“For ‘you were like sheep going astray,’ but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” — 1 Peter 2:25
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For three-and-a-half years, Jesus poured His life and words into His disciples. Praying to Heaven, He said, “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word” (John 17:6). Jesus shepherded them through the Word of God and in life. As described above and elsewhere, He is our Shepherd as well.
If Jesus is our Shepherd and we are to follow in His steps, we are to lead and guide others for Christ. Whom are you shepherding? Whom are you investing in spiritually for Jesus? The final words of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s gospel instructed His disciples to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19). Paul expressed the importance of this in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.”
In his letters, Paul wrote about his relationship with many he shepherded. For example, Philippians 1:1–2:18 records several specifics about Paul’s relationship with those whom he was leading: He thought about them (1:3), he prayed for them (1:3), he suffered for them (1:12), he was faithful (1:25), and he knew he was accountable for them (2:16).
Whom are you thinking of, praying for, suffering for, being faithful to, and holding accountable?
— Jeff Totten, Detroit Tigers chaplain
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