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The Heart of a Shepherd

And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.

Psalm 78:72 (NIV)

One of the great leaders of Israel was King David. He was not a perfect man, no one is, but he was an excellent leader to his people. Even before he ascended the throne, he led his people in great military victories. Before his death, he subdued almost all of Israel's enemies, built his country's best army, accumulated almost everything Salomon needed to build God's temple, and made Israel a wealthy nation. Not bad for a shepherd boy.

One of the reasons David was such a great leader was that he had the heart of a shepherd. He loved and cared for his people as a shepherd loves and cares for his flock. As you know, David went from the sheepfolds to the palace. Like Moses, he learned how to shepherd literal sheep.

My friend, you are a leader whether you want it or not. When you came to Christ, you became a follower of Christ and a disciple-maker. That means that God expects you to lead people to Christ. Besides that beautiful responsibility, you are probably also leading a business, a church, a group of people, or your family.

This week I want us to examine our hearts to see if we are guiding the people God has entrusted under our care with a heart of a shepherd. Do we care for our families, employees, congregations, or team members as a shepherd would care for his sheep?

Leaders who do not care for people become tyrants. For people in leadership who do not have a shepherd's heart, leadership becomes a significant burden, an idol, or the beginning and the end of a life of misery. Besides, leaders who do not care for their people can cause much pain.

King David was a shepherd of his people, caring for, protecting, and leading them, aiming at nothing else but the glory of God and the good of the people committed to his charge. Do you have a shepherd's heart? I pray the Lord helps us be great leaders by developing the heart of a shepherd.

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