Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 46 : Feed My Sheep | Day 321

Feed Sheep the Word of God!

I still recall the joy I experienced when Bible conference speakers would explain rich spiritual truths and then confirm them with other passages in the Old and New Testaments. I believe my excitement must have been similar to that of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Jesus opened up the Scriptures to them, “and beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27).

The health, vitality, and growth of "sheep" is based largely on their internalizing of God's Word.

All feeding must be based on the Word of God. It is not important what we think but what God says. Teaching should be consistent with all of God's Word, not just an isolated verse here or there. I have discovered that the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible. Passages in one portion of Scripture are usually amplified and clarified with other passages.

Over the past few years, it has been one of my greatest delights to take a command that Christ gave and then study its foundation in the Old Testament and its applications in the apostles' writings. For each command, I have asked God to give me wisdom to understand the riches of His Word. It is then a joy to share with others the treasures that He has taught me.

As we read and study the Bible for personal edification and also to teach to others, it is important to keep in mind that there is only one interpretation of a passage of Scripture, but there can be many applications. For example, the Eighth Commandment is “thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15). The interpretation of this verse is that we should not take that which belongs to another. There are many possible applications of this commandment: not stealing time from an employer, not stealing money from a parent, or not stealing recognition from one who is deserving of it.

In the right application of Scripture, the ways of God are honored and genuine love is demonstrated. In the wrong application of Scripture, man's ways are justified and a spirit of selfishness is cultivated. Jesus affirmed the importance of genuine love when He said that the two great commandments were to love God and to love our neighbors. (See Matthew 22:37-40.)

With diligent study we can understand the words of Scripture, and with illumination of the Holy Spirit we can understand and apply its meaning.

Feeding spiritual sheep requires diligence in studying the Word of God. The Bible is filled with analogies, types, patterns, pictures, symbols, parables, and allegories. To properly feed sheep, a shepherd needs to dig into God's Word for himself and mine the rich treasures that are underneath the surface.

One of the best ways to do this is to make use of Bible research tools, such as concordances, Bible dictionaries, and cross-reference materials. A whole new level of understanding can be gained by looking at the original languages in which the Bible was written.

People are looking for lasting answers to life's problems. True wisdom is learning to see life from God's perspective. As we study the Word of God, let's ask God for His wisdom so that we can properly feed His sheep.

“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