The False Shepherd
They preach to itching ears, and force the Bible to fit their faith, not force their faith to fit the Bible.
The Lord examines the hearts of shepherds with the same ease as He reads the hearts of their sheep. But, it is far harder for the sheep to plumb the shepherd's heart.
Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak, or healed the sick, or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays, or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them. (Ezekiel 34:2b-6)
The shepherds that Ezekiel prophesies of are no benefit to the sheep. These shepherds fail to grasp that the church is not for the shepherd but for the sheep.
False shepherds are blots on the Christian landscape. The sheep flee them as they serve their own ends. When questioned the shepherds accept no counsel, refuse repentance and blame the flock. In their hearts and behind closed doors they speak ill of the sheep. They tear them down. False shepherds are blinded to building up the flock, rather they plunder it. The very sheep they are commissioned to serve and care for they perceive as roadblocks to their ambitions, or as backs they can climb upon.
The false shepherd commands, he does not coach, care or invite. Such demands arise from personal agendas, and the risk of loss of face. He does not know his heart, but perceives the hearts of the sheep as beholden to him. Self-exaltation is their core.
Wolves live for the love of power, rather than the power of love. ~ Leslie Vernick
His heart remains ignorant to itself. Marinated in pride it shelters his sins, those sins he continually sees in his sheep.
The sheep do not satisfy him, because his service continues largest for himself. His heart lies.
Wolves in sheep's clothing are not discerned by their apparel, but by their mouth.
Sheep eat grass; wolves eat sheep — it doesn't matter how prettily they are dressed. ~ Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile
Today's Soul Snippet:
'Do we ever really trust when we can see?' ~ Brennan Manning
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