Feeding the Flock of God
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
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.
Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (1Peter 5:1-4)
THERE IS SUCH A THING AS "THE FLOCK OF GOD." Peter is telling the elders of the church that they are to feed the flock of God. Notice, he does not say to beat the flock or fleece the flock or boss the flock or make life hard for the flock of God, but to feed them. The flock of God belongs to Him and the elders are to feed them on the Lord’s behalf.
WHAT IS THE FLOCK OF GOD? They are the people of God, people who belong to Him. God knows it and they know it. Though I have often strayed away from the Lord, yet I remained His from moment I was one of His lambs. Are you in The Flock of God? If not, would you like to be? Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (Psalm 100:3) We were taught as children: “The Lord is my shepherd….” (Psalm 23). It is one of the most loved and the most-memorized passage of Scripture. In October, 1943 I became a part of the flock of God and Jesus became my Shepherd. I was nine years old.
I DIDN'T KNOW IT AT THE TIME, but my body became a temple of the Holy Spirit and He came inside me to stay. Paul says: What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. (1Corinthians 6:19-20) Notice the last word: God’s. We belong to Him. We are His property. My body and my spirit belong to God. Is this the way it is in your life?
THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH are the appointed or elected leaders of the local church. The word: Elder, occurs 179 times in the Bible; in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. The use of Elders in the New Testament church clearly come from the function of Elders in the Jewish system of the Old Testament. Elders are not to be bossy or to throw their weight around but are to be the humble servants of the Lord. Our text for today indicates that the elders at that time were to feed the flock of God. There is no mention of a pastor. Paul said he was an elder.
THE ELDERS LED AND ASSISTED THE CHURCH IN SEVERAL WAYS. Much like today, they did all kinds of things. But the most important thing they did was to feed the flock of God. The Elders, as the name suggests, were the older, more mature people in the flock. They’ve seen more. They’ve heard more. They know more. Therefore, Elders are the natural choice to function in the flock in an authoritative role to give stability and direction to the flock of God. A Pastor is blessed if he has good Elders and/or Deacons to work with him.
THE ELDERS ARE ENTRUSTED WITH AUTHORITY to act on behalf of the rest of the flock. Many churches today elect deacons to function as elders. Deacons served under the Elders and assisted them. Essentially, they were extra arms and legs for the Elders. Qualifications for Elders are listed in 1Timothy 3, along with Bishops and Deacons. Peter reminds the Elders that they are to be ensamples (examples) of Christianity to the rest of the flock. Their example, their modeling the Christian life was one of the most important ways they fed the flock of God.
THE APOSTLE PETER TELLS THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH to feed the “Flock of God.” Not with bread and soup, but with the Word of God. The establishment of church leadership came early in the development of the Church, the body of Christ. Keep in mind that when the church was first established, there were no New Testament books for about 30 years.
Therefore, the Elders fed earliest flock out of the Old Testament. We must remember that Christ is in every book of the Old Testament. He is the promised one from the time of Moses and He is in types and figures from the book of Genesis forward. So, the Elders had plenty of material with which to feed the flock of God.
JESUS BEGAN THE PROCESS OF FEEDING just before He ascended back to the Father: Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:25-27)
THEN JESUS REPEATED HIMSELF, to reinforce what He was saying to them.
And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, (Luke 24:44-45)
THERE IS MUCH BIBLE ILLITERACY IN OUR CHURCHES TODAY about Christ being in the Old Testament and about church history. There is a tendency to focus on a few character lessons in the New Testament and be satisfied that Bible study has taken place. With that kind of approach, Bible study has not taken place and will never take place as long as that is the approach. Being satisfied with a wee bit of knowledge of the New Testament is a big mistake! We have no substantial root without studying all the way from Genesis (including Genesis as the foundational book).
THE CHURCHES TODAY NEED A STURDY, COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE BIBLE. Otherwise, our Christianity is going to be weak and anemic and without Christian character. Our young people today have no blueprint for morality with a firm grasp of the whole Bible. Not only the what of the Bible, but also the when, why, and how of the Bible. Therefore, the Morning Minute includes Read Through the Bible in a Year. It’s a tough program to read the entire Bible in a year.
THREE THINGS SHOULD BE ANSWERED WHEN STUDYING THE BIBLE. 1. What is being said? 2. What does it mean? 3. How does it apply to me?
Read Through the Bible in a Year
APRIL 25, 2018 – WEDNESDAY
A.M. 2Samuel 13-14 P.M. Luke 20:1-26
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Good Memory Verse:
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1John 5:14-15)
Song for Today:
Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah (2:48) – (British Cong. – Ronald Ellis)
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