By Pam Burton
Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds,
I have had the verse Proverbs 27:23 on my heart for awhile.
About seven years ago I visited our son who lived in Montana at the time and he was friends with some ranchers that he knew from church. I had visited one of the families. The dad along with his wife and children (they had seven) and I made our way around the ranch to check on the cattle. What impressed me was, as the dad drove past the herd of cattle, he noticed an ear of one of the cows.
He said, “that one looks sick” he told his wife.
I asked him how would he know that.
He responded that you need to know your herd and know what to look for. In a split second he could see the one ear not properly standing up the way it should be out of everything that he was surveying at the time. He immediately stopped the truck and we exited the vehicle and he employed his children to take the cow for immediate separation and inoculation and it was quite a sight to see how everyone sprung into action and the animal was helped despite the animal resisting the help.
When the verse says “know well the condition” - the literal word for condition means “face.” As leaders and fellow workers for the Lord, we are to know well the condition -which is the current state of those in our care. The Lord has entrusted us with the care of sheep so to speak. It also shows how clearly and intimately the shepherd knows his sheep. Tying in with this verse is realizing that we have the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep and willingly laid down His life for us.
I am the good shepherd; The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
The other thought I have had recently has been that the world is looking for genuineness. They are looking for genuineness of our faith. When I say genuineness I mean - not perfection - but openness and approachability and I see this as a necessary attitude in reaching those who are lost and those who have been in the church but have walked away.
so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
We are entrusted with these precious sheep to reach. When my kids were little, I would tell them I am not just raising you but I am raising my grandchildren because I trust that the way I am raising you for the Lord is how you will raise your children.
One generation will praise your works to another, and will declare your mighty acts.