Tuesday, April 14, 2015
My children are the proud owners of 3 orphan lambs, which we have been bottle feeding for nearly 3 weeks. Typically the kids take care of all the chores, but the other day I mixed up the milk replacer and a thought hit me. These lambs drink the same thing everyday...morning and night. (Oh wouldn't life be easier if my kids did the same!?!) As that thought ran through my mind the story of Jesus talking to Peter about feeding lambs and caring for sheep entered my mind.
Now God has never had this conversation with me, but I believe He created you and me to do the same...care for His people, love them and guide them. You may not be a Sunday School teacher or Bible study leader, but friend I pray you still take a few minutes to read these words because regardless of our titles, we still impact others and can share Truth. You may not live on a farm, but you can feed sheep!!
So how do we feed sheep? That's a good question! There are countless things we can do for people and numerous words we can share with them, but today let's focus on the thing that feeds our faith...God's Word. Friends, "the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The milk our little lambs drink day after day, seems simple, maybe even insignificant, but yet it is vital. Without this milk replacer our lambs would not survive. Friend, when the one you love is hurting or in need do you feel like simply sharing the Word isn't enough? Like it's too simple? Read the verses above to be reminded of the power it holds. With His Word, God spoke the world into creation, with that same Word He can transform hearts, minds and lives. It has power. It is enough.
As I mixed up the powder and water, my mind raced and my heart was convicted. All too often I forget and downplay the spiritual, nutritious value of the Scriptures. Day after day it's what I need and my loved ones do too. Every feeding our little lambs eagerly approach the gate for the meal that never changes, but always sustains...oh to do the same!
Over the last couple of weeks I've found myself thinking about this and my thoughts center around two different situations...first of all let's think about when we are sharing the Word. Like I said earlier, you don't need a special, important title to think about this...any and all followers of Christ can and should share God's Word. Friend, sharing God's holy, powerful Word is not something we should take lightly. We must remember a few key Scriptures ourselves -
"Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar." (Proverbs 30:6)
"And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll." (Revelation 22:19)
"And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power." (1 Corinthians 2:4)
"For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (2 Peter 1:16)
"For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the Gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void." (1 Corinthians 1:17)
On the flip side, it's also important to think about those who feed us the Word. Who do you count on to feed you in a spiritual sense? Do they provide you with what you need? Do they present you with the pure Word of God? The whole Truth? What are their motives? Do they tickle your ears?
I am grateful for a pastor and Bible teacher/friend who take the job of feeding lambs seriously and do it well. I pray I won't just be nourished by their actions, but can learn from them and follow their example too.
Friend, the Word of God, is something we must handle with care. As we use it to feed the ones we love, may we remember one last lesson from my lambs...a shepherd never worries about entertaining his sheep. He feeds them, cares for them and loves them, but doesn't focus on keeping them amused. At times it seems that is a danger in our society today, but it's not something God, our shepherd, ever discusses. Though we may be tempted to please or even charm others, let us not forget it's God's Word that holds the power, not our delivery.
Today, as the Lord's lamb, I pray you are fed the most nourishing meal there is! And today as a "shepherd" yourself, I pray you are able to feed the ones you love!