SHEPHERD MY SHEEP
“He said to him again a second time,
“Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him,
“Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him,
“Tend (shepherd) My sheep.”
Love for Jesus is the prerequisite to being ABLE to shepherd HIS sheep. To be a shepherd in God’s house is not a position, a job description or a title. It is simply the expression of a life that loves Jesus. Here Jesus is speaking to one who would walk as an apostolic expression in the days ahead yet the command from Jesus is to FEED and SHEPHERD HIS sheep. The word pastor is used only once in the entire New Testament. Not once is it mentioned in the Book of Acts or in the Epistles of Titus and Timothy who were to go out and ordain (appoint or confirm) Elders in the local church. Yet the concept and passion of all of Paul’s, Peter’s, John’s and Luke’s writings are felt in the heart beat of the Great Shepherd shining through every page written by the unction and power of the Holy Spirit.
In today’s “church” we have made it a position and a title; A shepherd that is going to look after the people of God. The rest can merely sit in the pew, give their 10% in the offering to support “the” ministry and give no more thought to the result of such an idea. The reality is that any one who is truly in Love with Jesus will naturally care for HIS sheep.
“For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state,
for all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s”
A person who is filled with the Love of God will find that the natural flow of HIS heart is to see God’s people walk in the power and truth of HIS life. The fact that we have so little corporate expression in the Local Church is a powerful testimony to the ineffectiveness of the status quo. True ministry has only one purpose; to cause men and women to be so captivated with the beauty of Jesus that they experience their own deep convictions and desire for the Life of the Son to be manifested in their lives. We will see an incredible bursting forth of power when people are no longer seeking their own things but are more concerned with the life of the Son in those around them. Only LIFE can produce life; only LOVE can bring forth a true and natural flow of care for the life of another.
The Church of Jesus Christ needs more shepherd expressions that are the result of a deep passionate love for Jesus. Not necessarily those who are professional, schooled and trained in the psychology of this world but those have been brought into the Fear of the Lord which is the beginning of ALL TRUE WISDOM. Powerless counselors, worldly strategies and mood altering drugs will NEVER prevail against the deep symptoms of the human heart. We must come to know that only the POWER of JESUS displacing the darkness, the fear, the guilt, the shame and the perversion of the broken heart will provide lasting change. HE is the answer and those that love HIM reveal HIM. We are all still works in progress but let us know that the answer for this world is to be found in a people who LOVE HIM. Those who truly love Jesus cannot help but empower those around them to a greater desire to rise up from where they are and to be caught up in the great pursuit of HIS Lordship and HIS LIFE!
“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up”
His name, His goodness and His praise should ever be on the hearts and minds of His own. Our lives before our children should be lived in the evident love of Him. Even though there are shortcomings and issues we need for our children to see that HE is the love and purpose of our life. Strong homes where God is spoken of constantly, where HE is the over-riding reason for the direction and purpose of the home is a ministry in itself. If our faith is not pervading our home and our children’s lives it is time to seek afresh the priorities of our life and turn again to the good and perfect way of the Lord. The unity and the faith of the home is the strength of the Church. It is in passing on to our children the goodness of the fear and the love of God that we see the next generation arising in their own faith and their own light.
“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,
which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice;
and I am persuaded that in thee also”
II Timothy 1:5
Strong faith, unfeigned faith, faith that is not comprised of principles and concepts, but a faith that is living and real must bring others into their own FAITH and walk. Faith cannot not be handed down like some sort of heirloom it must be ministered. True faith is only known via relationship with the Author. How we need in this day homes and families where HE is exalted, talked about and lived out to the fullest measure we know that in so doing our children will be drawn into the place of their own relationship and journey with God. The next generation of ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ should be rising up within our own families.
“The Christian home is the Master’s workshop where the
processes of character-molding are
silently, lovingly, faithfully
and successfully carried on”
RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES (1809–1885)
FAITH AND THE CITY OF GOD
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
Whose heart is set on pilgrimage”
Faith is the DYNAMIC within an individual that produces motion and quest. Its very inner workings within a heart must birth a journey. For in its sway, there is communicated to the people of God a clarity of the HEAVENLY to such an extent that this world and all of its offerings pale in comparison to the treasures of God in Christ. Faith can never be static. It has one desire, one purpose; to make real in us the Character, the Beauty and the Power of our Risen Christ. Men who become “comfortable” in a teaching, a form or a method have not seen the City of God. Even Abraham, while living in the Land of Promise, was a pilgrim for his heart was set on the City of God.
“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise,
as in a strange country… for he looked
FOR A CITY which hath foundations,
whose builder and maker is God”
HEBREWS 11:9 – 10
It is in beholding the Heavenly City that we see and understand the contradiction to what we see in the earth. Faith must take us from the quest of our own personal pursuits in Christ to the place of seeking the welfare of the City (the corporate) of God. Nehemiah, though very well situated in the “world” of his day, was exceedingly burdened for the condition and state of the City of God in that day. His heart was broken and burdened for the CITY, not himself. He risked everything (even his life) to see the City of God rebuilt. How much more should we seek out the welfare of His House in these last days? How can we remain quiet? How can we not cry out as we see His house divided, secularized, scandalized and operating as a house of merchandise? Jesus was moved to the cleansing of the temple because His Father’s house was to be a house of prayer not a place of marketing “spiritual things”. The Church of Jesus Christ IS NOT AN EARTHLY ENTITY; it is a spiritual house. It is a Body (singular). It is to function and act like it is singular. The true ministry within it owns nothing and builds nothing for themselves. Their heart is to see the people of God function within their own gifts and callings and to see and ensure the UNITY OF THE FAITH WITHIN HIS HOUSE (Ephesians 4:11 – 13). Men may doubt and mock the reality of such a thing. Faith responds and says THE SON OF GOD PRAYED FOR SUCH A THING IN THE EARTH HOW CAN IT NOT BE?
“…that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You;
that they also may be one in Us,
that the world may believe that You sent Me”