Mary had a Little Lamb

A study of Psalm 23 will tell us that it is the merry song of a little lamb. If you have seen a lamb leap into the air with gusto you can picture the song it sings. A song of love and praise to its shepherd as it frisks and gambols on his feet or ambles contentedly along.

Caring

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (v1).

The word “my” says it all. It betokens a personal touch born out of an intimate understanding between shepherd and sheep. The shepherd addresses his sheep by name and not as ‘the boy in the blue shirt’ (Jn 10:3). A shepherd must have firsthand knowledge about the sheep. Calling by name expresses a personal love and tells the sheep you care. A shepherd’s heart is a caring heart. Patriarch Jacob is a fine example. He was  unmindful of the time. He said, “‘Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go feed them” (Gen 29:7). It was not just a duty for him. He cared for them (Gen 31:39,40). His pampered sheep would no doubt have sung, “Jacob is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Will your sheep sing the same of you?

There are shepherds without sheep. Don’t let it worry you. Look around your house and spot—a student, a servant, a neighbour, a friend—someone who is in need of shepherding. There is always someone around. Smile a lot and strike up a closeness. Get to know them better everyday—and you have got sheep now.

Jesus did not despise small numbers. He was ready to spend time with individuals like Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman. May be you have just one little lamb like Mary or just two. Don’t think it is too few to really care for. Caring for a few sheep is training ground before the Lord entrusts you with more. He who is faithful in very little shall be vested with more authority (Lk 19:17). God entrusted David with a sheepfold. It was there that God taught him how to care for His people Israel. This training went a long way in enabling him to guide Israel expertly. God “chose David... took him from the sheepfolds... from following the ewes... to shepherd His people... So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands” (Psa 78:70-72).

Don’t be satisfied with two or three lambs. Jesus said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring” (Jn 10:16). All around you, you can see people, scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Make friends and before they know it, they’ll be following you like Mary’s little lamb.

Feeding

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters” (v2).

Nourishing the sheep is the most important responsibility of a shepherd. Jesus saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. “So He began to teach them many things” (Mk 6:34). Feeding is teaching from the Scriptures. Teach your sheep from Genesis to Revelation little by little. That is the greenest pasture. It may seem futile, but never doubt that it will be chewed up, digested, absorbed and result in healthy bouncy sheep. The Scripture is the power of God unto salvation. Share with them your meditations and pray with them an hour a week. Strengthen their faith and transmit to them lofty visions.

What teaching our people receive from pastors from the pulpits once a week for 20 minutes is hardly enough to sustain them. It does not cater to the specific needs of individuals. Whereas under- shepherds like you can feed the sheep regularly according to the specific needs of the sheep. Before Jesus departed from the earth, He was deeply concerned about the sheep He was to leave behind and repeatedly entreated Peter to feed His lambs and sheep. Yes, shepherding care is born out of our love for the Chief Shepherd (Jn 21:15-17).

A shepherd must be able to rightly expound the Word of Truth. It is necessary that you read sound doctrinal books and teach your sheep. It is better than blabbering something of your own. The sheep must be able to sing that you led her beside still, clear waters and not muddy, dirty ponds.

God severely condemns shepherds who gorge themselves with food and neglect to feed the lambs (Ezek 34:2,3). What does it profit a man if he memorises the Bible whole but ignores the cry of a human soul?

The shepherd also leads the flock. “He goes before them; and the sheep follow him” (Jn 10:4). People want role models whom they can follow safely. Can your sheep rejoice that they have a model to emulate? Your sheep should not suffer because of your sins. When David saw the angel striking the people, he cried to God, “Surely I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? (2 Sam 24:17). Your lamb will follow your footsteps, mind you. Yea, and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go! You are the devil’s target. If he succeeds in striking you, he succeeds in scattering your sheep (1 Ki 22: 17). Be wary.

It is not enough if you know your sheep. Your sheep must know you. “I know My sheep and am known by My own,” said Jesus (Jn 10:14). His life was not hidden to His disciples. Do your sheep know how, when and where you pray? Your waking hours and sleeping hours? The videos you watch, the audios you listen to, the magazines you read and the songs you sing? Then they will heed when you teach them how to pray, how to meditate the Bible and how to win souls.

Encouraging and Guiding

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (v3)

Sheep often get depressed. It may be failure in an examination, poor results, inability to get a desired seat or job, inferiority complex due to appearance or talentlessness or the loss of a loved one. The shepherd’s job is to lend a listening ear and smooth out the wrinkles. The sheep know the shepherd’s comforting and encouraging voice (Jn 10:4). Others may condemn and criticize but the shepherd must uplift their spirits.

This is why a shepherd must maintain intimacy with each sheep and take seriously any complaint the sheep may have. He must be careful that the sheep take the right turn at every step of life. He must lead the sheep in the right path lest he tarnish his own name—“for His name’s sake.” It is almost like a father-son, motherdaughter relationship—publicly known, so much so anything that happens to the sheep reflects on the shepherd. Do your sheep enjoy that much closeness to you?

Ezekiel 34:4-6 describes indifferent shepherding: “The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost, but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the fields... no one was seeking or searching for them.” It is a sad picture, but that’s what happened those days and is happening these days. When a lamb is run over by a vehicle and has fractured a limb we plan to slaughter it. But the child of the house who fed the lamb would never agree to it. He would bind the wound and take the animal to the vet. Shepherds need such a tender heart (Jer 3:15).

If shepherds had restored the depressed we wouldn’t find so many wandering sheep today. Who cares for them? Will you today decide to go after them? Of Jesus it was prophesied, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young” (Isa 40:11). What a model for harsh, strident and domineering shepherds!

Some would want to know what course they can study, what job to apply for, how to find employment, etc. Practical counsel can be given by keeping abreast with information from good secular magazines.

Security and Protection

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me” (v 4).

Having rejoiced over the leading of the shepherd in right paths the sheep utters a yea! “Oh yes!” it says; “I can safely troop behind my shepherd. Even through dark valleys I am assured of his presence. Nothing can happen to me. My shepherd is right there. His staff plucks the leaves and his rod frightens away wild animals.

This verse speaks about the dangers the sheep face. How much this little lamb trusts its shepherd! Paul speaking to the Ephesian elders says, “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28-30).

There are wolves prowling to take away your sheep. Bad friends lure some away. Cinema, sex and drugs snatch away others. The devil is ever present to slaughter them. Be watchful. The precarious pitfalls for today’s youth are too many. Help them overcome temptations and win over the devil. Help them get right with God. Cleanliness of the sheep is the shepherd’s responsibility (SS 6:6). Their fleece should be as white as snow as Mary’s little lamb’s!

Can your sheep say that you are sure to be with her in any danger? When David had to leave, he left the sheep with a keeper (1 Sam 17:20). Sheep cannot be left without watch even for a few days. Dangers lurk all around them. David risked his life and saved the lambs from a lion and a bear (1 Sam 17:34). Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11). How good are you? Have you been irresponsible, leaving the sheep to their fate, just clucking your tongue at their plight? “Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock,” says the Lord (Zech 11:17).

The strongest weapon against beasts of prey is prayer. Interceding by name for the sheep as if it’s our own child is its safety. God is fed up of shepherds, “sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber... who cannot understand” (Isa 56:10,11).

Jesus told a parable about a lost sheep (Mt 18:12,13). The shepherd did not abandon the sheep thinking it was useless to go on searching, as the sheep might have been eaten up by wild beasts. With unquenchable hope he scourged the countryside refusing to give up on that one sheep. With the power of the Holy Spirit, can we do any less?

Celebrating

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over” (v 5).

The lamb is exultant over the special treat the shepherd arranges for her. It has reached the victory summit. It is now celebration time, for the enemy has been put to shame.

Our sheep need special treats now and then. Otherwise they may go looking for greener pastures.

David’s victory over a giant was celebrated jubilantly with singing and dancing: Dances and dinners are like punctuation marks in the Bible. God gives clean fun for His children. Youth need excitement and entertainment. A simple tasty dinner goes a long way in relaxing them. But resist the temptation to turn it into a Bible study. Let there be laughter and fun. Organize Bible quiz, Bible exams, General Knowledge competitions, Fancy Dress competitions, Tennis, Carrom, Chess and other such games and sports. When the world takes our youth on a giant wheel ride with exciting prizes for cinema quiz which require them to watch every movie good or bad, we have a superior alternative. Take them on picnics and hikes as well as gospel meetings and outreach to nearby slums or villages. Lead them to receive the Holy Spirit and experience the excitement of religion. Celebrate Christmas and Easter with them. Celebrate Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day and encourage your sheep to honour their parents some way. Go to the exhibition or musical programmes with them. Show them good videos. Every rival attraction will sink into insignificance in the light of such irresistible fun. Let your lamb exclaim, “My cup overflows. I get too much here with my shepherd. I don’t need to go places looking for anything better. I have more than what I want.”

Steadying

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v 6).

With feet firmly planted on the ground, the sheep is confident and unwavering now. The conclusion of its song is that its uncertainty gone and it is in the steady path of life. It is a mature member of God’s family, which cannot slip away easily. It enjoys a steady walk with the Lord and constant fellowship with God’s children and is so content with its lot in life that there is not a shred of desire for change. What an ennobling from being a simpleton to becoming a strong and steady sheep! Through the simmering heat of summer and the icy cold of winter, it has been cared for, fed, encouraged, guarded, restored and now finally it has come to dwell in the house of the Lord.

The Lord has set you as a shepherd (Jer 23:4). But can your sheep sing this song?

  Address for Correspondence Contributions

Dr. Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91 9843511943
  lilianstanley@gmail.com

Blessing Youth Mission

Blessing Youth Mission
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91-416-2242943, +91-416-2248943
  hq@bymonline.org
  www.bymonline.org

For Donation & Contributions...

Home & NRE donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
Account Type: Current Account
A/c No.: 37268642054
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSC No.: SBIN0007274

Overseas Donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
A/c No.: 1074703964
Bank: Central Bank of India
Branch: Vellore
IFSC No.: CBIN0280887
MICR Code: 000016000
SWIFT Code: CBININBBMDR

Gulf Donors

A/c Name: T.Dickson Daniel Moses
Account Type: Saving Account
A/c No.: 35374362080
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSF: SBIN0007274

Click here for more options

  Blessing Literature Centre

To buy books written by Dr. Lilian Stanley, kindly reach to us in the follwing address

Blessing Literature Centre
21/11 West Coovam River Road,
Chintadripet,
Chennai 600 002, India.
 +91-44-28450411
  blc@bymonline.org

Mary had a Little Lamb

A study of Psalm 23 will tell us that it is the merry song of a little lamb. If you have seen a lamb leap into the air with gusto you can picture the song it sings. A song of love and praise to its shepherd as it frisks and gambols on his feet or ambles contentedly along.

Caring

“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (v1).

The word “my” says it all. It betokens a personal touch born out of an intimate understanding between shepherd and sheep. The shepherd addresses his sheep by name and not as ‘the boy in the blue shirt’ (Jn 10:3). A shepherd must have firsthand knowledge about the sheep. Calling by name expresses a personal love and tells the sheep you care. A shepherd’s heart is a caring heart. Patriarch Jacob is a fine example. He was  unmindful of the time. He said, “‘Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the cattle to be gathered together. Water the sheep, and go feed them” (Gen 29:7). It was not just a duty for him. He cared for them (Gen 31:39,40). His pampered sheep would no doubt have sung, “Jacob is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Will your sheep sing the same of you?

There are shepherds without sheep. Don’t let it worry you. Look around your house and spot—a student, a servant, a neighbour, a friend—someone who is in need of shepherding. There is always someone around. Smile a lot and strike up a closeness. Get to know them better everyday—and you have got sheep now.

Jesus did not despise small numbers. He was ready to spend time with individuals like Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman. May be you have just one little lamb like Mary or just two. Don’t think it is too few to really care for. Caring for a few sheep is training ground before the Lord entrusts you with more. He who is faithful in very little shall be vested with more authority (Lk 19:17). God entrusted David with a sheepfold. It was there that God taught him how to care for His people Israel. This training went a long way in enabling him to guide Israel expertly. God “chose David... took him from the sheepfolds... from following the ewes... to shepherd His people... So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands” (Psa 78:70-72).

Don’t be satisfied with two or three lambs. Jesus said, “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring” (Jn 10:16). All around you, you can see people, scattered like sheep without a shepherd. Make friends and before they know it, they’ll be following you like Mary’s little lamb.

Feeding

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters” (v2).

Nourishing the sheep is the most important responsibility of a shepherd. Jesus saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. “So He began to teach them many things” (Mk 6:34). Feeding is teaching from the Scriptures. Teach your sheep from Genesis to Revelation little by little. That is the greenest pasture. It may seem futile, but never doubt that it will be chewed up, digested, absorbed and result in healthy bouncy sheep. The Scripture is the power of God unto salvation. Share with them your meditations and pray with them an hour a week. Strengthen their faith and transmit to them lofty visions.

What teaching our people receive from pastors from the pulpits once a week for 20 minutes is hardly enough to sustain them. It does not cater to the specific needs of individuals. Whereas under- shepherds like you can feed the sheep regularly according to the specific needs of the sheep. Before Jesus departed from the earth, He was deeply concerned about the sheep He was to leave behind and repeatedly entreated Peter to feed His lambs and sheep. Yes, shepherding care is born out of our love for the Chief Shepherd (Jn 21:15-17).

A shepherd must be able to rightly expound the Word of Truth. It is necessary that you read sound doctrinal books and teach your sheep. It is better than blabbering something of your own. The sheep must be able to sing that you led her beside still, clear waters and not muddy, dirty ponds.

God severely condemns shepherds who gorge themselves with food and neglect to feed the lambs (Ezek 34:2,3). What does it profit a man if he memorises the Bible whole but ignores the cry of a human soul?

The shepherd also leads the flock. “He goes before them; and the sheep follow him” (Jn 10:4). People want role models whom they can follow safely. Can your sheep rejoice that they have a model to emulate? Your sheep should not suffer because of your sins. When David saw the angel striking the people, he cried to God, “Surely I have sinned, and I have done wickedly; but these sheep, what have they done? (2 Sam 24:17). Your lamb will follow your footsteps, mind you. Yea, and everywhere that Mary went the lamb was sure to go! You are the devil’s target. If he succeeds in striking you, he succeeds in scattering your sheep (1 Ki 22: 17). Be wary.

It is not enough if you know your sheep. Your sheep must know you. “I know My sheep and am known by My own,” said Jesus (Jn 10:14). His life was not hidden to His disciples. Do your sheep know how, when and where you pray? Your waking hours and sleeping hours? The videos you watch, the audios you listen to, the magazines you read and the songs you sing? Then they will heed when you teach them how to pray, how to meditate the Bible and how to win souls.

Encouraging and Guiding

“He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (v3)

Sheep often get depressed. It may be failure in an examination, poor results, inability to get a desired seat or job, inferiority complex due to appearance or talentlessness or the loss of a loved one. The shepherd’s job is to lend a listening ear and smooth out the wrinkles. The sheep know the shepherd’s comforting and encouraging voice (Jn 10:4). Others may condemn and criticize but the shepherd must uplift their spirits.

This is why a shepherd must maintain intimacy with each sheep and take seriously any complaint the sheep may have. He must be careful that the sheep take the right turn at every step of life. He must lead the sheep in the right path lest he tarnish his own name—“for His name’s sake.” It is almost like a father-son, motherdaughter relationship—publicly known, so much so anything that happens to the sheep reflects on the shepherd. Do your sheep enjoy that much closeness to you?

Ezekiel 34:4-6 describes indifferent shepherding: “The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost, but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the fields... no one was seeking or searching for them.” It is a sad picture, but that’s what happened those days and is happening these days. When a lamb is run over by a vehicle and has fractured a limb we plan to slaughter it. But the child of the house who fed the lamb would never agree to it. He would bind the wound and take the animal to the vet. Shepherds need such a tender heart (Jer 3:15).

If shepherds had restored the depressed we wouldn’t find so many wandering sheep today. Who cares for them? Will you today decide to go after them? Of Jesus it was prophesied, “He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young” (Isa 40:11). What a model for harsh, strident and domineering shepherds!

Some would want to know what course they can study, what job to apply for, how to find employment, etc. Practical counsel can be given by keeping abreast with information from good secular magazines.

Security and Protection

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff they comfort me” (v 4).

Having rejoiced over the leading of the shepherd in right paths the sheep utters a yea! “Oh yes!” it says; “I can safely troop behind my shepherd. Even through dark valleys I am assured of his presence. Nothing can happen to me. My shepherd is right there. His staff plucks the leaves and his rod frightens away wild animals.

This verse speaks about the dangers the sheep face. How much this little lamb trusts its shepherd! Paul speaking to the Ephesian elders says, “Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves” (Acts 20:28-30).

There are wolves prowling to take away your sheep. Bad friends lure some away. Cinema, sex and drugs snatch away others. The devil is ever present to slaughter them. Be watchful. The precarious pitfalls for today’s youth are too many. Help them overcome temptations and win over the devil. Help them get right with God. Cleanliness of the sheep is the shepherd’s responsibility (SS 6:6). Their fleece should be as white as snow as Mary’s little lamb’s!

Can your sheep say that you are sure to be with her in any danger? When David had to leave, he left the sheep with a keeper (1 Sam 17:20). Sheep cannot be left without watch even for a few days. Dangers lurk all around them. David risked his life and saved the lambs from a lion and a bear (1 Sam 17:34). Jesus said, “I am the good Shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11). How good are you? Have you been irresponsible, leaving the sheep to their fate, just clucking your tongue at their plight? “Woe to the worthless shepherd who leaves the flock,” says the Lord (Zech 11:17).

The strongest weapon against beasts of prey is prayer. Interceding by name for the sheep as if it’s our own child is its safety. God is fed up of shepherds, “sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber... who cannot understand” (Isa 56:10,11).

Jesus told a parable about a lost sheep (Mt 18:12,13). The shepherd did not abandon the sheep thinking it was useless to go on searching, as the sheep might have been eaten up by wild beasts. With unquenchable hope he scourged the countryside refusing to give up on that one sheep. With the power of the Holy Spirit, can we do any less?

Celebrating

“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over” (v 5).

The lamb is exultant over the special treat the shepherd arranges for her. It has reached the victory summit. It is now celebration time, for the enemy has been put to shame.

Our sheep need special treats now and then. Otherwise they may go looking for greener pastures.

David’s victory over a giant was celebrated jubilantly with singing and dancing: Dances and dinners are like punctuation marks in the Bible. God gives clean fun for His children. Youth need excitement and entertainment. A simple tasty dinner goes a long way in relaxing them. But resist the temptation to turn it into a Bible study. Let there be laughter and fun. Organize Bible quiz, Bible exams, General Knowledge competitions, Fancy Dress competitions, Tennis, Carrom, Chess and other such games and sports. When the world takes our youth on a giant wheel ride with exciting prizes for cinema quiz which require them to watch every movie good or bad, we have a superior alternative. Take them on picnics and hikes as well as gospel meetings and outreach to nearby slums or villages. Lead them to receive the Holy Spirit and experience the excitement of religion. Celebrate Christmas and Easter with them. Celebrate Fathers’ Day and Mothers’ Day and encourage your sheep to honour their parents some way. Go to the exhibition or musical programmes with them. Show them good videos. Every rival attraction will sink into insignificance in the light of such irresistible fun. Let your lamb exclaim, “My cup overflows. I get too much here with my shepherd. I don’t need to go places looking for anything better. I have more than what I want.”

Steadying

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (v 6).

With feet firmly planted on the ground, the sheep is confident and unwavering now. The conclusion of its song is that its uncertainty gone and it is in the steady path of life. It is a mature member of God’s family, which cannot slip away easily. It enjoys a steady walk with the Lord and constant fellowship with God’s children and is so content with its lot in life that there is not a shred of desire for change. What an ennobling from being a simpleton to becoming a strong and steady sheep! Through the simmering heat of summer and the icy cold of winter, it has been cared for, fed, encouraged, guarded, restored and now finally it has come to dwell in the house of the Lord.

The Lord has set you as a shepherd (Jer 23:4). But can your sheep sing this song?

  Address for Correspondence Contributions

Dr. Lilian Stanley
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91 9843511943
  lilianstanley@gmail.com

Blessing Youth Mission

Blessing Youth Mission
13 Church Colony
Vellore 632006, India
 +91-416-2242943, +91-416-2248943
  hq@bymonline.org
  www.bymonline.org

For Donation & Contributions...

Home & NRE donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
Account Type: Current Account
A/c No.: 37268642054
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSC No.: SBIN0007274

Overseas Donors

Name: Blessing Youth Mission
A/c No.: 1074703964
Bank: Central Bank of India
Branch: Vellore
IFSC No.: CBIN0280887
MICR Code: 000016000
SWIFT Code: CBININBBMDR

Gulf Donors

A/c Name: T.Dickson Daniel Moses
Account Type: Saving Account
A/c No.: 35374362080
Bank: State Bank of India
Branch: Siruthozhil,Vellore - 632 006
IFSF: SBIN0007274

Click here for more options

  Blessing Literature Centre

To buy books written by Dr. Lilian Stanley, kindly reach to us in the follwing address

Blessing Literature Centre
21/11 West Coovam River Road,
Chintadripet,
Chennai 600 002, India.
 +91-44-28450411
  blc@bymonline.org