5. Crown of Glory - Shepherds (I Peter 5:1-4) – PART 6
I Peter 5:1-4, “The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.”
During the great Welsh revival, it is said a minister was marvellously successful in his preaching. He had but one sermon, but under it hundreds of men were saved. Far away from where he lived, in a lonely valley, news of this wonderful success reached a brother preacher. Forthwith he became anxious to find out the secret of this success. He started out and walked the long and weary road, and at length, reaching the humble cottage where the good minister lived, he said, "Brother, where did you get that sermon?" He was taken into a poorly furnished room, and pointed to a spot where the carpet was worn shabby and bare, near a window that looked out toward the solemn mountains, and the minister said, "Brother, that is where I got that sermon. My heart was heavy for men. One evening I knelt there, and cried for power to preach as I had never preached before. The hours passed until midnight struck, and the stars looked down on a sleeping valley and the silent hills; but the answer came not, so I prayed on until at length I saw a faint grey shoot up in the east; presently it became silver, and I watched and prayed until the silver became purple and gold, and on all the mountain crests blazed the altar fires of the new day; and then the sermon came, and the power came, and I lay down and slept, and arose and preached, and scores fell down before the fire of God; that is where I got that sermon."—G. Campbell Morgan.
This crown is promised for faithful pastors. This crown will be won by those who study the Word of God as a pastor and feed the church of which the Holy Ghost has made them overseers. The word "feed" means not only to preach and teach the Word of God, but to tend and shepherd the flock. It means to act like a shepherd, to carry out all the duties of a shepherd. These duties include: to feed the sheep, even if he has to gather them in his arms and carry them to the pasture. To guide the sheep to the pasture and away from the rough places. To seek and save the sheep who get lost. To protect the sheep. He is even willing to sacrifice his life for the sheep. To restore the sheep who go astray and return. To reward the sheep for obedience and faithfulness. To keep the sheep separate from the goats. The minister is to lead people by living for Christ. He is to preach and teach Christ, but he is to, first of all, live a pure and righteous life just like Christ lived. The minister is to live exactly what he preaches. He is to be a pattern and model for Christ, a pattern and model of just what God wants His people to be. Jesus Christ is the Chief Shepherd and He is going to appear, that is, return, to earth. The idea is that nothing will stop His return; He is going to appear and reward His ministers. It is a crown of glory that never fades away.
A pastor will never have a heart for God’s people without first having a heart for God. Pastors are stewards of the ministry that God has given them. Every pastor has a responsibility to the flock that God has entrusted to him. Pastors have a great responsibility to God to feed the flock, pastor the people, shepherd the sheep, and will receive a great reward from God. Peter tells the elders to take the oversight. The people of God had been entrusted to these under-shepherds. A pastor is not to have the attitude that he has to serve the church, but that he gets to serve the Lord and His church. God’s not called the elders to be dictators, rulers, or to have an ‘“it’s my way or the highway” attitude, but to be the spiritual leader of the church of God. During tough times, it is critically important for God’s people to have good, spiritual leaders who faithfully preach and teach the Bible without watering it down for political correctness. The pastor is to lovingly lead the flock of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit of God! Pastors are not to be manipulative or dominant over God’s heritage. Faithful servants do not serve for a reward, but they serve because they love Jesus and have been called by Jesus. The crown of glory will be like nothing that we’ve ever seen or possessed on this side.
Points to Ponder:
PRAYER: Father, I thank You for counting me faithful and putting me into the ministry. I’m grateful for the people You have entrusted me to feed and care for. Help me to always love them. In Jesus Name AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship with Christ.