SHEEP SAFELY GRAZING…….Read John 10: 7-16

It’s just plain amazing how many sheep are grazing on the hills of England!  And not just  out our front door, and over the moat which keeps those sheep in their fields and us enjoying the privacy and the views here at the Old Manor House in Hadzor, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, England–but everywhere we travel driving on the left side of the road as best we can!  Jesus says in the Gospel of John chapter 10 verse 7 that He is ‘the door of the sheep’.  He is the Way to go.  The entryway , the passageway–all through Jesus alone.  When we arrived here at the Old Manor House, the housekeeper Debbie warned us about closing the gates behind us when we go walking to the dock area at the adjacent Worcester-Birmingham Canal–to keep the sheep from wandering off and creating a real problem for the owner of this house and probably for us as the renters.!  It’s such fun watching the sheep grazing here and there, eating grass all day long, once in a while eating apples that are still on the lower branches of the trees or some that have fallen to the ground, following each other around eating…grazing…eating.  What a life!  And they probably think the same of us!  Our sheep here are kept in a large field by fencing, moat, and more fencing all the way around, on all sides as far as we can see.    They stay safe while grazing within the confines of the fencing provided.  The farmer came last week and mowed the field which appears to make it even easier for the sheep to graze and eat.  He takes care of them.  They’re together with each other.  Some sheep appear to lead while others are content to follow.  Within the boundaries provided, they are sheep safely grazing.  But once they transgress those fences and gates, trouble looms on all sides!  And the same for you and me.  As long as we stay close to the Shepherd, our Lord Jesus, as long as we stay within the boundaries He has provided and called us to, we can be sheep safely grazing.  Jesus provides for us.  He has ‘other sheep that are not of this fold’ (verse 16)…our families in the Lord keep growing and growing.  New believers of every shape and stripe are always and more than welcome.  But once we breach that gate or fence, we open ourselves up to troubles we were never intended for or certainly could ever want.  Think about those 10 Commandments and stay within them…sheep safely grazing.  Think about His calling us to love each other, to encourage others when down, to cry with those who are grieving…stay within and you’ll be sheep safely grazing.  Have affairs, get into pornography, drink way too much and too often, gossip with relish– and soon you’ll be sheep lost in strange and scary fields knowing that’s  not where you belong and far away from home.   Stay close to Jesus, stay within His grazing land, listen for His voice, watch Him gladly provide for you and sometimes in the most amazing ways, and there you’ll be content, happy, provided for,  with conscience clear and free and light…like sheep safely grazing!

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