The Flock of Family

Justin Smith

1 Peter 5.2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 
They often say that Godly principles and leadership are caught not taught, and Peter was a disciple who was able to “catch” and learn from the Good Shepherd Himself, Jesus Christ. Jesus shepherded Peter, teaching and caring for him, and before His ascension, He asked Peter to show his love by shepherding the flock, following the example that was set before him. In 1 Peter 5, we find Peter entrusting this important leadership principle to you and me. “Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you,” not grudgingly or under obligation, but because of your love for Him. 
I don't know if I'm just getting old, or what, but the musical season this year was extremely fulfilling but very tiring. Fatigue mixed with a bit of stress was the perfect combination to send my muscles out of whack. My arm was sore, to the point of seeking out relief from Phiten bracelets, stickers, and other remedies, my neck was sore with the same resolve, and exhaustion was my new bed-fellow. Beyond the physical ramifications, I noticed my children starting to act out in certain behaviors from silly baby talk, to slow obedience, to all out disrespect. As we investigated, we realized that one of the main contributors was a lack of routine and schedule. With the musical complete, we’ve decided it was time to pull in the reins restoring order to our family. As these thoughts swirled in my mind, God spoke to me through 1 Peter 5. As a pastor, caring for the flock is often associated with the church, which it should. It is truly an honor to be called to this amazing church family, and to have the opportunity to serve, but if we are not careful, busyness in ministry will leave little time for the most important flock, my family. My family has been entrusted to me to steward, and this is a mission, a calling, I find great joy in and must not take lightly. As a shepherd would, I must remain faithful in protecting them from the land's enemies and affording them safe pasture, I must assist in providing sustenance to support growth physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I must bless, empower and encourage them allowing God to take them to fulfillment. I must take them to Him, the water that will satisfy their thirst eternally. As God has shepherded me, and as I continue to learn from Him, I must, in turn, properly shepherd my loved ones. God says, “Shepherd your flock because you love them; shepherd your flock because you love Me. Shepherd yourself that you might properly shepherd them.” 
Lord, I thank you for your forgiveness, your grace, and for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me. I am humbled by your calling on my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to assist in shepherding your people. I thank you for our amazing church family. I also thank you for my wife and children, and I ask that you would grant me Your Spirit of wisdom, strength, and peace that I might steward them excellently. 

Devotions for July 27

Isaiah 50,51,52
Psalms 92
2 Peter 1

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