Not of This Pen

I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen.  I must bring them also.  They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.  – John 10:14-16

I have this theory.  I believe that right now there are very few Americans making a real deal attempt to follow Jesus.  If Pew Research Polls are anywhere near accurate, then in the last 10 years we have lost 12% of people who simply say they are a Christian.  The number was 75% 10 years ago, and it is 63% now.  Many people have simply not returned to church since the pandemic.  Youth pastors are reporting that the overwhelming majority of kids simply will not attend group anymore.  

So here is the theory:  If there are a finite number of demons (1/3 of the angels), and the number of Christians in America are declining, then evil can concentrate its efforts on the remaining followers.  The devil already has the sinners who reject Christ.  Evil already has the religious pew warmers who sit and criticize every detail of the church service and complain that it isn’t to their liking.  This leads to a question that we must answer:  Is it worth the devil’s time to come after me?  Am I making enough of an impact on this planet for Jesus that I am worth demonic effort to bring me down?

I read back through some of my posts, and it is crazy how up I am one morning, and completely down the next.  One day I’m on fire, the next I’m feeling sorry for myself.  At first, I beat myself up for this roller coaster ride.  But then I thought, “I just might be worth at least some of the devil’s time.”  People who love their sin more than salvation for the most part are indifferent towards me and the path that I try to lead them to take.  To them, I’m just an old-fashioned, crazy, religious guy missing out on fun.  Church people, mainly those with a religious spirit, despise me and my attempts to draw lost people to the Lord.  I have let these two facts discourage me, when they should be encouraging me.  I am worth demonic effort.  

I know the Good Shepherd.  Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd.”  I’ve never noticed the rest of that verse before where He talks of people that aren’t in “this sheep pen.”  That must mean the Gentiles.  He says, “I must bring them also.”  God is speaking to me in this right now.  I believe He wants me to do most of my work outside the American church walls.  I have been so preoccupied with the possibility of getting back into ministry and preaching inside a church building.  The truth is, there are so many souls outside of those buildings that need to be won.  There are many lost lambs that need to be brought back home.  The more I think about it, I would rather do it this way.  When we read the mighty things that happened in the book of Acts, there were no church buildings.  Why wouldn’t God use me to help win them and bring them back home?  I am willing!  I am available!

Lord, help me to honor You with my life.  Help me to be holy.  Show Your mighty power in me and through me.  Your word says that the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few.  I’m signing up to be a laborer.  Help me do my job for You.  Help me turn off the internet and television and meet with people who are willing to talk about You.  Time is short.  It is appointed unto man once to die, and after this to face judgment.  I want to be ready.  Wash me, cleanse me, and make me new again as I go forth this day.  Amen.

About wednesdaymorningdevotional

I am just a nobody from Salem, South Carolina. I have been a math teacher now for 23 years. I have been publishing devotionals every Wednesday morning for about 10 years now. Thanks for stopping by.
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