Thursday, April 7, 2016
As I mentioned before, church pastors cannot rightfully be called the shepherds of the flock because the sheep are not theirs but the Lord’s. The Good Shepherd, on the other hand, bought them with His own blood, therefore He is the rightful owner. It is very unlikely that a steward can have as great a love for his master’s property as the owner himself. My dad had a business and I worked with him from time to time when I was a teenager. It was obvious to him back then that I was not as devoted to it as he was, so he once told me: “One day, you’re going to learn that nobody will be as interested in your own endeavors as you yourself.” He was right.
Pastors must keep in mind this truth: They are not the owners or lords of the sheep. They have been called to watch over the Lord’s flock, to lead, nourish, provide, and keep watch over them, not to rule over them as a tyrant would. They have been called to lead and guide them, not drive them as cattle. I bet some of you have heard stories about certain church pastors who rule their congregations with an iron fist. That should not be and none of those who stay in such a ministry will ever receive the care and attention that they need.
Again in the 23rd Psalm, David wrote: “Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” The shepherd’s rod was used to direct and guide the flock and also to keep count of them and make sure that none was missing. His staff was used as a weapon against wild dogs or any other predators that were known to greatly torment and worry the sheep. As the Lord’s sheep, it gave David comfort to know that his Shepherd was always close by and aware of him, always willing and capable of protecting him from his enemies. Any pastor who has a genuine shepherd’s heart will be aware of his flock’s need and will always be ready to come to their defense when they are being attacked or mistreated. He realizes these are his Father’s sheep and will always make a sincere effort to fulfill his obligations.
Memory verse for the week: (Jeremiah 3:15) “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”