is that, as I go along, it becomes easier to give. It doesn’t feel as risky as it used to. And that’s because my trust in my Shepherd is growing. As I give, I find Him meeting all my needs as they come. I also know that He gives me peace about the future. I don’t know what’s coming, but I do know that my Good Shepherd has it all in hand. And He’ll be there for me when it comes.
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