Jesus the Good Shepherd
John 10:11 - I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
God gave us a Shepherd named Jesus whom we should follow. He is the only one who can lead us to our heavenly Father. There is no other way even if it is in the name of God. For it is written many will come in disguise but they are wolves dressed as (sheep) shepherds, their intension is to devour the sheep. But the Good Shepherd loves his sheep very much, as to give even his life for his sheep. In the sheepfold are three categories; lambs, sheep and goats.
The most loved are the lambs, whom the Lord holds up in his bosom. He does not let any harm or inconvenience come to them.
Isaiah 40:11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
But the Lord does not want that they be lambs forever. He had being assigned to lead the sheep not lambs. So He wants the lambs to become sheep, therefore when Jesus was asking Peter if he loved Him, Jesus was also giving instructions as to how we should take care of his sheep.
15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs."
16 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 My sheep."
17 He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.
The three instructions were 'Feed My lambs', 'Tend My sheep' and 'Feed My sheep'.
We should deal very delicately with the poor in spirit, the ones who have just come to know the Lord and are weak. We should feed them the Good News; the Word of Salvation, our testimonies, words of encouragement, give them love or any kind of help which will bring them nearer to the Lord. Then comes the time for them to become sheep, at that time the Lords starts to work on them. Although they are loved they are made to experience discomfort or changes in their situations. At this time we are not to give importance to feed them but more to tend to them. Support them as they go through this process. Once they pass through this phrase we have to feed them. Their feed now is not the spiritual milk which is given to the lambs but solid food, deeper understanding of the Word; getting the inner revelation of the scriptures.
If we who are called to be shepherds like Jesus; do not work in this fashion, become the biggest enemy of the sheepfold. If we love the lambs but do not let them become sheep then it is not love. If we keep on feeding the sheep the lamb's food we are not benefiting the sheep or the purpose of God.
The Lord loves each and every sheep and will go to any extend to keep it in his folk.
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
In the sheep fold are also goats which follow the Shepherd but unlike the sheep they have not surrendered themselves fully to the Shepherd. The goats have horns which are the evil in their hearts which they do not want to get rid off. They have rejected the grace of God to cover them. They want the world and the things of this world as well as Jesus. These goats at the time of judgment will be dealt with more severally then those who are not in the sheepfold.
Matthew 25:31-34, 41, 46
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Become a sheep and like the Good Shepherd bring sheep in to his sheepfold, not goats or just lambs.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord Jesus, You love me very much and tend to me very dearly. Let your Spirit work in me and make me in to sheep from a lamb. Nourish me to become a healthy, mature sheep. Help me to imitate You as a Good Shepherd. I ask this in your mighty Name, Amen.
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