Be shepherds because you want to, not because you have to. 1 Peter 5: 2

We have just celebrated the coming of our Lord Jesus as the Christ Child; we are supremely blessed by what He did while He was here; and now we await His second coming as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.

As we wait for Him to come for us, we are to be about His work.  That is spreading the Word, the Good News,  through the power of Love, Mercy and Grace.
He has raised up men and women to do just that, and has given us the written living Word to guide us in light, and love, and a path to follow.  It clearly shows us the Way when we are born again into the kingdom here on earth.  It is indeed the Chief Shepherd Himself.
We continue our study of First Peter.  We have come to chapter 5.  Writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Peter says:

“To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness to Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:  Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers – not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.”
1 Peter 5: 1-4
Peter speaks of being an example to the flock.  This was a particular calling for him.  You will recall how Peter denied knowing the Lord Jesus three times on the night the Lord was taken prisoner and put on trial.(John, chapter 18)
 The Word tell us Peter was totally brokenhearted because he had let the Lord down, and let his faith be corrupted by fear.  He was ashamed, and wept bitterly.  But after the Lord went to The Cross for each of us, paying the complete price with His blood to redeem us from sin, and sickness, and darkness through His death; He arose from the grave.  We see in the Gospel of John, chapter 21, how He went to the Sea of Galilee where Peter and several of the other Apostles had gone back to their nets. After they had fished all night and came to Port, Jesus invited them to eat breakfast with Him that He had prepared.  The Word says:  “When they had finished eating Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you truly love me more than these?’  ‘Yes, Lord’, he said, ‘you know that I love you.’  Jesus said, ‘Feed my lambs.’  Again Jesus said, ‘Simon, son of John, do you truly love me?’  He answered ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Take care of my sheep.’  The third time He said to him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, ‘Do you love me?’ He said, ‘Lord you know all things; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep.”
After that encounter, Peter became one of the great leaders of the Church.  He showed by example his desire to care for the flock. He showed that he wanted to, not that he had to.  He showed to the flock the love, and forgiveness that he had been given.
Peter is speaking to the elders here, but the principle applies to all who have been given the privilege to be overseers, shepherds, of one or many of God’s lambs.  Be that a Pastor, or Teacher, or Elder, or Mom, or Dad, or Brother, or Sister, or Friend.
 Be an example of love that is given freely, and without condition. Be one who shows forgiveness, and restores relationships.  Be a provider, and protector, and comforter, and one who shows the right way.
Peter had not been a good example before, but the Lord saw Peter as he could be.  One that indeed would feed the sheep, and be a good shepherd. So it was.
 Perhaps we have not been good examples of what a good shepherd should do for those that look to him or her, but we indeed can be.  Let it be so as we willingly let the Lord, the Chief Shepherd, lead us and show us how it is done with Psalm 23 as the model.
Let the love of the Lord, and His example encourage us us to shepherd because we want to, not because we have to.
May the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of the Father, and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all, my Brother and Sisters in Christ.
I love you.
Poppa B

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