Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 39 : Love the Lord | Day 273

Love God by Feeding His Sheep!

The teaching was beyond my understanding, but it made a lasting impression in my memory. I was a young boy and a new Christian. My mother was attending a Bible class that was taught by a Jewish Christian woman. One day I slipped into the back of the room and listened as she talked about the Tabernacle. She explained the intricate details of the design of its curtains, couplings, loops, tacks, boards, sockets, rings, etc. Nothing made any sense to me, but I was profoundly impacted by her enthusiasm. She was enjoying rich spiritual truths and eagerly sharing them with others.

During that meeting, I decided that even if I could not understand a particular portion of the Bible, I would never say that it had no application for my life, because “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (II Timothy 3:16).

One day, as a youth director talked about the "boring" genealogies of the Bible, I decided to conduct a study on the meanings of the names they included. Each name revealed powerful insights about the hopes and desires that the parents had for their child. The son's choice of a name for his child often revealed how he had responded to the vision of his parents. What at first seemed to be a boring list became a treasure chest of spiritual truth that I could learn from and share with others!

After asking if Peter loved Him, Jesus gave Peter this instruction: "Feed my sheep” (see John 21:15-17).

What does it mean to feed God's sheep? Feeding occurs when a person takes a passage of Scripture and explains its truths with clarity, accuracy, and insight, causing the listeners' spirits to rejoice over the wisdom that is being shared.

One of the ways Jesus "fed" others was by explaining the Scriptures about Himself. “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). Those who heard Him said, “... Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).

The prophet Ezra and the Levites "fed God's sheep" when they “... read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). Some of my most cherished memories as a young boy are from attendance at a summer Bible conference. I would listen as the speaker read a portion of Scripture and then explained its powerful truths, which I had not understood when I first heard it.

One of the benefits of meditating on Scripture is that we "gather" food to give to others.

This week when we write in our journals, let's affirm our total, unconditional surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ and our desire to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and mind. Let's turn away from any distractions that cause grief to the Holy Spirit and quench His powerful work in our lives. Then, let's design practical ways to demonstrate our love for God through day-and-night delight in His Word and by feeding His sheep.

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard