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A Wolf In Shepherd’s Clothing

Deceived/Deception Self-righteousness Shepherding

Source: “Pa. rehab CEO accused of selling heroin and fentanyl,” Posted on October 7, 2017 By Candy Woodall

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-12-04

Scripture: Titus 3:5

Author: Illustration Exchange
5

ILLUSTRATION

PennLive reports:

A Pennsylvania drug rehab founder and CEO is accused of selling heroin and fentanyl to the addicts the facility was designed to heal.

Federal officials say 65-year-old David Francis was dealing those deadly drugs to clients and throughout McKees Rocks, a borough near Pittsburgh.

The Next Step Foundation that Francis operated is listed as providing recovery housing to drug addicts and alcoholics.

Instead of providing the housing, education, support and services to help them recover from addiction, as the organization's mission states, federal agents say Francis was acting as their drug dealer.

Federal authorities on Friday raided his home and the rehab facility amid charging him with intention to distribute fentanyl. His detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in federal court.

A person who bought drugs from him in May died of a fentanyl overdose, investigators said.

Federal officials began investigating in July after multiple overdoses were reported in McKees Rocks and nearby Ingram. 

APPLICATION

Lost and desperate people look to the Church for hope.  Sadly, rather than ministering grace, many in this industry actually stoke the sin nature with a regiment of shame-based legalism and works righteousness, proving that the only thing worse than a wolf in sheep’s clothing is a wolf in shepherd’s clothing. 

Pastors are supposed to help those who struggle with their addiction to religious pride, which keeps them from humbling seeking God’s grace. Ironically, many in the Church actually encourage this addictive behavior. 

The Church is here to save mankind, not to put him on an even more addictive and hopeless path. These clergy act more like this rehab founder than the healers God has called them to be. 

"But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit" (Titus 3:4-5). 

Safe In The Sheepfold

Shepherding Salvation Hearing God's Voice

Source: “Ancient Sheep Fold” as published on Bible-History.com, retrieved 2/27/15.

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2015-03-08

Scripture: John 10:7

Author: Illustration Exchange
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ILLUSTRATION

Sheep played an integral role in the culture and economy of the ancient peoples of Bible lands. The were highly prized and used for everything from their skin and wool for clothing, to their meat and fat for cooking. Just as importantly, they were bred to fulfill the sacrificial requirements as prescribed by God for his people, Israel.

As such, the job of the shepherd was critical. It was his role not only to tend the sheep, but most importantly, to protect them (with his very life, if necessary).

By day, the sheep might graze openly under the shepherd’s watchful eye. By night, however, they would have to be gathered into sheepfolds (i.e., “pens”) for protection from thieves and a variety of animal predators. The shepherds would construct their enclosures by loosely stacking rocks and stones or by piling jagged limbs and sticks and topping them with layers of briers for extra protection. A doorway, or gate, a few feet in width, would be left as the only opening to the fold. Therein the shepherd would lay himself down, effectively making himself the very door or gate by which anyone or anything should either exit or enter. Any thief or predator would either have to scale the jagged, thorny rocks and sticks, or would have to try to actually step over the watchful shepherd himself.

Often times, shepherds would pool their resources and build a single, enlarged fold for their collective flocks to gather. They would then take turns watching or laying in the doorway to protect the sheep.

Come morning, explains bible-history.com, when it was time for the sheep to return to grazing, “One shepherd after another will stand up and call out: ‘Tahhoo! Tahhoo!’ or a similar call of his own choosing. The sheep lift up their heads, and after a general scramble, begin following each one his own shepherd. They are thoroughly familiar with their own shepherd's tone of voice. Strangers have often used the same call, but their attempts to get the sheep to follow them always fail.”

Click here for images of both ancient and modern sheepfolds.

APPLICATION

Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture" (John 10:7-9).

Missing Bottle Caps and Lost Sheep

God's Care Shepherding Object Lessons

Source: N/A

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2013-04-03

Scripture: Luke 15:4 ; Matthew 18:12

Author: Barnett Gushin
4

ILLUSTRATION

This is a great object lesson that plays well to both adults and children alike.
 
Place several innocuous items on a tray (at least a dozen, or more). Examples: bottle top, slice of bread, roll of tape, paper clip, hair tie, poker chip, crayon, etc. Walk around the room showing everyone the items on the tray instructing them to take notice of all items. Then leave the room, remove a single item, and return. Once again, show each person the tray. Ask for a show of hands for who notices what's missing. Odds are, only a few will be able to guess correctly. Do this several times. 
 
When done, ask why they think it was so hard to notice what was missing. Point to one person and ask if it would have been easier, for example, had their wedding ring been on the tray and then removed. Would they have noticed then? Or if another's car keys had been on the tray, etc.

APPLICATION

Most people have a hard time with this exercise because they don't care about the innocuous items on the tray. When the items hold some personal meaning or attachment, they are much more likely to notice their absence.

Jesus knows and cares about every single one of us. If even one out a hundred goes missing, He will drop everything to find us!

"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" (Luke 15:4, c.f. Matthew 18:12).

A Marble Masterpiece

Prayer Shepherding Transformation

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-09-28

Author: E.M. Bounds
3

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Aquarium Keepers

Evangelism Shepherding Church/Body of Christ

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-04

Scripture: Matthew 4:19

Author: Sam Shoemaker
2

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Costly Contacts

Love for God Shepherding Worldly Mindset

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2011-12-26

Scripture: Matthew 18:12 ; John 21:15

Author: unknown
14

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How Sheep Go Astray

Spiritual Health Church/Body of Christ Shepherding

Contributed By: Aaron Aarons | Date Posted: 2011-08-08

Author: John Macarthur
9

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Setting Your Mark

Followership Discipleship Goal Setting

Contributed By: Joe Palmer | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Hebrews 12:2 ; 1 Corinthians 11:1

Author: Joe Palmer
6

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Built to Sail

Discipleship Servanthood Great Commission

Contributed By: James Miller | Date Posted: 2018-09-22

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:10 ; Matthew 28:18

Author: James Miller
9

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The Spider (Delivery) Man

Church/Body of Christ Spiritual Gifts Encouragement

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2018-07-02

Scripture: Hebrews 10:25 ; Ephesians 4:16

Author: Illustration Exchange
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