"Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Hebrews 13:20) Working through the Shepherd, The Father will "Make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ" (Heb 13:21). Where spiritual maturity and involvement in the good will of God is found, the "great Shepherd" has been leading. Where this is not found, human obstinacy or ignorance prevails. Mark it well, the "great Shepherd of the sheep" brings them to maturity, perfecting them "in every good work." His objective is to involve us in the "good and acceptable, and perfect will of God." Jesus warned one of the early churches, "for I have not found thy works perfect before God" (Rev 3:2). This is an unacceptable condition because God is able to make us perfect in every good work through Jesus Christ. That is one of the reasons He gave Him to us in the capacity of a "great Shepherd." The word "perfect" comes from a word which means "to complete thoroughly . . . perfect . . . prepare, restore" (Strong's). An imperfect work is one that comes short of the Divine requirement. It misses the mark, and is like an aborted child. It is not recognized by God because it does not comport with His objectives. A "perfect" work is one that meets the Divine objective. It pleases the Lord because it harmonizes with His purpose, and is the expression of unity with Himself (1 Cor 6:17). God is able to make every human expression measure up to His expectations! He accomplishes this through the "great Shepherd of the sheep." If our works are not "perfect," we cannot excuse ourselves upon the basis of our humanity. God has provided a Shepherd to lead us out of the infirmities of humanity into the strength of the Lord, and the power of His might.

Pleasing to God

God the Father, through the "great Shepherd of the sheep," works within us things that are pleasing to Him. Although we ourselves enjoy the things of God, the primary purpose is not our pleasure, but His! It is essential that this be comprehended in a time when personal advantage is heavily promoted in religious circles. There is, of course, no greater personal advantage than being under the care of the "great Shepherd of the sheep." However, we must ever keep in mind that our benefit flows from our involvement with God. It is never an end of itself. I find an intolerable trend developing in the Christian community. There is altogether too much talk about "fun" and having an enjoyable time. No one of sound mind will oppose having an enjoyable time, but everyone should oppose this being a primary objective. Whole assemblies are orchestrated today to accommodate the pleasure of the people. What is more, those that do not measure up to the lusts of the people are judged as unworthy of attention. All of this may seem quite bearable, but God is not well pleased with it. God's attitude toward our works commends or condemns them, regardless of the response of our peers or the popularity of our notions. When we were given a Shepherd--the "great Shepherd" -- we were given One that would lead us to do what is "well pleasing" to God. Our gatherings must welcome the "great Shepherd of the sheep" to work in this manner.