Fairview Baptist Tabernacle
Saturday, May 26, 2018
Staying Connected
 Archived Pastor's Desk 2018.05.06



May 6 – May 12




Scripture Passage: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”             John 10:27


Dear Friends,


     The land of Israel is found in a part of the world known as the Fertile Crescent.  You would be amazed at how when you travel you go from areas of lush vegetation to those of barren rocks and scarce greenery.  The areas with olive, date, and fig trees will often have a group of sheep grazing around their base.  Our guide laughed when he said they provided free pruning for the caretakers.  During the rainy season there is lush vegetation growing all over the rocky outcroppings which make up such a majority of the land. It is very common to see sheep there most of the time.   In other areas, it appears to be a desert with no vegetation and no life – except for sheep and a lonely shepherd.  There are little tufts of grass that are barely visible to the naked eye, so the sheep found grazing in these areas are spread out looking for anything to make a meal on.  The common denominator is there is always a shepherd.  You may not see him, but he is somewhere close by keeping a watch over the sheep.  Sometimes the sheep do not even know where he is, but he knows where they are. 


     Isn’t that just like the human population?  There are many who get to live in the land of plenty and munch on the dates, figs, and olives of the garden.  Others live in the surrounding areas of rock and grass.  They have less of the luxuries, but plenty to eat and with a little work everything they could possibly want.  Then there are the poor. They cannot seem to get ahead, but are constantly moving from place to place looking for work, a place to sleep and a little something to keep them fed.  Most of us look and say we do not know how they make it.  But they do.  The car they drive is just good enough to get them around to where they need to be.   The money they have available is just enough to pay rent and utilities.  Whatever they have left goes to supplement their meal plan.  A lot of what they eat is what they grow.  Not all poor people live off government supplements.  Many work hard.  There is never a surplus, but with God’s help there is always just enough.  And so, the landscape is dotted with fat sheep and skinny sheep.  Lots of sheep in one place and few sheep in another.  They all look alike from a distance, but when you get up close and personal, evidence of their hardships become visible.  There is no way I can know all the sheep, where they come from, and what they are going through, but I do know THE SHEPHERD.


     THE SHEPHERD is consistently and constantly looking out for the welfare of the sheep.  If they will but follow, he will lead them to green pastures, still waters, and safety of the fold.  Sheep are easily distracted and if their focus becomes single minded, they often stray off.  By the time they realize what has happened, they are lost, scared and alone. The wonderful thing is The Shepherd knows each and every sheep by name and recognizes when one strays and does everything possible to bring it back in the fold.  It is when a sheep strays off and attempts to function alone that it becomes susceptible to wolves and jackals.  As long as it is under the watch care of The Shepherd, it is under his protection.  The varmints may attack the sheep, but they will have to go through The Shepherd to destroy them.  Even in those times of trouble, the sheep recognize the voice of THE SHEPHERD and flee to Him for refuge.  THE SHEPHERD loves and cares for the sheep so much that He is willing to lay down His life for them.  Our GREAT SHEPHERD has done all of this and so much more.  This SHEPHERD IS JESUS and He has given His life for you.  Will you trust his guidance and follow where He leads, or will you attempt to be your own shepherd?  The choice is yours.


In Christ,


Pastor Johnny





Pastor Johnny



Pastor Johnny