Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Labourer

John 21 vs 15- 19 "When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”Jesus said, “Feed my lambs." Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” "

The Lord asked Peter these three times in order to emphasis the importance of ministry; ministry is an expression of your love for God. If you love Him - you will take care of what belongs to Him, if you love Him you will feed both the sheep and the lamb - minister to both the mature and the immature -  the well behaved and non well behaved - the thankful and the unthankful - like Your Father in heaven.

"that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." Mathew 5 vs 45

The command in John 21 is to follow Christ. Sometimes following Christ means giving up your time or something of yourself in order to glorify God. When the Lord asked Peter if he loved Him all of three times, I understand why Peter felt hurt but I also understand why the Lord asked thrice - because in all the hustle, bustle and challenges of life - it becomes so very easy to forget that there is a direct correlation between our love for God and our ministry to others.

1 John 4: 19 - 21 " We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.  And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. "

As I struggled with my own limitations, my incovenience, my physicality - I heard the Lord say to me - do you love me more than these?

Brother, Sister - do you love God more than these?

Matthew 9 vs 36 - 38 "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

The labourer is one who loves God more than these...
The Lord looks with compassion on the harassed and helpless, on the sheep without a shepherd and He is calling for you brother and sister who "loves Him more than these" What part will you play in His harvest? The Bible tells us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest - what this means is that the Lord knows where the harrassed and the helpless are, He knows the exact location of the harvest and we are to pray to Him to send us there. When we go out and minister it is Christ working through us, what He needs is our availabilty - He will do the drawing, He will do the ministering. He is THE LORD OF THE HARVEST and He will not send you out into the harvest alone without Him.

John 6 vs 44a “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him"
Matthew 16:17  "Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven"

For me it took a load off when I understood the above scriptures that it is God who does the drawing, He does the revealing, my job is to pray and my job is to go! I don't need to think up convincing words to touch or draw anyone, I just need to open my mouth and trust God to touch hearts and changes lives - doesn't that put things in perspective?

As Pastor Patrick would say "there is no other person better qualified than you"