Prayer Concerns
• Juan Monroy – at home with COVID 19, starting to feel much better
• Susan Little – has had a challenging week, being evaluated by her doctors.
• Mike Little – continues cancer treatments, has responded better to current medication.
• Francis Feighner – Greenville Memorial, fluid build up with cancer treatments.
• Jim Davis – now home after stay at NHC with congestive heart failure.
• Debbie Campbell – Rehab at Foothills Presbyterian in Easley after accident.
• Keith Blore – encouraging doctor’s visit this week, will continue to monitor concerns.
• Wayland Sherman – finished with cancer treatment, will continue to monitor.
• Bryson Davis – recovering remarkable well four wheeler accident, doing well.
• Jim & Elaine Sumeral – homebound, ongoing health issues.
• Allyson Sherer- continues to do well overall, positive recent doctors’ visits.
• Carolyn Madden – cognitive/physical issues.
• Jane Ivey – recent surgery, hopeful to begin to feel better.
• Bill Ramey – continuing to take treatments.
• Joan Owings – NHC, continues to receive care/treatment.

Worship Options: We will continue to post a worship service every Sunday on our website and via the FBC Laurens App. You may also listen to our service on WLBG at 11:00 each Sunday morning.

Church Offices Closed for Independence Day: This Friday, July 3.

Senior Adult Sunday School on the Radio: Join us at 3pm each Tuesday afternoon on WLBG. The 30 minute lessons will be offered by a FBC Sunday School teacher.

Youth Ultimate Frisbee, Thursday, July 9 at 7pm.

Children’s Ministry July Taste & See PickUp, Friday, July 17.

FBC July Golf Fellowships, Tuesday July 14 & 21 at Lakeside, 5:30pm.

Reflecting Together

Read: Psalm 23:3

In today’s passage, David continues to write from the perspective of the sheep under the shepherd’s care. Two key words that are important for us to consider in the verse are restore and lead.

The term restore is most often related to the rescue of a sheep. However, it is also closely connected to another term that means downcast. A cast animal is one that has turned over on its back and cannot get itself up again. A sheep in this position will soon die if it is not placed back on its feet again. If a sheep is missing from the group, then the shepherd assumes that it is cast and goes looking for him.

Sheep end up in this cast position for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they simply lie down in a soft hollow and are unable to return to their feet. At other times, sheep simply have too much wool containing a lot of debris. At other times, they are overweight. Whatever the case, the shepherd will roll the sheep out of the hollow and help get the blood flowing to its legs. He may sheer the wool or even put the sheep on a strict diet. For the shepherd, these are acts of restoration for the once-cast sheep.

Another characteristic of sheep is that they are repetitive animals. This means that left to themselves, they will walk along the same path until there are deep ruts. A wayward flock will also feed repeatedly in the same area, eating all the way down to the roots. These repetitive actions leave the fields looking barren and rugged.

The condition of the field is a reflection on the shepherd’s work and affects his reputation. Because of this, the shepherd must continuously guide his flock along different paths and to new pastures, guiding them with an overarching view to the credit and glory of the shepherd’s own name.

There are many parallels between the cast sheep and our own spiritual walk. As Christians, we can become too comfortable, seeking only the soft, comfortable spot in our faith. We tend to carry too much of our self-life with us, believing that it is all about me. At other times, we feel that we have arrived in our faith and become self-assured. In any of these situations we are downcast, whether we realize it or not.

During such times, the Good Shepherd will move us out of our comfort zones, shear away our self-life, and put us on a diet in order to discipline us. He does these things for our good. He always seeks to restore us.

Finally, we also have directional needs. Like sheep, we are prone to wander and become lost. Through God’s word and God’s spirit, God leads us along the right paths in life and reroutes us when we foolishly become wayward.

Why? It is for his namesake so that others can hear us say, “My God has brought me here.”

Consider this:
• How do you think we exhibit the characteristics of sheep as shared in this reflection?
• Name a time when you felt helpless, lost, and alone? How did God rescue and restore you?
• Have you ever found yourself in a spiritual rut? What did God teach you about himself during that time? What did you learn about yourself?
• How does following God’s leading bring honor to Him?

Prayer: Father, you are always watching over me and I thank you for your tender and loving care. Forgive me when I wander away from you and end up in such precarious situations. Thank you for rescuing and restoring me in those times. Help me to follow your leading each and every day, and may my life bring honor and glory to your name. Amen.