2013/11/17: To Care for His Flock with a Willing and Cheerful Heart (IV)
1 Timothy 5:21-24
The cultivation of a person’s characters starts young. On the same token, it takes time to grow spiritually. Often it is a lifelong endeavor. Nehemiah recorded that after returning to Jerusalem it took 52 days to rebuild the city walls, but the rekindling of Israelites’ faith had taken twelve long years. Throughout the journey of re-shaping our spiritual lives, on which principles are we based to spend our days at home and in church?
Paul reminded us with a few passages. The fact that we acknowledge the principles will benefit tremendously in the shepherding of the congregation, fellowships, family lives, parenting, and self-development. Proverbs 27:23 has the similar saying, ‘Be sure you know how your flocks are doing. Pay careful attention to your herds.’
First of all, we must be like Christ before we can be a shepherd. In 1 Timothy 5:21, Paul reminded Timothy, ‘I command you to follow those directions. I command you in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels. Treat everyone the same. Don’t favor one person over another.’ This is a sacred behest, request and calling. It emphasizes on ‘persistent obedience’. This command makes clear that all teaching and shepherding not only must begin with Christ but also must follow Him along the way. Not by the secular knowledge or the worldly methods, but a divine life is guiding a wondering life. God’s words steer a person on the path to God. We must be watchful of God’s teachings and be considerate of God’s will. With the same attitudes as Jesus Christ, we work towards the forgiveness of those around us. When we recognize our weakness and failure of being a man, we as a shepherd will feel tenderly towards our herd and are willingly to sacrifice ourselves as Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
In addition, towards others we must always be patient, gentle, tolerant, caring and never be judgmental. Even though we have believed in our Lord and have accepted Christ in us, we have to be honest enough to admit that the ‘old self’ constantly stirs within us. Oftentimes we are opinionated and biased. Our judgments are originated from our own subjective belief and experiences. This will keep us apart from God’s blessings and joy. When we are prejudiced, we lost the ability to be fair and just. We need to ask God to refocus our sight in Christ. Let Him be our leader instead of our oblique thoughts and attitudes. Our belief in Him takes us under the wing of a new management. And patiently we grow with continuous constructions and development. We sustain and affirm one another in the fellowship by sharing and caring. Through the intertwinement of our lives, we grow together.
Lastly God looks upon what our actions are. When we serve with others, be understanding and be holy. Start by looking into yourself first. Avoid being the cause of others’ failure. Always strive for harmony while serving the Lord with others. When we take good care of our body and mind, we can serve our Lord more successfully in bringing God’s glory and joy to all around us.
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