July 20
‘And you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—remain in him.’ 1 John 2:27b
Bible reading: Ezekiel 34:1-12 (Go to the Bible passage)
In a world that does not reckon with God the right of the strongest always prevails. However, in the Kingdom of God - and therefore also in the world where God reigns - we live by a totally different law: the right of the weakest! It may surprise us, but the Bible is full of it. But - because we can hardly believe that God Himself will be our Judge in our all weaknesses - we so often do our best to be strong: strong in faith, strong in zeal, in prayer, and so on. With great diligence we try to forcefully maintain the order of the church and its doctrine. We do not dare to be weak and to expect really everything and anything from God.
Therefore, this warning to the shepherds. Shepherds are surely allowed to eat the slaughtered sheep and to clothe themselves with the wool that comes from the flock, but only if they understand their duty and really take care of the flock. Nothing had come of this: ‘You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. (…) You have ruled them harshly and brutally.’ The consequences followed naturally: ‘My sheep wandered (…) and no one searched or looked for them’, except robbers who drove them together for their own benefit.
What a clear image of our time. How many people with a sectarian spirit manage to herd people around them because the souls of the believers often do not find spiritual food in the church. But God does not forget His wandering sheep. ‘I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.’
Let us thank God for His Spirit Who will lead us in all truth, so that we no longer will be dependent on renegade shepherds.

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