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Archive for July 12th, 2012

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Sheep are not the most intelligent animals. They follow food as an enticement or rely on a leader to steer them. They need protection from wild animals—the reason for the flocking characteristic. Often, sheep are protected by a shepherd who makes them go where they need in order to find food, water, and safety. If one of the flock gets lost, it is up to the shepherd to find it and return it to its rightful place. In the religious realm, specifically the Christian faith, we see Jesus as our shepherd and we are His sheep. As Christians, we are led by our shepherd but only if we are willing. Repeatedly, we want to do our own thing and tend to get separated from the flock. We are stubborn.

Prior to the crucifixion, Peter denied that He knew Jesus—he denied he was a disciple. When Jesus foretold of this event, Peter balked at the thought that he would do such a thing as noted here:

33 Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.” 

34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” Matthew 26 (NIV)

Peter was so sure of his faith but when it came time to stand up for Jesus, Peter denied he even knew Him. In the final part of the story, Jesus is charging Peter with the responsibility of feeding His sheep. This was to re-establish Peter. Have you ever betrayed someone? You knew you did wrong but you didn’t know how to fix it. I have. I hid in shame. I lost all confidence that I could do anything right again. Jesus knew this of Peter and built him up—confidence was restored—in order for Peter to carry out his job.

There are several lessons to learn of this story, but one that stands out to me is that Jesus did not ask Peter to feed His sheep. Did you see a question in there? I didn’t. That is God’s way. God didn’t say to Moses (no disrespect intended), “Moses, if you get a chance, can you bring my people out of Egypt?” God did not ask Abraham to offer his son as a sacrifice. God did not ask Noah if he could put some time to the side and build an ark. God did not ask Jonah to go Nineveh. Time after time God instructed people to do things. He did not ask. That is God’s way.

Not only ministers are called to serve but all Christians are called by God. Are we listening? Do we hear? Do we obey?

Happy Gardening in all of your gardens and may they be forever beautiful! 🙂

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