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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Great Men of God

Over my lifetime, I have met many great men of God. I first heard of them when Mom and Dad would read me bedtime stories from the Bible (Harlbuts Childrens Bible). I heard of men like King David, Joseph, Abraham, Peter, Noah, and many others. All of these men had "failures" in their lives, but God made them great because they believed in Him. My hope is in God too.
We often sing "Give of your best to the Master, give of the strength of your youth, clad in salvation's full armor, join in the Battle for truth." However, are we willing to pay the price. There re many rewards for "greatness," but there is also a price to pay. If we are to walk with Him (Jesus) in His likeness and in His greatness, we must also be willing to suffer with Him. Are we willing to take up our cross and to follow Him? Do we even know what that means?
Every great man of God, except Jesus, failed God in some manner. If we were perfect, there would be no ned for God. He is our guarantee! He is the author (beginning) and the finisher (ending) of our faith. In Him we live and move and have our being.
All of these men were "chosen by God." That is to say, they did not choose God, but He chose them. David was called from the sheepfold, Abraham was called from the Ur of the Chaldees, Jacob was called, Isaac was called, Peter was called, and so on. Men of true greatness are called by God. Jesus is our anchor man, because men are going to drop the Baton, but God wins the race every time.
What is it that makes for greatness? We are called to be Kings and Priests unto our God, if we are called. Many say they know God, but does God know you.  I have heard many people say I know this or that famous person, but when I've mentioned their name, the person says "I do not know them!" When God "knows" you, He knows how to get in touch with you. It is no longer you who leads, but God leads you on your pathway. (Ps 32:8) Believe me, God know how to get someone's attention, just look at Jonah. When we are called to greatness, God is able to bring us back into the fold. The Good Shepherd seeks out His lost sheep.
The Bible says, "Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me." (Psalm 23) Why is that? What does that have to do with greatness? If you are one of the called, you are one of His sheep (see Psalm 100). The rod was like a club that was used by the Shepherd to beat off the enemy of the sheep. The sheep didn't beat off the enemy, the Shepherd did. There was a "Ball" on the end of this rod, and into it were often driven nails. The shepherds would often beat off the attacker by a deathblow to the head with the rod. The nails would penetrate the skull and kill the animal. Even if they missed and hit somewhere else, the attacker would usually leave. David used this club or rod to kill a lion, a tiger, and a bear. He also used the sling (NOT a slingshot, that is something totally different). The rod was a tool that usually meant death to the enemy. It was used when the enemy attacked one of the sheep.
The other tool used by the Shepherd was the staff. The staff was used to draw the sheep close to the shepherd, or to tap the side of the sheep to get back on the right path. Sheep are prone to enemies of their flesh. One is the "Bot" fly. The Bot fly lays her eggs in the mucas membranes, usually in the ears or nose. The eggs have a barb that attaches itself to the sheep. It begins to suck out the blood. As it grows, it begins to twirl around, causing the sheep much irritation. The Good Shepherd knows about these pests and draws the sheep near to Him to check. He makes a paste or salve (one might call it a healing balm) and puts it in the ears, nose, and around the eyes. This keeps the enemy away. If you are called to "greatness," then you are called to be a lowly sheep in His fold. The Shepherd guides the sheep. Men of greatness fall when they get their eyes off of the Shepherd. This has happened to men like Abraham, David, Peter, and many more. Greatness requires that we learn from our mistakes and move on. When Jonah failed, God gave him another chance. When Peter failed, God gave him another chance, God is faithful!
If unattended, the sheep will die. They will usually kill themselves by beating their heads against a rock or a tree. If we are not protected by the Good Shepherd, we will go mad. To the Good Shepherd goes all the glory, praise, Majesty, and honor.
The rod is also used to mark the tenth of each in the flock for service, or for death. We serve the Good Shepherd by laying down our lives. Even then, He chooses the time. We are great in His eyes when we follow Him.

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