Friday, August 17, 2018

1 Peter 5:1-4 (NKJV)

The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

The exhortation in our reading today was given to elders by office, not elders by age, that is, ministers of those churches Peter wrote to. Jesus instructed Peter “feed my lambs, tend my sheep and feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17). To tend the flock of God, not that of any man, was the charge given. This is our duty today as ministers, so let us be good shepherds not wolves. We must feed His sheep. We must never devour, poison, destroy or scatter them because they belong to God. We must beware of servants of Satan who appear as servants of righteousness but are wolves in sheep’s clothing. We can recognise them by their deeds.

As stewards of the mysteries of God, faithfulness and trustworthiness are vital. We have to renounce disgraceful, underhanded dealings; shun cunningness or the temptation to tamper with God’s word. Pastoral duties should not be by constraint but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly with humility, we must not lord it over God’s heritage.

We have to be examples to the flock as servant leaders to the people, redeemed to God by the great Shepherd. The flock should be treated with love, meekness and tenderness. We have to be above reproach, temperate, sensible, dignified, non-violent but gentle and not lovers of money. We must not neglect the ministry of the word and ministry of prayer to serve tables (Acts 6:2, 4). There is great reward to faithful shepherds. When the Chief Shepherd comes, they will obtain the unfading crown of glory.

Prayer: Lord help us not to neglect our duties as shepherds, may we fulfil the ministry and not to make a shipwreck of the same in Jesus’ name. Amen.