THE MEASURE OF A PREACHER'S LOVE FOR CHRIST
By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
Christ and Peter had an after supper conversation about how much Peter loved Christ, (John 21:15-17). Jesus asked Peter how much he loved Him three times. Peter declared that he had a brotherly love for Christ, but Christ was asking about a deeper, self-sacrificing kind of love. This was a grief to Peter since he knew that Christ knew all things.
But the point we want to make is this: three times Peter gave the same answer. Three times he declared that he had only a brotherly love for the Lord Jesus. And three times the Lord Jesus said basically the same thing to Peter. “Feed my lambs,” “Feed my sheep,” and “Feed my sheep:” These three statements are found once in each of the three verses cited.
Peter, who loved the Lord Jesus only a little, was instructed to feed the Lord's people: not the four-legged kind of sheep. Rather Christ used a word picture to convey certain truths about His people as His sheep. Sheep need a shepherd and while Christ is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) in His wisdom He has appointed certain men to care for His people here on earth.
And just what is it that Christ's sheep are to be fed? Shall they be fed with straw and chaff: husks with no real nutritional value? There are those who think to help Christ's sheep by entertainment and lead churches to engage in musicals, theatricals, cowboy shows, karate, karaoke, sports, dancing (vertical foreplay), fashion shows – in short, anything and everything to entertain the flesh.
But faithful men who Love Christ even a little are instructed by Christ's words to Peter: “Feed my sheep.” Paul says that there are some Christians who need the “milk” of the Word. He wrote, “I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able,” (1 Corinthians 3:2). Again we read: “For every one that useth milk is unskilful [lacks experience] in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe,” (Hebrews 5:13). Babes need to grow up and eat solid food, but young Christians are instructed thus: “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,” (1 Peter 2:2).
The Bible says, “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil,” (Hebrews 5;14). Preachers who love Christ even a little ought also to be feeding Christ's sheep not only the “milk,” but also the “meat” of the Word. As one country preacher put it, milk is what you get from a cow: meat is the cow itself. Preachers who love Christ ought to be feeding baby Christians the milk who, after a time of growth, need to be fed strong “meat” - i.e. the Word of God itself. Failure to do so is disobedience to Christ!
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726