SHEPHERDS OF THE FLOCK

Scripture Reading:  Acts 20:28-31

“Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.”  (Acts 20:28).

Paul spoke these words of encouragement and exhortation to the elders from the church he planted at Ephesus.  While they apply directly to church leaders, they also apply to all who are in positions of authority — to parents, to Christian employers, to Christian teachers and to Christian civil leaders.

Paul first exhorts leaders to pay careful attention to themselves.  We can get so busy fulfilling our responsibilities as leaders that we neglect our own spiritual well being.  We must be on guard against pride, wrong motives and the abuse of our positions of authority.  As spiritual leaders, we must care for our own souls by spending time meditating upon the Scriptures, praying and growing in our faith.  We must learn how to be humble followers of Christ who are Spirit filled and Spirit directed before we can effectively minister to others.

Paul also says that we are to pay careful attention to the flock God has placed under our care.  It may be our family members, our employees at work, our students in the classroom, or if we are officers in the church, the members of the congregation in which we serve.  We are to guard them from those who would attempt to lead them astray from the faith (vs. 29,30).  According to Paul, our primary task is to shepherd (care for) the flock God has given us.  We are to ensure that they have proper spiritual nourishment and are growing in their faith.

Finally, we must recognize the value that God places upon those under our care.  They were purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Thus, they are extremely valuable to God and they are precious in His sight.  As their shepherds, we are to love, serve, protect and provide for them.  This is God’s calling to every one of us who has been called to lead our families, our churches,  our students and our employees.

Lord Jesus, as a leader in Your church and in my family, may I pay close attention to my own spiritual well being.  Enable me to be a good shepherd of those you have placed under my care.  May I never forget how valuable Your people are to You.  May I love, serve, protect and provide for them as I depend upon the Great Shepherd of the Sheep, Jesus Christ, to lead me.

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