“Feed My Sheep”
In John 21:15-25 Jesus tells Peter “feed my sheep” and he doesn’t just say it once. He says it three times. If the Lord has placed a call on your life he first and foremost invites you to follow him but then he also gives you purpose by describing how important love is. Here in this scripture Jesus is calling us to feed his sheep. There isn’t a stipulation. That means we don’t love others if we think they are worthy enough. We simply obey Jesus’ instructions of “Feed my Sheep”. Jesus is not asking if we love certain people enough to “feed” them instead he is asking Peter if he loves Jesus enough to feed them.
That is the question we must ask ourselves. Do we love Jesus enough to talk to others about the hope that we have in Jesus? It’s easy to pass a homeless man on the street begging for money and all you smell is liquor oozing from his body. When I say easy I mean it’s easy to pass by him thinking all he wants is more money to feed his habit. And yes that may be true but Jesus still is whispering to us “feed my sheep”.
When you become a Christian you inherit more than the title of “Christian”. You also are called to be a missionary and a disciple. A disciple of truth! And this means we are to speak about the hope that we have in Jesus.
We are also called to live boldly for our Savior. That also means speaking boldly about him. To be an Apologist means that you share about the hope of Jesus Christ. While there are different aspects to Christian apologetics such as science, moral reasoning, experiential, etc. it all points to the Lord. It is our job to speak his truth and it is his job to soften the hearts and minds of the people you speak to.
God just asks for us to speak his life giving words to others—the feeding.
As an apologetic writer I know that I can produce all sorts of physical evidence available but that may not open the eyes of an unbeliever. I have to trust that the Lord has already made a way. Because it’s not what we do or how spiritually gifted we are if we don’t trust the giver of these gifts.
When you accept Jesus Christ as Savior into your life you are not operating in your own strength or your own abilities any longer because you are a new creation. Once you have the holy spirit abiding in you, you are gifted with new abilities. What was not possible before is now possible because you are operating with the holy spirit. What would our world looked like if we all were living with the holy spirit in us?
Sadly, our culture today teaches us two things:
1) You can do anything you want, anytime you want.
2) You have to prove your ability first before people will believe you.
Notice here these two teachings start with “you”. Our culture is great at entertaining our selfishness and doesn’t focus on others. Jesus calls us to feed his sheep and when we want to question God about the way he has called us to serve we are questioning his love. There was a time in my early 20’s when I was homeless. I will never forget the way people looked at me and I could tell they didn’t even think I was worth anything because I was living at a park. At night when it got dark I would hide in the park inside a kids slide. I was alone, afraid, and scared.
People without hope are just like this…alone, afraid, and scared. Hoping to see some tiny thread of hope to hang onto because without hope you are riddled with fear of what can happen to you. Every person has a story and even if you do happen to pass by a homeless person I pray that you can see that they too have a story. There is a reason they seek to indulge in addictions and I pray God uses you to feed his sheep and speak hope into the weary and the lost.
As Christians we are called to be Apologists not because we get a degree that says so but because we love people. We love people because we have been made new by the power of God. That love is the strongest force on earth! So today let’s speak truth to others by sharing with them the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” -1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)