The body of Christ is the worldwide community of God’s people. We are the sheep of God’s pasture. Jesus is the shepherd who leads us out of the corral into the pasture to fellowship and minister with and to one another.
3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. 4 Whenever he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10
The church corral is different from the corral Jesus spoke about.
The church corral contains the sheep fold and the church clergy never let’s them out. It is full of dust from crowded sheep milling in the corral. The corral hinders one another ministry for three primary reasons: (1) many of the sheep do not feel capable of or free to minister, (2) they are taught that ministry is delegated to clergy, (3) and, one another ministry is difficult when sitting in a pew. The church corral is of man. The words clergy, clergyman and clergywoman do not occur in the Bible. Church buildings were not built until the third century, when the clergy took over. The corral Jesus spoke about was for the sheep fold’s overnight rest and security. In the morning, Jesus the good shepherd led them out to God’s pasture.
Still, we minster to God and one another.
Even if we sit in the pew hindered state, we do have faith in Jesus and we do sing hymns of worship to God. And, in spite of the church corral mentality, we do a lot of one another ministry outside of the church corral. That is primarily, because we only observe the church service order for an hour or two a week. That leaves us many hours in a week to minister to our family, other brothers and sisters of Jesus and the hurting.
Jesus leads us out of the church corral into God’ pastures.
The pastures are where we can let go and let loose and eat like mature sheep with their lambs frolicking in a green pasture. We are free to minister to and with one another. Most of the early saints (holy ones, made holy by the blood of the Lamb) actually gathered in homes to fellowship with and minister to one another. I am gratified to see that more and more elders do not consider themselves clergymen and freely function as shepherds of God’s flock.
David, who tended a flock of sheep as a child, wrote the following Psalm.
1 The LORD is my shepherd:
I shall lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup runs over.
6 Surely goodness and loving kindness shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the LORD’s house forever. Psalms 23
Today, may we hear God’s voice thru Messiah.
1 Oh come, let’s sing to the LORD.
Let’s shout aloud to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let’s come before his presence with thanksgiving.
Let’s extol him with songs!
3 For the LORD is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the deep places of the earth.
The heights of the mountains are also his.
5 The sea is his, and he made it.
His hands formed the dry land.
6 Oh come, let’s worship and bow down.
Let’s kneel before the LORD, our Maker,
7 for he is our God.
We are the people of his pasture,
and the sheep in his care.
Today, oh that you would hear his voice!
8 Don’t harden your heart, as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the wilderness,
9 when your fathers tempted me,
tested me, and saw my work.
10 Forty long years I was grieved with that generation,
and said, “It is a people that errs in their heart.
They have not known my ways.”
11 Therefore I swore in my wrath,
“They won’t enter into my rest.” Psalms 95
A Psalm of thanksgiving.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all you lands!
2 Serve the LORD with gladness.
Come before his presence with singing.
3 Know that the LORD, he is God.
It is he who has made us, and we are his.
We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, and bless his name.
5 For the LORD is good.
His loving kindness endures forever,
his faithfulness to all generations. Psalms 100
May our God “count you worthy of the calling, and may [He] fulfil all the good pleasure of goodness, and the work of the faith in power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and [the] Lord Jesus Christ.” From 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 Young’s Literal Translation.
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