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Entered By: Mark
Entry Date: 2007-05-14 11:32:59
Subject: Sheep and Goats

     Being responsible for livestock means you make the initial and final checks on their well being every day. Around here, one oversight could mean a lot of dead animals next morning. There is a lot to be learned by observing goats. Matthew 25:31-46 tells of how the Lord separates people on judgement day as a shepherd the sheep from the goats. In this simile, the sheep represent followers of Christ and the goats represent those who do not keep his commandments and are not forgiven.      Well let me tell you why he compares the rebellious to goats. First of all, there's this thing called the pecking order. Goats are sociable. They cannot stand being separated from the rest of the flock. Once they are close to each other, they cannot stand one another. They just as soon trample each other as knock heads together. They want to establish who is head goat. If it ended there, no big deal; but it seems they need to re-establish their pecking order every 5-10 minutes (or as often as they are in proximity with one another, which is often since they cannot stand being separated...go figure). Sheep generally are content to nibble along in flocks without disturbing each other too much.       Next comes a goats general disregard for their own safety. Fences are established to keep goats from straying into the wilderness and being eaten by predators (in our case mostly dogs and occassionally coyotes). Goats care nothing about fences. They care greatly for the fruit trees on the other side of the fence. Although I've not seen this firsthand, sheep will turn a different direction when they see a fence.       Among other colorful personality traits, goats sometimes refuse to do what you want. If you have them tied up (since they don't respect fences) and you want to bring them back to the barn for the night, they might simply drop to the ground or lock their legs and refuse to move. You are trying to keep them for being killed and they want none of it.       So, why you ask, did I buy goats instead of sheep? I really questioned myself on this and found that it is probably because I am more stubborn like a goat. I wanted to do something my father used to do...even if it made no sense in our location. Well, I'm doing it, but it is a daily challenge; a challenge I could have avoided had I bought sheep.       Personally I believe that you have three kinds of people in the world; goats, sheep in goats clothing and goats in sheeps clothing. You have worldly people that do not know Christ and care for little aside from themselves.      You have humble followers of Christ whom will do what is right even when it costs them something to do so. This group still makes mistakes like goats but try to follow Christ (these are sheep in goats clothing).      Then you have the goats in sheep clothing. Christ had to deal with the latter group quite a bit while he was discipling. These are the pharisees. These are religious people that take advantage of people at every corner. Jesus referred to this group as a "brood of vipers", "devourers of widows houses" and other appropriate metaphors. They make lengthy prayers for show. I don't believe his frequent rebuke of religious people in the Gospels was an accident or an artifact. We, as christians, need to check our attitudes daily and realize that we were once goats and only by his grace has he replaced our hearts of stone with flesh.       Please pray for me early this week. I need to teach at our church this Wednesday Night. That's about as natural for me as it is for a goat to obey.
Replies to this message
re: Sheep and Goats  by Judy Campbell on Monday May 14, 2007

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