November 28

Today's Bible Reading
     I Chronicles 24-25
     I Peter 5
     Micah 3
     Luke 12
''Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain
but eagerly;'' (I Peter 5:2)                                                                                                                                              ·
            This little epistle of I Peter is truly an encouraging word. The entire epistle of 1 Peter has been an exhortation and admonition from the great Apostle Paul to Christians living in a time of great difficulty, persecution, and harassment for their faith. Now he closes out this magnificent letter with a reminder that Jesus is indeed coming again. The entire fifth chapter is about what we must do in the meantime until He comes.
            Every generation ought to be stirred with a deep conviction that Jesus is coming for them. No Christian, no church, or no generation will never count for God except they are deeply convinced the Lord is coming soon for them. Perhaps we will all agree that Jesus is coming soon, but how must we live in the meantime? We must faithfully feed the flock.
            In the beginning part of this chapter, Peter uses the analogy of the sheep and the shepherd, which is a familiar metaphor for the people of Peter's day. When they looked back into the Scripture, they found shepherds like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and so many other prophets. It is indeed the responsibility of every Child of God to make sure that the flock is well fed.
► Cast your cares on Him  In verse seven, Peter says, ''Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you ." Since the Lord is the Chief Shepherd who watches over His sheep, He is inviting Christians to cast all their cares and anxieties at His feet. Jesus cares for us for our soul, our sanctification, and for all of our supplies. He cares for all of His children. When you are at your lowest, you can know that your Lord genuinely cares for you.
► Be serious about spiritual warfare.In verses 8-9, Peter exhorts them to deal steadfastly with Satan and demons. It is important that every believer know that the Christian life is not a party, but a holy war. It is not a Sunday afternoon picnic, but a spiritual conflict. That conflict begins in the Heavenlies between Heaven 's angels and Hell's angels. Spiritual warfare, however, is a part of our daily lives. How thankful we must be that ''Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world." I am so thankful that Satan rules a doomed domain, and our victory is secure because of what Jesus did on the Cross.
► Emphasize the great grace and glory of our God.I love verses 10-11. Notice he did not say, ''little grace'', but ''all grace." This is not just the grace that saves, but abounding grace, overflowing grace, sustaining grace, supporting grace, convicting grace, believing grace, and blessed grace.
            Jesus is coming but, in the meantime, the Christian is called to grace for He is the God of all grace. The Christian is also called to glory. The early Christians faced persecution, and so Peter reminded them in verse 11 that God had called them to glory. What is waiting for the Christian in glory is so good, so blessed, so marvelous, that this little vapor time on earth will seem as nothing, as no time at all. Now is good, but the best is yet to come. In the meantime, God has given you power and victory until He comes to take us home.
            One cannot express an interest in Christian missions and have a prayer life for missions without being concerned about India, the second largest nation in the world, now with more than 1 billion souls.  India also has more and larger people groups with no Christians, no churches, and no workers than any other part of the world. Since India will not allow official missionaries, she must be touched by short-term missionaries and by strong, spiritual leadership among the nationals.  This cannot happen without excellent training of national pastors and evangelists.
            In my experience with India over many years, I believe one of the greatest needs is for a stronger trust and a deeper commitment to integrity and honesty on the part of those who minister in India, and those who receive the ministry and give leadership there. The hundreds of millions of lost people of India need to have a growing trust and respect for Christian leadership throughout this vast nation.
''What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds."