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Wendy Howard [Editor of Despatch magazine], Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia.
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Getting to know God together.

I lived on an Aussie sheep farm once.
It was interesting to see those sheep being sheep.
They didn't have many brains up in their heads.
They were cute though, especially the lambs.
I would sometimes go out in the paddocks and watch the dogs rounding up the sheep.
It was surprisingly easy for the dogs to do that.
Because the sheep were great followers.

They would stand all confused when the dogs came rushing at them.
Then if one or two of the sheep began to let the dogs  round them up,
the others soon followed.
It only took a few to run, and  away the other silly sheep would go!
If some of the sheep began to jump madly in the air, then the others would too.
To get them to go through a gate, it only took the leader sheep to go in,
and most just followed on. They have got no brains up top.

Some of them might stand and stamp their feet at the dogs!
But it wasn't long before they would do what everyone else was doing.
No wonder people say, "he is as easily led as a silly sheep!"
Have you heard people say that?
They mean that  that person doesn't think for themselves,
they just follow the crowd - just like sheep do.

There are lots of kids and older young people who want to lead others into trouble!
They might pick at  kids who won't do what the crowd is doing.

"Oh, mummy's boy won't pinch things from the supermarket!
Chicken! Chook, Chook!"
"Poor thing, the little girl is scared!
She won't try a cigarette! Goodie goodie!!"
You can be like a silly sheep and do what the crowd  does,
but it only  shows you haven't got any brains up top.
The one who is rounding up the silly sheep is Satan! The devil.

Jesus  wants us to follow Him, not the wicked world out there.
It takes more courage to stand for Jesus and His goodness than follow the crowd.
He says we are His little flock.
He owns us as His precious, dear ones.
He paid the price for us, the price was His shed Blood on the Cross.
Jesus  says:

"..he calleth his own sheep by name,
and leadeth them out....he goeth before them,
and the sheep follow him:for they know his voice.
A stranger will they not follow,
but will flee from him:
for they know not the voice of strangers." (John 10:3-5).

Jesus does not round his sheep up.
He goes before them, and they follow him.
He is the kind and gentle shepherd.
He does not act like the dogs do, who give the sheep a nip on the legs if they don't run. Jesus  goes ahead of us and calls us to go His way.
And He gets  ready  peaceful places for us to be in.
He gives us rest and safety.
Read Psalm 23 :1,2::

"The Lord is my shepherd:
I shall not want (go without).
He maketh  me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside still waters."


The  pull of the crowd can be pretty devastating!
The crowd can make you do things you would never do by choice.
Just because you haven't got the courage to stand alone.
Jesus Christ is there for you in that situation.
He gives strength, courage, a decent backbone and determination to follow HIM -
not the silly sheep!

We Christians are the wise flock of the Lord!
We can't be strong in that way without Him.
Just  turn to Jesus when you are pressured by others, and ask Him to make you strong to obey God.
Lives can be ruined by following others down the paths Satan has devised.
Jesus Christ says:

"I am the door: by me if any man enter in,
he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture.
The thief (Satan) cometh not,
but for  to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
I am come that they might have life,
and that they  might have it more abundantly (a fuller, better life)."
(John 10:9.10).

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