Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
- Tonight we will meet at the VanTubergens for Bible study at 7:00PM. Their address is 8803 Catawissa Drive, Houston, TX, 77095.
- We will continue with officer training this Sunday after worship.
- Our Spring retreat is coming soon, April 7-9, at the Trinity Pines Conference Center. More information and a registration page will be up today or tomorrow. Be on the lookout.
- This week’s devotion (attached) is a reflection from Zechariah 11 on true and false shepherds.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“True and False Shepherds”
Zechariah 11:15-16, “Take once more the equipment of a foolish shepherd … who does not care for those being destroyed, or seek the young or heal the maimed or nourish the healthy.”
The book of Zechariah points us forward to the king and his coming kingdom. It points us to the Lord Jesus Christ and to the great realities of his kingdom that were inaugurated in his first coming and will be consummated in his second coming. While the first half of the book (chapters 1-6) speaks more to the coming kingdom, the second half of the book (chapters 9-14) speaks more to the coming king. Chapter 9 tells us that Jesus is a righteous and humble king who saves his people (vv. 9-13); and chapter 10 tells us that King Jesus will gather his scattered flock (vv. 8-12). Chapter 11, our focus in this devotion, reminds us of the tragic reality of false shepherds who lead the people of God astray (cf. 10:2).
Listen to how the false shepherds are described in this passage: they slaughter the flock (v. 4). They buy and sell and have no pity on the flock (v. 5). The false shepherd does not care for the suffering sheep – he does not seek the young or heal the maimed or nourish the healthy; rather the false shepherds devour the flock (vv. 15-16; cf. Ezek 34:1-10). False shepherds do not care for the people of God, rather they care for themselves. They do not feed the people of God the word of God, rather they feed themselves the lies of the world. They do not guard the people of God against false teaching, rather they lead them away from the truth.
The Lord Jesus Christ, however, is the perfect shepherd. He is the good shepherd. Verse 7 describes the good shepherd, “So I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep traders. And I took two staffs, one I named Favor, the other I named union” (v. 7). Christ is the true shepherd who cares for the sheep. The two staffs speak to two great blessings found in Christ; namely, grace and unity. There is grace, favor, and blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3). There is unity for the people of God in Christ (Eph 2:11-22). Indeed, there is one shepherd and one flock. Jesus echoes this teaching in John 10, the classic New Testament passage on the good shepherd. In John 10, Jesus warns us against the false shepherds who steal, kill, and destroy; and who flee when danger comes because they do not care for the sheep (John 10:10, 12-13). The true shepherd, however, lays down his life for the sheep (John 10:11). He knows his sheep by name and he protects his sheep. He gives eternal life to his sheep (John 10:27-28).
Brothers and sisters, we must be diligent in discerning truth from error. We must be on guard against false shepherds who will lead us astray (Acts 20:29-32). At the same time, we are called to submit all that we are and have to the good Shepherd. He is the one who guards and feeds us. He is the one who gives us life. And may we be thankful for the faithful undershepherds who labor in word and prayer for the people of God. Be thankful for your pastors and elders. Be thankful for those who feed you and protect you. Pray for them. And pray for the Lord to continue to raise up faithful undershepherds for his precious sheep.