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  • Joe Amini

Sheep and lions

HOWELL – As I consider some of the animals mentioned in scripture, I reflect on sheep and lions. I often perceive sheep as gentle, foolish creatures that rely on guidance and assistance. On the other hand, like many of the movies we have watched, I frequently view the lion as the ruler of the land – they control their surroundings, understand their needs and desires, and fulfill their purpose on earth. Even from my words and the quantity of words I’ve used to portray a lion, it’s evident that I have much more admiration for a lion than I do for a sheep.


 

However, when you think about a lion, you don’t usually associate grace with lions, but you do associate truth with a lion. A few years ago, I felt that the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart that for a lion to show someone grace, they would have to lie down, remain calm, and submit their will to the person in front of them. On the other hand, for a sheep to extend grace is quite simple; a sheep appears graceful on its own. It looks graceful in appearance, and doesn’t need to do anything at all to give the impression that they’re going to offer grace.

 

But for a sheep to convey truth, they would need to step out of their comfort zone. They would have to demonstrate courage by standing up and holding their ground. All of this to deliver the message that I believe I am meant to share with you today.


I believe each one of us needs to have the grace of a lion, knowing that with our words we have the power to uplift someone, change someone’s day, or make someone contemplate their choices. Through our words, we can also provide encouragement, revealing the incredible impact they have. As a lion, you have to understand how to use your words.

 

As for a sheep, you have to recognize when it’s time to speak up. You have to determine the moment it’s appropriate for you to convey the truth that God has placed within you. Too often, we can do the opposite, becoming lions that destroy everything in front of us simply because we can, because the person is wrong, and someone has to set them straight, so it might as well be us. But so much can go wrong with this approach.


Our objective is to populate Heaven with as many people from this earth as possible. To make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to go and do likewise. If we devour people, what’s the likelihood that they will want to learn about the Jesus who spoke the great commission to us?


On the other hand, the alternative isn’t the solution either. We can’t go around behaving like timid sheep in a fallen world and not share the message within us. God redeemed us for a purpose, God is sanctifying us for a purpose; let’s not lose sight of the work we have the privilege to participate in. We must boldly proclaim the message of Jesus to receptive ears.

 

In essence, I want to encourage each one of you today to possess the grace of a lion, knowing that you have all the abilities given to you by your loving creator, and express the truth of a sheep, so that we can step into the abundant life that Jesus promised.

 

Let’s apply these thoughts to something that is probably very common to each of you, and most of you can articulate it better than me.

 

Care for the person – believe they are made in the image of God.


Listen to their story – genuinely listen, ask questions to learn, be curious.


Pray for insight to discern what the person needs – a graceful lion or a truthful sheep. Lastly, ask for permission to share what you believe God wants them to hear. Please remember, invoking the name of God means you are acknowledging and respecting the God who not only loves the person you are speaking to, but also likes them.


 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Amini left the build trades about 10 years ago to enter full time ministry and spent the last 9 years as a pastor with different capacities mostly serving as a Campus Pastor, which is his favorite role! Joe has been married to Angie for the past 22 years with three amazing kids. When not at work Joe is with his family, running or in his wood shop. Joe’s mission is to help people discover their identity in God and use that knowledge to lead others!




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