The Gathering Church in Peterborough
Let's pray. Our Father in Heaven, we come to you in the Name of Jesus now. We thank you that you have gathered your people who were scattered, you've gathered your people who've wandered, each to his own way. We thank you that despite our rebellion, and our sinfulness, and our hardheartedness, that You sent your son Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd to rescue the flock of God. We thank you that you tend us now as the Good Shepherd and the Overseer of our souls. We thank You for the many promises we have in Jesus, and for the gift of your Holy Spirit, who reveals these truths to our hearts. We ask this evening that you would show us the glory of Jesus in a more clear way as He shepherds us, as He has laid His life down and you would help us to encourage him to a point, faithful man who was shepherd, pointing to Him. We ask these things in Jesus' Name, amen.
We are continuing our series to Timothy this week and we are going to be in Chapter three. First Timothy chapter three, and I'll read to verse seven. First Timothy three, one to seven.
1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.
4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive,
5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?
6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
The thing is to aspire to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. We’re going to be considering this week, the office of overseer. And we'll be spending two weeks on this passage. This week we're considering what is an overseer; next week, what are the qualifications, what should the church be looking for in an overseer?
Paul wrote in his letter to Titus that he left him in Crete to, in his words, appoint elders in every town. (Titus 1:5.) You see, Paul knew that the healthy church family needed faithful leaders. The healthy church family needs faithful leaders who would lead like Jesus. A major priority for the church in Ephesus where Timothy was left was to appoint faithful men to the office of overseer. So, we're gonna be considering what this office of overseer is, this week. First, some of you may have noticed when Titus uses the phrase elder, the word elder, and I just read overseer. You might wonder why I said that. In the New Testament, elders and overseers are two words that are used to describe the same office.
A formal position of authority in the church. (Acts 20:17.) It says,
"Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus (the same church he's writing about), and called the elders of the church to come to him."
So, Paul, before he leaves, calls the elders from the church at Ephesus. Further on in 28 he says, Acts 20:28
"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."
So, he says, send for the elders. The elders he refers to as overseers. He tells them to tend to the flock or to shepherd the flock which He obtained with His own blood. And so, elders and overseers Paul refers to as the same position. And they are to give themselves the task of shepherding. (1Peter 5: 1-4) Receive this, he says,
1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed:
What should these others do?
2 shepherd the flock among you, exercising oversight, Others should shepherd and provide oversight. not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;
3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
Today, most people have grown up in churches maybe if you grew up in the evangelical church where they use the phrase, Pastor. Maybe elders and something you grew up with. I didn't grow up with elders. I grew up with the ministers as they call them, behind me here, are various ones. I grew up to this church. And they would sit in that chair, and the Associate minister would sit in the other chair. If you’ve grown up in the Catholic church, you would have had a whole different terminology they would be referred to.
Most people though grew up in churches; probably most of you where they had pastors and that is a fair thing to call an elder, an overseer. In Ephesians 4:11, he actually refers to the office of pastor or shepherd. But that's actually the only place where we see shepherd being described as a title. Everywhere else it is something that is done, and is done by the elders and the overseers.
So, this week we come into our text from Paul’s instructing Timothy and the church about the office of overseer, He's referring to elders, overseers, pastors; it’s the exact same office he’s referring to and that's important to keep in mind.
In order to understand the office of overseer, or elder, or pastor, we need to first step back and look to Jesus Christ, the Chief Shepherd. 1 Peter he’s referred to. We're going to spend the next couple weeks looking at what are the qualifications for an elder, who is an elder to be or what is an elder to do. We come to this passage, we already need to have an idea from the rest of Scripture: What is a shepherd to be and do. So, we're gonna look at that this week and next week consider how should we find these men, what should they look like and what are the characteristics that they would have. And these messages were built on one another. The first point I want to make is that we need shepherds because we are sheep.
So maybe you have had a different experience. Today a lot of people feel inherently suspicious of any and all kinds of authority. And that's actually something that has been largely encouraged from my generation. I’m 31, so my upbringing often times authority figures like the father, was not treated in the stories I read, the media I watch as a competent respectable person that is mainly a defense and some of you it's kind of a joke and can't get it quite all together. that loses any inherent suspicions towards authority. Of course, everyone else's authority but my own. But we've been working through scripture, realizing the sinful temptations in men and women, especially in men to be domineering. We have to recognize and just admit that where we are locators, there's been so much abuse of authority in the world. Pastors included, church people included. The temptation that we're faced with is to do away with leaders all together, to think that leaders are simply a product of the fall.
Leaders are simply a result of sin. But they are nor a result of sin. As we work through the scriptures we see that leaders are given by God because He loves us. And it's not only because of our sin why we need leaders, it's because we’re sheep. One of my favorite hymns, Come Thou Fount has a line where the hymn says: Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love" and for me, when I sing that hymn, that was the verse that stands out to me, that really resonates with. I feel the temptation that in many ways my sinful inclination, apart from the Spirit of God, working through a new birth in my flesh is to wander. That's when I'm just like apart from the spirit of God. I don’t naturally stay submissive to God. we don't naturally want to follow Jesus in part of me and my sinful flesh.
It is a Christian, I feel those words: Prone to wander, Lord I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love". Some people when they think of Jesus as a shepherd and us as a sheep, picture in their mind some borderline, romantic, nostalgic picture of white Jesus with long, blonde hair carrying this beautifully submissive little Lamb in His arms. And that's definitely an accurate picture to some degree. We'll look at the compassion and the tenderness towards His sheep which Jesus has. But one thing that wouldn't be accurate, apart from the ethnos eccentricity of that painting, would be the Lamb. Jesus is compassionate, and Jesus is tender but sheep are a mess. You see, we don't grow up, we didn't grow up in an agricultural society so we think sheep and shepherds -- we think these paintings maybe that we’ve seen- If you are a shepherd, you've tended to sheep. Why do they have sheep dogs? To herd the flock because sheep need to be herded. Because sheep without a shepherd—sheep without sheep dog, sheep go astray. That's what they do. If sometimes we think that sheep is just like that loving romantic relationship. But whatever we have with Jesus, but when He is our shepherd, and we are the sheep, part of the picture that we're supposed to see is we need to be herded and shepherded. We need to be bribed. And that's something about us that we don't like to think about.
We like to think of us as the shepherd, us as the leader, us as the ones who can help other people. As human being when we read about us being the sheep, and us being the flock of God, when we realize inherent in that is our need for a leader, a kind leader, a gentle, a tender, a strong, courageous leader, but a leader. We need shepherds, we need instruction, we need feeding, we need protection, the list is not just because of sinfulness, but because we are creatures and not God.
So, the Christian should have a totally different view of leadership from the sheep's perspective. We should all say, we need leaders. We need people to help us, to guide us. We don't only need our view of leadership to be changed, to become not domineering and not passive, but serving harder, but we need our idea of sheep to be shifted. If you don't view yourself as a sheep, and if you are wise in your own eyes, and think you've got them mostly together, and you don't need anyone to help you, or instruct you and you don't want to follow anyone, you're just demonstrating that you are a sheep and you are wandering. So, the first reason we need shepherds is we need overseers, we need elders, it's because all of us are sheep.
Ezekiel 34: 1 - 24 is one of the most vivid descriptions of shepherds. Shepherds of Israel, leaders of Israel, of the failed years of the shepherds and the leadership, and the consequences of the failures of leadership. And yet the promise of God was not to do away with leaders, but to restore faithful leaders. Can I read that to you?
Ezekiel 34: 1 - 24.
1 The word of the Lord came to me:
2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord God: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?
3 You eat the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, you slaughter the fat ones, but you do not feed the sheep.
4 The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them…
He is not talking about shepherds in the field, He is talking to the leaders. He says, "You have failed, you have looked after yourselves, you've put yourself first and you've used these people and you've neglected all of your duties to go, and to gather, and to heal, to bring back, and you've ruled over them in a domineering way with force and with harshness. You abuse your authority.
… 5 So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. ...
They were scattered, because there was no shepherd. Abusive leadership was the problem. So is no leadership. Where there is no leadership, people scatter.
... My sheep were scattered;
6 they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them.
7 “Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:
8 As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep,
9 therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord:
10 Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand ...
…and put a stop to the feeding of the sheep. I will require my sheep at their hands. We talked about this with authority before. With authority comes responsibility. And you can easily take your rightful authority and exercise your responsibility faithfully or failing your responsibility. But you are responsible for them. He is saying, you may not view your leadership program as a shepherd to protect, to feed, to gather the scattered to do all these things, but I am certain to hold you accountable. The responsibility is still there for these leaders and we see the same things in the New testament. The [17:16 inaudible] become teachers, because those who teach will be more harshly judged.
Submit to your elders, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. All authority comes with a responsibility, and accountability ultimately to God.
…11 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.
So you didn't seek them out, you did things for yourselves. They were scattered, you didn't go after them, so I'm going to go after them.
...12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.
13 And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries, and will bring them into their own land. And I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the ravines, and in all the inhabited places of the country.
14 I will feed them with good pasture, and on the mountain heights of Israel shall be their grazing land. There they shall lie down in good grazing land, and on rich pasture they shall feed on the mountains of Israel. ...
They will be safe and they will be secure. A sheep will always lay down when it is safe and when it's secure, and they are protected.
... 15 I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I myself will make them lie down, declares the Lord God.
16 I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, and the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them in justice.
So, God is saying, all these shepherds and all these leaders have not been leaders. They've failed, they've been abusive, they neglected. they'll be held to account. I'm going to be a shepherd of my flock. So, you might be tempted to think, well maybe what God is saying is leadership is bad and the best kind of leadership is just where He is and there's no such thing as human leaders.
The prophet goes on to say: verse 23
...23 .And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them: he shall feed them and be their shepherd.
24 And I, the Lord, will be their God, and my servant David shall be prince among them.
So God says, I'm going to be the shepherd. You fail; I'm stepping in here. Then He says, but actually my servant David is going to be the shepherd. So, God will be the shepherd, and yet his servant David, a man will be a shepherd. A king-man, will be a prince and a king as the shepherd of His people. That's what Ezekiel is prophesying, and ultimately that's what we see fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
The problem is not leadership in general, the problem is failed leadership. Selfish leadership; distorted, abusive leadership. God himself promises that He were coming to be the ultimate leader, the ultimate shepherd, and that His servant will rule as the shepherd. We see this in Jesus. Jesus is the Good shepherd and Overseer of our souls.
7 Jesus said to them, truly, truly I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
This does not sound exactly like Ezekiel.
...10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd.
And everyone in Israel knew exactly what He was talking about.
...The good shepherd [ does what? He] lays down his life for the sheep.
12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them in also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd.
So, the shepherd that Ezekiel prophesied about, who would shepherd his people, who would gather them from being scattered, and who would protect them and bring them to safety, who would feed them and nourish them, ultimately is Jesus and you see His leadership was totally different from the other shepherds. You come to steal and to kill and to destroy, shocking, but saving that verse. But the other shepherds - but danger comes and conflict test, you just leave, for ultimately your concern isn't the sheep but your own pot. Whereas I the Good Shepherd, Jesus lays down His life for the sheep. He hasn't seen conflict as a way out and in the back door. He doesn't see costliness to His service to them as a sign that this must not be the Lord's will. No. He says this is the point at which I'm going to actually prove that I am a shepherd, and not a hireling.
Jesus lays down His life for the sheep. When He saw the crowd, he had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. But what did He say next? He doesn't think it's good that there are sheep without a shepherd. Did Jesus pray and say Lord make me the shepherd right now? and no other shepherds.? He said unto His disciples, The harvest truly is plentiful and the laborers are few. He says it, He felt compassion on them. He looked at their scattering, failed leadership. He didn't tell them, don’t worry. If leadership is bad, you can do it on your own. He said this is disastrous, this is major consequences. It's a terrible thing when you're alone and He said to pray to God for laborers to go. I think what He is doing, He's praying for shepherds.
Here's what we need to understand about ourselves as sheep. We're not only the victims. Isaiah 53:6 says this: All we like sheep have gone astray, and we have turned everyone to his own way.
We're not tha
t cute of a lamb, submissive on Jesus' lap. But we're darting away into the wilderness, as fast as we can, towards harshness, and towards evil, and towards what would harm us. That's what we do, that’s what rebellion is, that's what sin is. All of us like sheep have gone astray. Every one of us has turned away from the Lord, turned away from glorifying Him in all that we do, of giving Him our love, in our devotion, we have said, I will be my shepherd. I will rule my life. I will be my leader. I am the captain of my faith, and the master of my soul.
This says the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. The servant of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Chief shepherd is the One who has taken our burden, and have cast our iniquity when Jesus laid down His life to the sheep He was laying down His life because of us, and not just for us. And that is the love of the shepherd. The shepherd is not just wandering out into the wilderness to fight off some kind of evil, the shepherd is bearing the cost of bringing back the sheep. Because of the sheep, they are the problem; we are the problem, and He doesn't just say, look, you innocent little lambs, get behind me, I'll protect you from this evil. He says, you evil people, I will come and die for you. That's the grace of God, and that is the love of Christ. And that is the heart of a shepherd.
The application for us is that we need rescue first and foremost from ourselves and the consequences of our sin. Not by any wild beast, we need rescue from something way bigger than that. From our sin and the punishment that comes with it, and Jesus Christ the shepherd came to rescue us at the Cross. He is- as first Peter two, says in verse 25: The Shepherd and Overseer of our souls. So, when we're going in to talk about overseers and elders, Jesus' sheep must know Him and hear His voice. We can't just read one little paragraph of an epistle and understand where the pastor is, where the shepherd is, what the overseer is, what an elder is and the point of faith for people. We need to know who Jesus is, as the Chief Shepherd, and then find people according to the scriptures who point us to Him, who lead us to Him, who lead like Him.
1 Timothy 3 is not an exhaustive teaching on what an elder is; it’s not. it's the bare minimum if he doesn’t use these things doesn't qualify him. doesn't tell us he'd be anything. But the heart and the role of a pastor and shepherd. So, Christians in a church must first know Jesus Christ, must first be rescued by Jesus Christ, and shepherds are first sheep who have been rescued by Jesus Christ. We are under shepherds. So, if Jesus is the chief shepherd, how does He shepherd the flock? Well, He equips under shepherds. He desires that his sheep or shepherds, we read, will protect and provide and love and care for, and sacrifice, and rescue, and seek His sheep.
Jeremiah 3:15 - and I will give you shepherds [plural] according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
You remember Jesus' words to Peter, "Simon, ‘son of John, who do you love?" He repeatedly asked him this, you know, Lord you know that I love you. Lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, "You know that I love you ". Jesus said to him, "Feed my sheep."
So, Jesus didn't only come as the Good shepherd, and laid down His life for the sheep, because He loves us, He's actually said, "Look, I am going to make you a shepherd. I'm going to give you as a shepherd to the flock to feed them, to do all the things that I do. You're going to do that for them. He promised to give shepherds for the sheep.
This is important and this is very practical. Today the leadership structure in so many of the churches is anything but biblical. We would call them anyways, pragmatic, meaning you do what you think works. You do what you think works! So maybe you call it a Board of Directors, because that helps with your corporation status and some legal requirements, helps you in some ways to be less liable. So, you form a Board of Directors, and instead of having a group of elders, a plurality of elders, you report to Directors and then you say, what if someone have to be a director? Then you make up your list of requirements and stick it on the Board of Directors while you need to be able to have administrative gifting, and you need to have some more organizational gifts and you dig up some experience in the community and all these things are good. and these are great gifts of God to the Church, but He hasn't told us to raise up CEOs. He doesn't tell us the directors are to direct the business, so the shepherds should shepherd the flock.
The church of Jesus Christ may serve an intimate and understanding of His shepherding, A must to look to and appoint of faithful shepherds to guide and govern them. It doesn't matter if someone is a very talented speaker, charismatic leader, a guru a vessel that is gifted administrator, good at running his own business. That may not be an elder. That may not be a pastor or overseer. That may be a very godly person and be of great gift to the church. And be just as important as an elder. So, we first look to Jesus. The first thing we see, shepherds are loved by Jesus and they love Him. Shepherds first must know that they are loved by Jesus and they love Him. Shepherds are to shepherd and lead with the love of Jesus. We're to look to Him to know how. Looking to Ezekiel, looking to John 10, looking to the Gospels, looking ultimately to the Cross. This is an example of leadership. So, for self-reflection, for the elders of our Church, for you to look and to look around you at other men, and be compassionate, patient, gracious, tender with the sheep; to be tough, courageous, clear the throes, the way we are prone to be is we are very hard on sheep and very soft on wool.
Jesus gives shepherds because He loves the flock. In Acts 20: 28 - 30, which I read to you earlier, Paul is actually talking to the elders of the town of Ephesus, the city that this letter is being written to. He says this,
"Pay careful attention to yourselves, and to all the flock, which the Holy spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
[Why?] I know that after my departing fierce wolves are going to come in among you, not sparing the flock and from among your own selves will arise men, speaking twisted things, to draw away disciples after them."
Jesus gives shepherds to protect the flock. That's what Paul is saying here. Pay careful attention as overseers. to the flock, shepherd. Be attentive, know what's happening, confront false teaching, confront false teachers, love and care and serve; without faithful elders the church falls apart. Without faithful shepherds, the church falls apart. We see this evening in the church in Ephesus, Paul's concern. Remember in the book of Timothy one of the two things that he would confront false teachers so he would know not to teach false things. Teach him how to behave in the household of God. Chapter three - the strategy for doing this. Part of that is to raise up faithful elders, faithful overseers. So, where I'm going with all of this is that our church needs to know very clearly who the chief shepherd is, the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to know Him, we need to hear His voice in the Word, we need to follow Him, we need to know the love He has for us, we need to love Him, and we need to look for, according to Jesus, people who will shepherd in the same way, who will shepherd in the same way, who will shepherd in a way that doesn't take for themselves, but is concerned radically for the people.
Every single leader fails in this regard, and here is the tension. There is only one Chief shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. There is only One who lays down His life for the sins of the flock, there's only One who loves perfectly, who protects perfectly, who feels completely, who gathers all the time, and who gives perfect oversight. it doesn't mean that pastors are perfect people. Although our sins are costly and they should grieve us, but that there should be a clear resemblance between the sheep and the shepherd. Shepherds among men are fundamentally and first sheep. So, what is Paul saying, coming back to first Timothy?
If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.
If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, which now we realize is the same as an elder, and a pastor, to be a shepherd, he desires a noble task. This is a noble aspiration, it tells us elsewhere not to have selfish ambition. The leaders shouldn't want to do things for themselves, let alone prideful, selfish ambitions which we all have. and temptation. Here he says, if you aspired for it, that is a noble thing. Why? Because it is a noble task. See, if we get a true understanding of what a shepherd is, of what a pastor is, then we will only aspire to that, or more likely with noble intentions.
There is a million reasons you can distort the office and its responsibilities. But if you think the overseer's way of gaining approval and affirmation, if you would gain comfort, if you would gain the respect of people, If you gain control or power, if your position is some kind of self-justification, like I'm a pastor, it must mean something good about me, maybe I'm better than I thought, no need to worry about those sins of mine, fulfilling our own ambitions and so many selfish desires, we can twist what the office of pastor is. But If we understand the shepherd like Jesus is when He gathers the scattered, brings healing to the sick, binds up the wounds, lays down His life, the aspirations to lead are more likely be noble.
Remember that illustration about the classified ad that the men put out for his expedition to the North Pole, is something like a high chance of failure most likely will die of food, sack, molt and paint, contact me. If the plan is, I'm not going to sell you a bill of goods that's not true, because thousand miles into the North, if you're not with me if you're not in this, if you have different expectations for what this would be, you won't be of any use. So, we gave the most vivid the clearest the most, the darkest I don't know if you're listening, picture of what they're going to be undertaking.
So, a church and prospective pastors need to have a clear picture of what they're signing up for. This isn't just so you can preach, so I can preach. This is a major responsibility to live a life of sacrifice, of patience, tenderness, and courage. How do we know if someone has a noble aspiration? Well a practical way is, the person will be marked by shepherding, without an office. Man does not become a shepherd when he gets the office. They are given the office when they demonstrate that they can shepherd. So, someone doesn't get the title, get on staff with the church, or something like that and then become a pastor. Yes, they are given the office and the authority and the responsibility in a real sense. They should look around and see who are the real shepherd. Who are the ones who are selflessly serving? Who are the ones who teach and look at what teaching means? It means that people go to you for help and you explain to them who Jesus is. Some people's love for Jesus in obedience to Jesus, and glory towards Jesus, grows in their life when He talk to them, by the description you can explain it to them. But for people who are steady in the midst of conflict, who are not building up a platform but instead seeking to serve those around them, those are the people who will have a noble aspiration.
If anyone aspires the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore, an overseer must be above reproach. The nature of the task of overseer representing Jesus shepherding under Him, requires that we reflect Him in all that we do. And that's what we're going to be looking at next week. My hope as we walk through this passage, not only that we have a bigger, better, clearer picture of the Lord Jesus Christ to the shepherd. We will be equipped as a church to train and equip and raise up faithful men to a shepherd after him. And in all these things the church glorifies Jesus and is healthy and protective.
Let's pray. Our father in Heaven, we thank you that You have sent your son Jesus Christ the Chief shepherd that when we have wandered and gone astray that you did not forsake us. But that you sent your Son who came for us. He did not only defeat an enemy, but He bore our burdens in Himself. He carried the cost of our sin and our wanderings. We thank you Jesus. You have brought us into the flock. You care for us, you nourish us now. You're tender and compassionate. You speak to us in your words that we can know you. We pray Lord that you'll help us to reflect you in our leadership.We pray you'd forgive us for our many sins in this regard for our failures. to show up as you do, that you'll purify us, sanctify us, that you'll raise up many men to shepherd the flock of God and carry the Name of Jesus. For your glory, in Jesus' Name. Amen.
As we come to the Lord's table, we come to remember the body of Jesus, the chief shepherd who is broken for us. We come to the Lord's table, we remember the Cross, we remember that the act of shepherding took place not on scattered fields, not on rolling hills in pristine places, but outside the city gates on a Cross. That’s where we see the heart of a shepherd. His blood was spilt to make a new covenant with us, that we might not wander anymore. And He will keep us. So, I welcome you to the table if your faith is in Jesus, unto Him. Amen.
Peterborough Ontario, Peterborough Church, Trent University, Student Church in Peterborough