Courageous Magazine

Top Stories

Effective sheep eat right.

The habits of highly effective sheep

Bible teacher, counselor and random writer.
sandeepchristian@gmail.com
FB: @SandeepChristian
Instagram: @christian.sandeep

In the Bible, right at the end of John’s gospel, you find an interesting dialogue between Peter and Jesus. Jesus, in effect, commands Peter to feed the sheep of God. Now this, among other verses, has become one of the hallmark verses when defining the role of the pastor of a Church. After all, if a pastor can do many other nice things but not feed the sheep, then he is failing in his primary duty. But along with this understanding has also come this attitude wherein the diet of the sheep has become solely the pastor’s responsibility and the so called sheep are left with no role in this regard. But this attitude goes against other teachings of the New Testament, especially those of the Apostle Paul.

We know Paul definitely expected the pastors of the Church to be effective in their feeding of the flock. To see this, one just has to read through the letters written to Timothy and Titus, each of whom carried pastoral responsibilities. We find a range of teaching as to how they both, as pastors, needed to ensure the health of the flock entrusted to them by the way in which they taught.

But anyone who knows the Bible would tell you that the Letters to Timothy and Titus make up only 3 of all the letters of Paul in the New Testament. The vast majority of his writings were written to the church community as a whole. In these he calls the people (sheep) to take responsibility for their lives, to live out their faith, to grow in their faith, to be effective witnesses and so much more. This is not merely Paul’s sentiments. The author of the book of Hebrews (whom most would say is not the apostle Paul) would also tell the believers (Heb 5:12) that by now they ought to be teachers and yet they have not yet grown up in their faith. The author Jude also puts the onus of being established in the love of God on the believers/sheep (Jude 21).

The expectation for the sheep to take ownership of their own faith and feed it and nurture it (feed and grow themselves) is unmistakable and even obvious throughout the bible. From the OId Testament to the New, leaders are given responsibility over the sheep and will be held accountable for it. But this in no way absolves the sheep from their own responsibility for their own faith life and walk with God. So we find that it is true – effective sheep feed and grow themselves. Not only this, effective sheep are also careful about what they eat. They take care to be discerning in their diet. Paul, Jude, Peter and others all write and warn of false teachers. Once again these writers call the sheep to be discerning and careful about the theologies and doctrines they are being taught. It is not merely about taking in a lot, it is about taking a lot of the right stuff. This is what “effective sheep” do – Effective sheep eat well!

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peace in Trying Times

Peace in Trying Times

When God promises us peace, he doesn’t mean that he will make all our problems go away. In fact, when Jesus told his disciples that he was giving them his peace, he also said, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Freedom to fulfil.

Freedom to fulfil.

In Galatians, Paul repeatedly emphasizes that Christians are freed from the law. He goes to the extent of saying that if you seek to be justified by the law then you are severed from Christ (Gal 5:4). He even talks of having died to the law (Gal 2:19). Yet, here he asks the Galatians to serve one another through love, because by doing that they would fulfil the law! If they were free of the law, why should they care about fulfilling the law?

I, Crucified

I, Crucified

Paul reminds us that all those who have chosen to follow Christ have crucified the flesh, that is their old sinful natures, with its passions and desires. So, we shouldn’t be too preoccupied with what “I” want to do because “I” has been crucified! As Paul says in Gal 2, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

The light on a mountain

The light on a mountain

2021 — “Can I come by and see you tomorrow?” I asked. “Not possible now,” she said. “Are you up for a call?” I pestered. “I’ll call,” she texted.
2020 — “You have handled business worth crores, and you can’t manage to make a simple Gpay transfer of 2000 rupees?” I asked. “Just shut up and do it for me,” she snapped.

Good soil. Good fruit.

Good soil. Good fruit.

Just as trees don’t produce fruit overnight, we don’t become perfect human beings as soon as we begin following Christ. The growth of the fruit of the Spirit in us is a process. And while this process is going on, we experience the struggle described in Gal 5:17.