Shepherd the Flock

Therefore, as a fellow elder and witness to the sufferings of the Messiah and also a participant in the glory about to be revealed, I exhort the elders among you: Shepherd God's flock among you, not overseeing out of compulsion but freely, according to God's will, not for the money but eagerly; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 1 Peter 5:1-3 HCSB

In my forty years in full-time ministry I have had times of joy and excitement as I witnessed God working in the lives of those to whom I had been called to minister; occasionally I have been depressed and discouraged because of frustration brought on by lack of response or the feeling thatno matter what I did, it really did not matter. God has richly blessed me with many different ministry opportunities and I have had the privilege of making many friends across the United States. I am thankful that God called me to ministry and has used me as His instrument to impact many lives.

Peter was speaking to those who were elders, sometimes translated as pastor. Peter was one of the twelve disciples, but in this verse he identified himself as a fellow elder. Headmonished those who were leaders to shepherd God's flock and to set an example for the flock. This is the same command that Jesus gave to Peter (see John 21:15-17) – “Feed my sheep.”

Challenge: Even if you are not a pastor or elder in the church, God wants you to be an example and feed His sheep – those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. Pray for your pastors. They do not enter ministry for financial gain, but they choose to follow God's call on their lives. October is Pastor Appreciation month. Write your minister a note telling him that you appreciate what he does and how he ministers to those in your church.

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