This Week’s Memory Verse:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11
Read 1 Peter 5:2-5
Peter describes several characteristics of good leaders in the church:
- They realize they are caring for God's flock, not their own.
- They lead out of willingness to serve, not out of compulsion
- They are concerned for what they can give, not for what they can get.
- They lead by example, not by force.
Praying For Our Shepherds
Read Jeremiah 3:15
God promised to give His people shepherds who would follow him, filled with knowledge and understanding. God saw Israel's lack of direction, so He promised to provide the right kind of leadership. We look to and trust our leaders for guidance and direction. But if they do not follow God, they will lead us astray. How often do we complain about those in leadership positions? How can we be of help to them so that they may stay on track as they provide leadership? We must uplift them and hold them accountable while accepting their guidance. Pray for God-honoring leaders in our nations, communities, and churches-those who will be good examples and bring us God's wisdom.
A Shepherd’s Authority
Read 1 Peter 5:1,2
Peter, one of Jesus' 12 disciples, was one of the three who saw Christ's glory at the Transfiguration. Often the spokesman for the apostles, Peter witnessed Jesus' death and resurrection, preached at Pentecost, and became a pillar of the Jerusalem church. But writing to the elders, he identified himself as a fellow elder, not a superior. He asked them to "shepherd the flock of God," exactly what Jesus had told him to do. Peter was taking his own advice as he worked along with the other elders in caring for God's faithful people. His identification with the elders is a powerful example of Christian leadership, where authority is based on service, not power.
The Ultimate Shepherd
Read Psalm 23
In describing the Lord as a Shepherd, David wrote out of his own experience because he had spent his early years caring for sheep. Sheep are completely dependent on the shepherd for provision guidance and protection. The New Testament calls Jesus the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, and the Chief Shepherd. As the Lord is the Good Shepherd, so we are his sheep – not frightened, passive animals, but obedient followers wise enough to follow one who will lead us in the right places and in the right way. This Psalm does not focus on the animal-like qualities of sheep but on the discipleship qualities of those who follow.
Look up John 10:11, 1 Peter 5:4, and Hebrews 13:20
Which scripture describes Jesus as the good shepherd, great shepherd, and chief shepherd?