Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 46 : Feed My Sheep | Day 318

Feed My Lambs!

All at the same time, there were 3,000 "newborns" who needed to be fed! They were part of a revolutionary movement that would literally shake the world. God provided those who would feed them properly, and the newborns grew in strength and in number. They became part of the first-century Church, fed and cared for by the apostles.

The feeding of these 3,000 early believers provides a pattern for the nurture and care of all future "lambs."

After willingly receiving the words of Peter and repenting of their sins, they were baptized--a public declaration of their faith in Christ. This was not an easy thing to do. It would bring reaction and rejection by those who rejected Christ, yet Jesus declared: “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 10:32-33).

Once they were baptized, these 3,000 new believers received spiritual nourishment by continuing “steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:42).

  1. The Apostles' Doctrine: The early Church was established before the New Testament was written. So, new believers were taught what the disciples had learned directly from Jesus. The newborn believers could not have been given any richer "milk of the Word" than the direct instructions of the Lord. Paul continued this pattern of feeding lambs when he established the Gentile churches. (See I Corinthians 14:37.)
  2. Fellowship: Spiritual growth can be stimulated by fellowship among believers. Every "lamb" is a member of the Body of Christ, and these new believers needed to learn to function in harmony with every other member. They were also given spiritual gifts with which to serve each other. (See Romans 12:5-8.) This bond of fellowship resulted in generosity toward each other. No one lacked basic necessities, because they shared their resources with each other. (See Acts 4:34.)
  3. Breaking of Bread: Fellowship is vital for the growth of new believers, but relationships are fragile. A spirit of unity can be easily damaged by misunderstandings and hurts that come from lack of spiritual maturity. Therefore, Jesus, the Head of the Church, instituted the communion table, not only as a time to remember what He has done for us but also as a time of soul searching and mending of any broken fellowship with God or with one another. (See I Corinthians 11:28.) They carried this out on a daily basis. (See Acts 2:46.)
  4. Prayers: Their prayers were not a ritualistic repetition of words. They were dynamic times of crying out to God and witnessing mighty results, from the opening of prison doors to the shaking of the place where they had gathered to pray. (See Acts 4:31.)

In our day, there is a tendency to focus on winning people to Christ. We rejoice when we hear of hundreds or thousands who were saved, but what about the feeding they require? Little lambs, newborn babies, and new Christians all need to be fed in order to grow. They need constant care and protection. They need practical training in order to function effectively in life.

It may be that some of these elements were missing in your spiritual upbringing; however, let's do all we can to help new believers grow to maturity by feeding them the Word of God, including them in our fellowship, teaching them the significance of the Lord's table, and by praying with them and for them.

“Simon ... lovest thou me more than these? ... Feed my lambs. ... Lovest thou me? ... Feed my sheep. ... Lovest thou me? ... Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-17).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard