This week in the Morning Revival we come to Psalms 23 – the Lord Jesus in His heavenly ministry shepherding His flock and our cooperation with Him in His heavenly ministry to shepherd His sheep… In Psalms 22 we see the Lord Jesus in His death and resurrection, in Psalms 23 we see the Lord Jesus in His ascension shepherding His sheep, and in Psalms 24 we see the Lord Jesus on the throne ruling and reigning in glory as a King. Psalms 22 took place already at the time of the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection, Psalms 23 is taking place right now in the church age, and Psalms 24 will take place in eternity future.
In His ascension Christ is Shepherding His Flock
What the Lord Jesus is doing right now in His ascension is that He is shepherding His flock, the believers in Christ! First of all, in His earthly ministry, the Lord saw the Israelites as sheep harassed by their leaders – they were cast away like sheep not having a shepherd(Matt. 9:36). He as the Shepherd of God’s elect prayed, and God told His sent One to appoint twelve apostles that they might take care of the sheep of God(Matt. 10:1-6).
Now in His heavenly ministry the Lord takes care of the church of God – which issues in His Body – by shepherding the saints(1 Pet. 5:4). He also told Peter to shepherd His sheep (John 21:16) – and this word impressed him so much that the apostle Peter later said in his first Epistle, “For you were like sheep being led astray, but you have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”(1 Pet. 2:25)
What does it mean to shepherd the saints, the flock of God?
What does it mean to shepherd the flock of God? Yes, shepherding implies feeding, but it is more than feeding. To shepherd is to take an all-inclusive tender care of the flock, just like a shepherd takes care of all the needs of the flock in every aspect. The Lord as the Good Shepherd takes an all-inclusive tender care of us, especially of our souls – our entire being is being taken care of and shepherded by the Lord Jesus in His heavenly ministry. He shepherds us for the building up of the Body of Christ, the producing of the Bride of Christ, and the consummation of the New Jerusalem!
This is also our commission today – we need to not only teach and disciple all the nations (Matt. 28:19) but also to shepherd them, taking care of their souls… Our teaching should always be accompanied by our shepherding, and when we shepherd others we should impart some teaching also. This is how we cooperate with the Lord Jesus in His heavenly ministry – by shepherding the saints! Without shepherding, you can teach as much as you want – people will get knowledge, they may understand things, but their soul is not shepherded / taken care of.
Christ is our Pattern in Shepherding the Saints
This is what the Lord Jesus did for us – He became a man to redeem us from our sins(1 Tim. 1:15) – this is Him cherishing us and taking care of us, and this is the first part of the New Testament. Christ also came and is coming to us to impart life to us that we may have it abundantly(John 10:10) – this is Him nourishing and feeding us, and this is the second part of the New Testament.
Praise the Lord, we can cooperate with Christ’s heavenly ministry by cherishing and nourishing the saints, the flock of God! [sharing inspired from portions in, The Vital Groups, and, Crystallization-Study of the Gospel of John(both by brother Lee) as quoted in the Morning Revival on the Crystallization-Study of Psalms(1); you can get the morning revival book online or become a fan on Facebook for more updates.]
We love You dear Shepherd of our souls! We open our whole being to You to be tenderly taken care of by You! We give ourselves to You to be under Your care, to be cherished and nourished by You… Thank You, Lord, You are the Shepherd and Overseer of our souls! You are the Shepherding One in us, that we may shepherd Your sheep. Lord, make us those who cooperate with You in Your heavenly ministry to shepherd the saints, the flock of God!
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