"A Shepherd's Love"

March 23, 2023 | By Chuck

    “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.” (Acts 20:28) Paul is addressing the elders at Ephesus with a farewell message, and he encourages them “to care for the church of God.” This idea of caring for the church is loving the church. Jesus loves the church so much that He shed His blood for her. What a huge responsibility it is for shepherds to love the church that Jesus loves so much. But, that’s what shepherds do; they love the Lord’s church.

            Shepherds love the church by protecting the church from false teaching. (Acts 20:29-30) Shepherds love the church by making sure the church is fed spiritually with the truth of God’s Word. Parents love, care, and nurture their children, and that’s exactly what shepherds do for the church. It’s a shepherd’s love for his flock that motivates him to nurture their spiritual progress. Because of his love, a shepherd listens to complaints, personal struggles, and sin problems from church members and does so without judgment. Sometimes shepherds must rebuke or discipline a member and even those daunting tasks are done out of love. Everything a shepherd does for the church is done because of his love for Jesus and His people.

            “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3)