THEME: CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP
“Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.”
-Apostle Paul’s last words to the Ephesian elders exhort them of their duty and dangers. Their duty in maintaining five priorities, that is; to be right with God, shepherd the flock of God, guard the flock, study and pray, and be free from self-interest. Also, that they should be on their guard against unique dangers especially false prophecy and temptations that beset them. In Matthew 7:15, Jesus reminds us to beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. As disciples of God, we notice that it is the Holy Spirit who has made us guardians to His flock. He has called us to be shepherds to His church in which we form part. Some of us having been given the gift of preaching, others teaching, prophecy, healing, miracles, helps, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, discerning between spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, that we may minister to the flock He purchased by His own blood.
Sheep are unique animals that have been used numerous times in the Bible. Sheep are emotional and know the voice of their shepherd. As disciples of Jesus, we are called to listen to His voice and follow Him. Sheep are meek animals. Like sheep, we are called to humble ourselves before the Lord and He will lift us up. Sheep are highly dependent of their shepherds and bleat when lost or nervous. Like sheep, we are reminded to cast our burdens and cares to Jesus for He cares for us. Sheep cannot defend themselves when danger presents itself. The Lord is our Shield and Defender and He calls us to trust in Him wholeheartedly in our discipleship duties. Sheep follow each other and walk in multitudes. We are called to dwell in unity as believers and love one another as ourselves. Sheep usually have no sense of direction but follow their shepherds. We too are called to seek the direction of Jesus in all that we do, even as we execute the work of discipleship. Psalm 23:1-3 tells us that, “The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” Jesus has commissioned us to go into all the nations and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that He has taught us. God has called us to the lost sheep. It is God who works in us and through us to do His good work of salvation. The call to discipleship is a call to not only preach the gospel but to also make disciples. As our Good Shepherd, Jesus lays His life for us and teaches us how to walk in His ways and to abide in Him, and no one is above the Teacher. As God’s disciples we are called to abide in Jesus’ as we continue believing what Jesus has said and walking in obedience to him (1 John 2:6, 28; 3:6). The Holy Spirit has empowered us with different gifts according to the grace given to each of us. To some the gift is prophesy, serving, teaching, encouraging others, giving, leading, showing mercy (Romans 12:6-8). He has also given us diverse gifts that build the body of Christ which is the church. Before we desire the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are called to love so that we may shepherd God’s flock well. The shepherd of the sheep shows utmost love and care. When we love our neighbors, we become disciples of Jesus and when we proclaim the gospel we exhibit love for God. Therefore, our call to discipleship is a call to love and if we love we fulfil God’s commandments. The testimony of Jesus Christ preached through the gospel brings many to the knowledge of Him. We are shepherds of God who discharge His gospel message to the world and He does the work of conversion. The work of conviction through the Holy Spirit according to John 16:7-11 and the work of regeneration according to 1 Peter 1:23. The word of God causes many to believe in Jesus Christ and to come to salvation. As the sheep of Jesus, He knows us and we know His voice, and we follow Him. He has assured us of eternal life and no one will snatch us from Him.
Your mercies are new every morning Lord, how great are You in all the earth. You Lord are God, it is You who made us and we are Yours, we are Your people, and the sheep of Your pasture, thank You for Your mercy and love upon us. You were wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon You and by Your stripes we are healed. Heal all our wounds dear Jesus and set free all those who are sick among us. Set free all those who under the oppression of the evil one, merciful Father. Set free all the street families and those who are depressed. Set free all the prisoners and all those who have been rejected. Set free all the lost sheep in Israel and grant them grant the peace. Set free all the Gentiles in all the nations and grant them the gift of salvation. Jesus our Great Shepherd we humbly ask You to equip us with everything good for doing Your will. Impart in us great power and use us to do good works for the glory of Your name. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us now, and forevermore. Amen
FB Page: Love of Christ Foundation CBO