Beyond life's trials and its snares
There is a love so rooted deep
O may we know the love that cares
That gives us comfort when we weep
The love of God is greater far
and wider than the heavens stretch
It goes beyond the highest star
No human love will ever match
There is no other power so strong
Which deeply touches the human soul
It will convict when we go wrong
but also heals and makes us whole
This Godly power poured in our heart
Will guide our steps to reach about
If we're surrendered from the start
His love in us shall not burn out
And when through life our love is tried
On His precious Word we'll stand
For His Love in us needs to abide
So we will not crumble, neither bend
Then we'll have no more hurting pride
For His love does absorb every shock
With such unmovable love inside
We'll be able to feed His flock
* * * * *
Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. 1 Timothy 4:16
Examine your own heart by placing yourself in Peter's shoes and see how far your love goes. The story in the Scripture that I will describe happened after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, at the time of His appearance to His disciples.
When they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter: “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me more than these?” He saith unto Him; “Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee.” He saith unto him, “Feed My lambs.” John 21:15
The Lord singled Peter out, after they had finished their dinner. And Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him more than the other disciples. The Lord didn't ask this because He didn't know what Peter was like, but to give Peter the opportunity to express himself openly and in front of the other disciples.
Jesus replied to Peter saying: "Feed My lambs." With this, Jesus was referring to the newborn babes, the young of the flock, the weak believers who need tender loving care and affection. They that needed to be nourished, comforted and strengthened by feeding them the milk of the Gospel.
He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? He saith unto Him, Yea, Lord; Thou knowest that I love Thee. He saith unto him, Feed My sheep. John 21:16
To make certain that Peter did understand the depth of the Lord's question, and wanting his response to be confirmed, Jesus ask a second time: "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? This time the Lord omitted the words, "more than these." Peter didn't think much about it and answered in the same manner with: "yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee."
Jesus responded somewhat differently by saying: " Feed My sheep." This time Jesus referred to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and others among the Gentiles. Really, the Lord was saying to Peter to bring in the sheep by feeding them the bread of life and the living water. Leading His people to maturity in Christ by feeding them God's word and His ordinances without dominating them; caring for them as a good shepherd does.
He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me? Peter was grieved because He said unto him the third time, Lovest thou Me? And he said unto Him, Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest that I love Thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed My sheep. John 21:17
This is the third time that Jesus asks Peter: "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou Me?" By now Peter became sad, perhaps thinking that the Lord didn't believe that he sincerely did love Him. Also, by Jesus asking him three times the same question Peter was reminded on the three times he had denied Jesus. And Peter was grieved.
This time, Peter acknowledges that nothing is hidden from the Lord and that God knows the secret corners of his heart. Peter realizes that even though he had previously grossly failed the Lord, he also had cried bitterly about it in repentance. And although his love for Christ may have been tried and he did fall for temptation of satan, his love of Christ never changed. Peter then replies: "Lord, Thou knowest all things, Thou knowest that I love Thee."
Jesus said again to Peter: "Feed My Sheep." The repetition of the questions and the responses of Peter show the importance of the need to "truly" love Jesus Christ in order to be able to look after His lambs and His sheep. The love of Christ in the life of God's servant is essential in the caring for His people, as the natural human patience, love and endurance will soon wear down.
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. 1 Peter 5:2
Only those that possess the true love of Christ will be able to feed the lambs and the sheep as God intended it to be. Such a servant will be able to watch over the flock when danger is around.
Even at the risk of his own life he will not forsake the flock in time of adversity. These are the ones who will go after the sheep that are missing or lost with a drive and zeal that only can come from God Almighty, through the love of Christ.
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own Blood. Acts 20:28
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16
* * * * *
Copyright © Dr.Trudy Veerman, Webmaster, 1996-2014. All rights reserved