Thursday, August 22, 2002
Because we've spent so much time on Indian reservations the last few years, the story of one little Native American boy is especially meaningful to me. He lived with his Mom in a little hut on a reservation in the Southwest. His dad had died, and that meant the boy had to take responsibility for their sheep at a pretty young age. One day, this missionary passed through their village and explained to the little boy how Jesus Christ died for him and wanted to be his Shepherd. And that day this little shepherd invited Jesus into his heart.
As the missionary was about to leave, he asked the boy if he could teach him a Bible verse. The boy said, "I don't think I can remember it." But the missionary gave him just five simple words from the Bible to remember. "The Lord is my Shepherd." But the missionary taught him a little trick for remembering it. He said, "Use the fingers of your right hand to help you remember 'The - Lord - is - my - Shepherd.' And when you get to the fourth word, wrap your left hand around the fourth finger of your right hand. 'The Lord is MY Shepherd.'" Well, the boy remembered it - really remembered it - as the missionary would learn when he returned one year later.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You about "Five-Fingered Sheep."
When the missionary revisited that village, he stopped by the hut where the little shepherd boy lived with his mother. He knocked on the door and the mother answered. When the missionary asked for her son, she said, "Oh, you didn't hear? Last winter a sudden blizzard hit us while my boy was out in the hills with the sheep. He didn't make it back. It was three days before they found him frozen to death."
The missionary couldn't muster any words except a quiet, "I'm sorry." Then Mom told him, "You know, when they found my boy and brushed all the snow off his body, they discovered something very unusual. His left hand was wrapped around the fourth finger of his right hand."
"The Lord is my Shepherd." Is He yours? It's possible that you know about Jesus, that you believe in Jesus, that you go to His meetings, maybe you even do things for Jesus. But somehow, you've never made Him yours. You've never made the Shepherd your Shepherd. You've never made the Savior your Savior.
The difference is two little words found in our word for today from the Word of God from Galatians 2:20. "I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me." You stand at that cross that you may have known about all your life. You look up at the price the Son of God is paying there. And you say with your heart, "For me. He's dying there for me. It's my sin He's paying for on that cross." And then you say, again with all your heart, "Jesus, I'm Yours."
If you don't know you've done that, you probably haven't. And you need to. Having Jesus in your head will never get you to heaven. He has to be in your heart. This can be your day to finally move Him from your head to your heart - so you don't miss heaven by those 18 inches.
Right now, talk to Jesus - maybe in words something like this: "Lord, I've run my own life. I resign. I believe that when You died on that cross, You were paying for every one of my sins. And now I'm giving You what You paid for with your life - I'm giving You me." If you're ready to make Jesus your Shepherd, your Savior, I want to send you some encouragement. It's the booklet I wrote about beginning this relationship called "Yours for Life." I'll send it to you if you'll contact me and let me know you want it.
Can you say it now? "The Lord is MY Shepherd."