Motivated to Serve

Besides baptizing the new Christian, discipling means that we are to teach them as Jesus instructed us in Matthew 28:19-20.

Matthew 28:19-20 Go  and make disciples of all the nations...  (NASB)

Every Christian is ready to grow! Just as every baby can grow into an healthy adult, so Christians are designed to grow. They need only proper feeding, care and guidance. Every Christian needs training for the heart and the mind. This is what Jesus told us to do when He told us to make disciples.

The more effective we are in teaching His children to observe all that Jesus has commanded, the more His people will grow in their commitment to serve others.

Real love for God's people is always seen in practical acts of discipleship.

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Motivated to Serve

We tend to underestimate the importance of Jesus' last words as found in the Great Commission of Matthew 28:19-20 or in one of the many other scriptural instructions. One of these is Jesus' words to Peter after His resurrection.

Most sermons usually focus on the different nuances of Jesus' "Do you love me?" statements to Peter. Equally important are Jesus three commands:

Tend My lambs. (John 21:15)

Shepherd My sheep. (John 21:16)

Tend My sheep. (John 21:17)

Jesus does not allow us to think that we are doing well by nurturing a good relationship with Him if we are failing to care for His sheep. Although this is especially true for a pastor, we must realize that God has created the body parts to help care for each other. We all must care for one another. The hand will take a comb to care for the hair.

"Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Tend My sheep." (John 21:17)

Two different Greek words are used for 'tend' and 'shepherd.' 'Shepherd' is a term describing the general care given to sheep. 'Tend' however focuses on the nurturing or feeding of the sheep. If we neglect to feed the sheep, they will die or live in malnutrition. They become easy prey for marauding wolves.

We nurture these sheep best by thorough and well thought out care. This assures that no sheep are left off on their own. It also instills in each believer his or her responsibility and ability to care for other sheep. Pastors like to think that their sermons provide this care. We will look at each stage and see if sermons really provide all the nourishment that the sheep need.

Let's get a clearer picture of the needs of God's people.      Next

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