Monday, January 7, 2013

The Shepherd's Work

Daily Light from the Lighthouse

"The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd." Ecclesiastes 12:11

There is a power in the words that we speak. We all know that at times our words can be utterly destructive. However, when we use "wise words" we are able to build people up as Christ would. All of us can remember something said to us that not only encouraged us but more importantly taught us. These words have been a guiding force during our lives. I personally can remember several things said to me by a man name Charles Whetsel. Susan and I had only been in ministry for a brief time and desperately needed someone wiser to share with us what they had learned from God. I am still thankful today for the things that I heard Charles speak into my life. Some of them were said directly to me, while others were things that I heard him say to others.
The Scriptures compare these words to three things: 1)They are goads. These wise words prod us on and encourage us to not quit. The driver of the mule or ox knows his animal. He knows exactly when the animal is laboring and faltering. It is at this time that he wisely uses the goad to push the animal forward. If he were to use it all of the time, the beast would kick against it and rebel. However, because the master is wise, the goad is always right on time. Maybe you are ready to throw in the towel. You have labored and are discouraged. Listen to the words of our Master and be steadfast and unmovable, continuing in the Lord's work with the knowledge that your labor is not in vain. 2)Wise words are well-driven nails. A carpenter knows that the placement of a nail is crucial. He knows that you place the nail at a joint or a place of weakness so that it is held fast and strong. Placing a nail at a position where there is nothing to nail into would be futile. God knows our weaknesses, and according to Scripture it is there that He places His strength. He told Paul that His grace (the nail of God's goodness) was made perfect in his weakness. (Just a side note, it was the three nails of faith, hope, and charity that held our Savior to the cross.) 3)Wise words come from THE Shepherd. That wise voice that calls you to Himself is our Shepherd, Jesus Christ. It is His voice you hear, because the sheep know the voice of the Shepherd. When He calls you to Himself, do not hesitate but run to Him. When you fall at His feet, listen intently to His Word and apply those things that you learn their in that place. At times, He will use others to teach us, but always listen to the wisdom of the Shepherd as you hear the words.

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