FEED MY LAMBS (Part One)
My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me. —John 10:27
Throughout Scripture, believers are referred to as lambs and sheep. Within the Word of God, as in nature, the dissimilarity between lambs and sheep is simple: sheep are mature, and lambs are babies.
In its first year of life, a lamb requires gentle care and feeding, subsisting only on milk. Once a lamb matures, it's able to handle solid food and become part of a flock with a natural inclination to follow a shepherd. Believers also have a shepherd: Jesus Christ, who is the Good Shepherd and the Door of the sheepfold. John 10:11 - "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep."
After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Word of God (John 21:1-17) says that at the Sea of Galilee our Lord not only appeared to several of His disciples but also prepared for them a breakfast of fish and bread. In this third manifestation as the risen Savior, Jesus asked Simon Peter the same question three times: Simon, son of John, do you love me? Peter replied: "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." After each affirmation, the Lord’s instructions were for Peter to "Feed My lambs." "Tend My sheep." "Feed My sheep."
The threefold directive by the Good Shepard over 2000 years ago confirms that we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30). Then, we will be ready to feed and tend to His lambs.
FEED THE LAMBS: Protect them from the enemy: "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8).
As the lion roars and stalks his victim, the little lamb can't discern the danger as they're easy prey for an Enemy who roams the earth in disguise never revealing his true identity. Teach them that evil starts with a threefold plan to tempt, deceive, and snare. It begins with benign words tuned and pitched to perfection to be heard as reasonably sound and sensible. That’s the Enemy’s temptation! From there it unfolds into comfortable words “It’s okay to want, need, or desire the things of this world.” That’s the Enemy’s deception! And finally, the accusatory words that point to sins so great that they can’t be forgiven. That’s the ultimate lie from the pit of hell!
Teach them that no alternate routes are acceptable to God and that the Cross of Christ is the only bridge of redemption that leads directly to God the Father. Instruct them in all areas so they’ll be able to survive in a world where sin abounds.
FEED THE LAMBS: Nourish the young: “. . .as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby. . .” (1 Peter 2:2).
Lead your children to God’s table. Prepare their spiritual food according to God’s Word. The young in the Lord have to be nourished by the milk of the Word so they’ll be able to understand it easily. Read Bible stories, feed them in small portions, but feed them often. Help them to take small mouthfuls, and allow them to chew it slowly. Let them fully digest before you continue. Make their spiritual mealtime a blessing filled with love, humility, and truth. After they have eaten, prove to them how nourishing and satisfying God’s Word is by the example and testimony of your life.
FEED THE LAMBS: Stimulate their appetite: “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).
Encourage them with a gentle walk through God’s Word. Present to them the Truth that God created heaven and earth and that the natural order of life—plants, animals, and people—came directly from His Hands and not from a cosmic explosion or a blob of slime. Paint a biblical picture showing that everything created still comes forth continually “after its own kind” (Genesis 1:24).
Compliment and give praise when they reach another plateau in their spiritual walk. Take time to share with them what God has done in your life. Your excitement of the Word and joy in the Lord will stimulate their spiritual appetites. Let them see the love of Christ in you and, by your example, they’ll be persuaded.
FEED THE LAMBS: Guide them gently: “He will feed his flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arms, and carry them in His bosom” (Isaiah 40:11).
Be careful how you feed them for they are tender, gentle, innocent. They bruise easily. Tend to them with love and understanding. Know when to lead, guide, gather, and carry. And when they go astray, bring them back to their Shepherd. Luke 15:40 - "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?"
Consider why so many have gone astray today. Perhaps their early training ground has been saturated with worldliness rather than permeated with godliness. Matthew 18:14 - "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."
Jesus is standing at the door; He is asking: “Do you love me?” And like Peter, our answer must be the same:“Yes, Lord, I love you.” The response from the Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow: “Feed my lambs.”
And now, we pray and sing His praise forever to all generations (Psalm 79:13) that we are God’s people, the sheep of His pasture.
Thank you, Father God, that through Your Son, Jesus, I can praise you forever and proclaim your love, grace, and mercy to this generation. Endowed from above and fortified in Your Word, I move forward asking that I become a blessing to others, and may others become a blessing to me. In His Love and Holy Name. Amen.
In His Love © 2019. All Rights Reserved.