Monday, April 20, 2015

Quite an Assignment and Quite a Promise

Assignment:

"Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, watching over them (serving as overseers)--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve." (1 Peter 5:2 NIV)

"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love Me more than these?' 'Yes, Lord,' he said, 'You know that I love You.' Jesus said, 'Feed My lambs.' Again Jesus said, 'Simon son of John, do you love Me?' He answered, 'Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.' Jesus said, 'Take care of My sheep.'"(John 21:15-16)  I'm sure Peter recalled quite vividly this conversation he had with Jesus. He wanted to pass on the same message to the elders. Pastors or elders must feed the sheep under their care out of love for God & others and genuine concern for the souls of people, not for dishonest/dishonorable gain (greed). "To feed the flock purely for the sake of the fleece, and to take a living only to get a living, is an horrid impiety; to be driven into the ministerial office by necessity is bad, but to be drawn by covetousness is much worse." (William Burkitt)
It is indeed an honor to serve God by serving His children. When we serve, God wants us to serve willingly/gladly and eagerly/enthusiastically (with zeal), not grudgingly or selfishly. There is a difference between loving your job and having to do your job. It should be a delight/pleasure, not a burden or drudgery. Assigned shepherds get to feed (teach) God's lambs with sound doctrine and discipline, watch over them with diligence that they don't go astray, gently guide them back when they start to wander out of the way, and keep them away from the danger of wolves (false teachings/heresies). To serve them with passion and humility, not to lord it over them. The flock belongs to God, not to the shepherds. Pastors don't own their church/congregation. They are accountable to God for how they take care of those sheep God has entrusted to them. Christian leaders are called to be Godly examples to the flock...to be servant leaders like Christ.The success of our ministry depends more on our practice than on our preaching. It is wrong if one enters a ministry because of money, position, power, popularity, or personal profit (selfish ambition). Motives matter. Tragically, some even make their ministry an idol (putting it above God). 

"Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with His own blood." (Acts 20:28)

We (who are Christian parents) have been given an awesome responsibility to feed/lead our children spiritually...teach them God's Word, help them know God intimately, and exemplify Christlikeness to them. 

Promise:

"When the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away." (1 Peter 5:4 NIV)--The Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who laid down His life for the sheep will come for His sheep. And He will give the unfading crown of glory to the faithful shepherds who take care of His flock as He intends. The eternal reward is out of this world!

1 comment:

Lata Subramanian said...

Lovely lines "To feed the flock purely for the sake of the fleece, and to take a living only to get a living, is an horrid impiety; to be driven into the ministerial office by necessity is bad, but to be drawn by covetousness is much worse." (William Burkitt) And lovely post reminding people of what life is really about

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