Living an Overcoming Life and Redeeming the Time to Contact People for Shepherding Them

1 Pet. 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God among you, overseeing not under compulsion but willingly, according to God; not by seeking gain through base means but eagerly.As believers in Christ who have seen something of the scriptural way to meet and serve, we need to live an overcoming life and redeem the time to contact people for shepherding and perfecting them.

The Lord is clear in His word concerning the God-ordained way to meet and serve – first we need to preach the gospel to beget sons of God (save sinners to be children of God), we need to visit the new believers in their homes to nourish and cherish them, meet in small groups for mutual perfecting and teaching, and prophesy for the building up of the church.

These four matters, however, are not “the law of the meeting” which we should keep; rather, for us to practice the scriptural way to meet and serve for the building up of the Body of Christ, we first need to have a revived living and then labor in shepherding that flow out of our love for the Lord.

First and foremost we need to contact the Lord every day, open to Him, and be refreshed by Him day by day. As our outer man is decaying, our inner man needs to be renewed day by day.

We need to contact the Lord first thing in the morning, allowing Him as the Sun to rise in our heart and speak to us what is in His heart. For this to happen, we all need to go to bed on time and rise up early in the morning to fellowship with the Lord consecrate to Him, and have a morning-by-morning revival.

If we contact the Lord every morning, spending at least fifteen or thirty minutes in His presence, He will refresh us, revive us, and infuse us with Himself; then, as we contact the Lord throughout the day in our daily living, we will have a revived living.

May we learn to offer up Christ as our burnt offering and peace-offering every morning so that we may have a new beginning; may we do this with sweetness and with depth.

To have a revival that is renewed daily is to have a transformation that is fresh daily; our daily spiritual revival brings us into a daily fresh transformation. If we remain day by day in the fresh transformation coming from our revived living, we will grow in the life of the Lord until we are matured.

It is a basic principle in our Christian life and walk with the Lord that every day we should have a personal, intimate, and spiritual time with Him to be renewed and transformed daily.

Living an Overcoming Life and Redeeming the Time to Contact People for Shepherding Them

John 21:15-17 15 Then when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Feed My lambs. 16 He said to him again a second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You. He said to him, Shepherd My sheep. 17 He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me? Peter was grieved that He said to him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep.On one hand, we need to be revived and refreshed with the Lord every morning, and on the other, we need to live an overcoming life every day by consecrating everything that we have to the Lord out of our love for Him.

If we daily contact the Lord and are revived in spirit by our fellowship with Him, we will walk with the Lord, abide in Him, and become one spirit with Him to live Him out. This is an overcoming living, an overcoming life.

We don’t need to struggle or strive to overcome – we simply need to contact the Lord, enjoy Him, fellowship with Him, and abide with Him, and we will just consecrate everything to Him out of love for Him, and our life will be an overcoming life.

Everything we have will be for the Lord, and our time, our energy, our family, and our business – all will be for Him. This is the overcoming life that issues from contacting the Lord daily and having a revived living.

Furthermore, we need to strive to redeem every bit of time to contact people for shepherding and perfecting them. After we are being revived and we live in fellowship with the Lord, we will not only enjoy this fellowship, but we will also flow it out to others, so that we may be kept in an overcoming life.

The Lord Jesus was a good pattern in this respect; after His resurrection, He came and shepherded Peter on the seashore by asking him three times, Peter, do you love Me more than these? and then telling him, Feed My lambs…Shepherd My sheep…Feed My sheep (see John 21:15-16).

The Lord shepherded Peter back to his function among the disciples, and then He entrusted him with the work of shepherding others; later Peter entreated the elders to shepherd the flock of God among them not under compulsion but willingly, according to God (1 Pet. 5:1-2).

The Apostle Paul also spoke of this in Eph. 4:12 where he spoke that the gifts given by Christ the Head to the Body are “for the perfecting of the saints”, which is primarily a matter of feeding.

We need to live an overcoming life by consecrating everything that we have to the Lord out of our love for Him and to strive to redeem every bit of time to contact people for shepherding and perfecting them (John 21:15-17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). As soon as we hear of anyone sick or of anyone encountering problems, we must be concerned for him, pray for him, and go to visit him; the impact that this little bit of concern, prayer, and visiting affords is far more powerful than ten messages. If we have a heart for the Lord, from now on we should have a revival every day to live the overcoming life, to consecrate everything for the Lord, and to strive to redeem every bit of time to care for people one by one. Witness LeeYes, there is the need for teaching and perfecting for the equipping and perfecting of the saints, but the saints mainly need feeding and shepherding. What we need in the church life and in our Christian life is not more teaching but more feeding through shepherding.

We need to redeem the time to contact people for shepherding and feeding them.

As soon as we hear of a brother or sister who is sick or encountering problems, we need to be concerned for him, pray for him, and go visit him. Such concern, prayer, and visitation is a shepherding for the sick or troubled saint, and works better than ten messages for him.

Caring for others in love and spending our time and energy on them touches other people’s feeling in a far deeper way than many sermons or meetings can.

If we have a heart for the Lord, from now on we should have a revival every day to live the overcoming life, to consecrate everything for the Lord, and to strive to redeem every bit of time to care for people one by one.

We need to especially redeem the time to contact people for shepherding them, for shepherding them by visiting them in love works every time.

Lord Jesus, we want to have a revival every day to live the overcoming life, to consecrate everything for the Lord, and to strive to redeem the time to contact people for shepherding them. Oh Lord, You care for us and You shepherd us through the saints, and now we want to shepherd the saints according to You! Grant us to have a daily revived living to live an overcoming life, and give us Your heart for Your people so that we may contact people for shepherding and feeding them according to You!

Learning to Shepherd People by Contacting them One by One

We must recover this matter [of contacting and shepherding people]. Only by this will the organic building up of the Body of Christ in Ephesians 4:12-16 and the meetings of mutuality in 1 Corinthians 14:26 be realized and practiced among us. For this we need a daily revival and a daily overcoming as the base. We also need a life and work that flows out from the love of the Lord in order to maintain our victory....What maintains us in the victory is a life and work of love toward the Lord. Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1988, vol. 4, pp. 43-46The way the Lord Jesus gained and perfected His disciples was one-on-one; He didn’t call the twelve all at once, but He called them one by one, and He perfected them one-on-one.

The Lord did the same thing with us: He regenerated us personally, called us personally, and He personally cares for us in so many ways.

The way for us to practice the scriptural way to meet and serve is by redeeming the time to contact people for shepherding and perfecting them (John 21:15-17; 1 Pet. 5:1-4).

How can we shepherd others? It is by contacting them one on one, one by one. For example, we may meet with the saints two or three times a week, but we may not talk to them before or after the meeting.

A very practical way to learn to shepherd people is by contacting them one by one, for example, before and after the meeting. We may come to the meeting a few minutes earlier and speak with one person, and after the meeting, we may speak with another person.

In this way we learn to contact the saints, learn of their situation, and we can pray for them. We need to learn how to care for people, how to visit and shepherd them, and even how to teach them face to face; this will shepherd others and will produce great and lasting effect.

Only when we learn to contact people for shepherding them that we can build up the organic Body of Christ as seen in Eph. 4:12-16, and the result will be the meetings in mutuality in 1 Cor. 14:26.

The base is being daily revived and having a daily overcoming life, and this will stir up our love for the Lord; what flows out of our love for the Lord will be a care for people, a life of shepherding them one by one.

Many times we contact the Lord in the morning and are revived, and we maintain an overcoming living during the day, but we may not contact others to shepherd them; the result is that we cannot maintain this overcoming life.

We need both the life (the daily revival and daily overcoming) and the work (a labor in shepherding) that flow out from our love of the Lord in order to maintain our victory.

To maintain our victory we don’t need merely to try to overcome; we need to have a revived living and a labor in shepherding.

May we all endeavour personally and corporately to walk the God-ordained way to meet and serve, so that we all in our living and in the church life would realize this in our experience, thus building up the Body of Christ.

Lord Jesus, we love You and we love Your people. We give You the first place in our heart, and we want to have a daily revival and a daily overcoming living. Grant us Your heart for Your people. May our love for You flow out in caring for and shepherding others, in our contacting the saints one by one. Put the saints on our heart. Grant us to learn to contact people for shepherding them according to You for the building up of the church. Lord, release the mutual shepherding among us so that we all may walk on the God-ordained way for the building up of the Body of Christ!

References and Hymns on this Topic
  • Inspiration: the Word of God, my enjoyment in the ministry, the message by Ricky Acosta for this week, and portions from, Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1988, vol. 4, “A Timely Trumpeting and the Present Need,” ch. 4, as quoted in the Holy Word for Morning Revival on, The Genuine Church Life (2017 Thanksgiving Conference), week 5, The Scriptural Way to Meet and to Serve for the Building Up of the Body of Christ.
  • Hymns on this topic:
    # Lord, anew we give our bodies; / May we be transformed to prove / All Thy will, to know Thy Body, / And therein to serve and move. (Hymns #913)
    # Simon, son of John, / Do you love me? / He said to Him, Yes Lord, / You know that I love You. / I love You, I love You, / You know that I love You. / He said to him, shepherd My sheep. (Scripture song)
    # Foll’wing Thee, Good Shepherd, I would feed, / Shepherd those allotted me, / E’er I’d touch Thy heart’s desire, / Live in Thine economy. (Song on, Shepherding in Love)
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About aGodMan

Hi there, I am Stefan Misaras, and I live and work in London (UK), meeting with the church in London. I love the Lord Jesus, His Word, the ministry of the age, and the saints. Enjoy the Lord!
PS. My personal website is StefanMisaras.com.