Feed My Sheep
I recently watched a movie about a church which had grown quite large, not only in attendance, but also financially. It had become not just a church, but a business with shareholders etc. With this huge growth it had visions of spreading globally so that the sermons and other outreach programs could be viewed world wide. It had visions of doing the Lords work by dumping big money into big projects to help lots of people at one time.
All this sounds wonderful, but it was a lost church. Much like some of the churches written in Revelations by the apostle John. Jesus said that they were rich in many ways, but they were also very poor, because they had lost their first love. The church in the movie looked great from the outside attempting to do the work of the Lord. It was a big church, with a big congregation, a big steeple on top, televised all across the nation and to other countries. Oh sure it was rich, but Jesus would say it was poor because it has lost its first love. Its eyes were no longer on the Lord, but on itself. "Oh look how wonderful we are." they would say. "We do big breakfasts for the poor, we help many people around the world, feeding the poor, we are watched on TV around the world." This church had lost its first love. It was no longer the Lord, or His people, it served to increase the bankroll of its shareholders.
Jesus, while he walked on the earth after His resurrection, said to Peter three times; "Simon Peter, do you love Me ( ) feed my sheep..." John 21:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Whom are the sheep which Jesus was speaking of? Jesus was speaking about all the people all around Him. Feed these souls, Jesus was saying to Peter. Feed the young, feed the poor, the old, the destitute, the lost, the blind, the lepers etc. Feed them all Peter. Was He speaking of just their physical needs? No, He wanted Peter to feed their most important needs. He was asking Peter to meet their spiritual needs. He wanted Peter to show the people that all are lost, that all are in need of a Savior. That all are in need of repentance. He wanted the people to learn that they could be saved from their sins by believing on the work that Jesus did by dying on the cross in their place for their sins, for our sins.
And yes, He was also asking Peter to help meet their physical needs as well, but first and most importantly their spiritual needs needed to be fed first.
Jesus showed by example during his 3 years of ministry how we all are to look after others, to help meet both their physical and spiritual needs. In most cases when confronting others Jesus first turned the conversations to the peoples spiritual needs before He would meet their physical needs. He wanted to show then that they were in need of a savior, before He would meet their physical needs.
Compassion and love is the root to feeding the sheep. Sure you can fill people heads full of sermons and flowering speeches I big buildings. But wait. Stop ! Open up the church doors, and its windows. What do you see, what do you hear?
Walk out the doors and tell me what you see. Look across the street at those run down houses. What about that fellow over there curled in that cardboard box with clothes on that have not seen soap and water in so many years? What about that bag lady on the corner dragging one foot behind the other as she along all here material possessions in a small cart? There, look over there ! See that dude in the alley with a needle stuck in his arm? And look, over there, theres Donnie sitting behind his favourite park bench with a brown bag clutched tightly as he takes a sip from the contents of a bottle within the bag.
Peter, do you love me, feed my sheep. Yes Lord, you know that I love you. Then feed my sheep Peter.
This is what is lacking in many churches today. They have forgotten the Lords command to: "Feed My sheep." Instead they build these great edifices, with sparkling windows, and tall impressive soiers with a cross on top. The churches doors are closed, and the donnies and the bag ladies are shunned and left outside. Feed my sheep !
Jesus was often found rebuking the Pharisees and the Saducees. For they to were much like the churches of today. They boasted how good and how great they were. They had no need of help from anyone, or anything. To lead and shepherd the lost in the synagogues. They thought themselves to be too good, to wealthy to be in need of a low life carpenter or to help the low lifes of their day.
Yes those on the inside are also in need of being fed, but the rich corporate churches of the day are neglecting the sheep outside and are instead filling the pews to make themselves look good, to fill the pocket books of it;s shareholders, much like then Pharisees whom wore rich clothing Lording it over the poor..
And what of you, yes you the individual whom though, yes you are in need of being fed, are you also going outside of your comfort zone and feeding the sheep? Did Jesus not command us all to go out into all the world and feed my sheep? Matt. 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15
It is not neccessary to board ships and planes and go preaching to the furthest ends of the earth to "Feed My Sheep". There are many out there already who are doing that. And great, it is need. But there are also very, very many right outside your back door, down the road, in the park, in the alleys etc. who are in need of being fewd. Feed My Sheep. Where are the sheep? They are evrywhere.
For Jesus said to His disciples; "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few." Matt. 9:37 New International Version, ©2010
Friends, indeed the harvest is great. The signs of the times are showing that the time of Jesus's return to reap the harvest is near. Yet the field is still ripe. Few there are who will open the doors and Feed the Sheep.
You do not need to travel far. You do not need a great education, a doctorate in theology, be eloquent of speech. You only need the basic knowledge of the gospel, and the faith of a child to go forth and feed His sheep.
Will you sit in comfort in your church pews, or will you go out and feed the sheep? The need is great. There are many ways of ministering God's Word by way of mouth, pen, Internet, foot etc. Let your imagination and the leading of the Holy Spirit and the faith of a child encourage you to go forth and FEED HIS SHEEP!
WHAT SAY YOU !
We are the Sheep of His Pasture
In the last days there will be false prophets, false teachers and those whom willingly seek out those who teach what their itching ears want to hear. This is really nothing new. This kind of stuff was going on in the days of Jesus and before. He, Jesus said that in the very last days, it would become worse. We are living in those very last days.
When I was in Bible college I was always alert, being careful to discern what I was taught against the teachings that I was hearing. That is not to say I did not receive good teachings, but on occasion I did not always agree with what I was taught and what I believed the scriptures taught. I would sometimes have to do as the good Berians in the book of Acts to go on my own and see if what I was taught agreed with scripture. This is a good way to be sure what you are being told agrees with scripture.
You, likewise may have been taught some bad teachings. That is not your fault. It is good to see that the Holy Spirit has given you the discernment to likewise see that in the past you have been taught some false teachings.,
When one receives bad counsel, likewise it not his own fault. To learn the truth is the way of Christ.