Feed My lambs, Feed My Sheep

These were the instructions which Jesus gave to his disciple Simon Peter, when he met him again in Galilee after His death and resurrection.

This was the same Simon Peter who had denied knowing Jesus in his time of trial. Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him but Peter had protested that he was ready to go to prison and even death for Jesus. It wasn’t to be the case, but Jesus knew that.

It must have been really difficult for Simon Peter to face Jesus again after letting him down so badly, to believe that Jesus would still want him, Peter, to be involved in His ministry and to trust him to look after His flock. What a responsibility. What a calling.

Jesus did trust him though. Even when Jesus knew that Simon Peter would deny him, He comforted Peter by telling him that even after his denial Peter would return and be restored to relationship with Him.

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’
Luke 22:31-32

Jesus had a task for Peter to do..to strengthen his brothers. The other disciples would need Peter’s support, faith, encouragement and example of humility. I can imagine it was a different Peter who met with his brothers again after his experiences.

I was reminded today of a picture which was shared by a dear brother in Christ at one of our Sunday morning services many years ago. He saw in his vision a long banqueting table. On the table were bowls of soup ready to eat.

The guests at the banquet (members of the church) took their seats facing each other ready to eat. However, when they picked up the spoons they were far too long. It was impossible to get the spoon into the bowl and into their mouths.

Somebody then realised that their spoon could reach the bowl of the person seated opposite them. They started to feed the person opposite them. The others watched their example and started to do the same. Everyone worked together to feed each other.

Jesus has appointed different ministry roles within His church and has equipped His body of believers with every good gift so that His followers can be discipled and fed. Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists. We have the Holy Scriptures, the Word of God. The Holy Spirit has also come to us. We have the gifts and fruit of the Spirit to help us and to help others.

It’s love for Jesus that is to be the motivation and reason for our service to our brothers and sisters in Christ. Loving obedience to Him our Lord and Master. Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him when He gave him these instructions. Peter replied that Jesus knew that he did love him. Jesus then replied “Feed My Lambs and Feed My Sheep”.

It was Peter’s love for Jesus that was to be the motivation for service. Jesus restored Peter in love and forgiveness so that Peter did not have a wrong understanding and reason to do what Jesus asked. Jesus wasn’t asking Peter to serve him out of duty or penance in mistakenly thinking he had to make it up to Jesus for denying him. A pure love for Jesus will lead to a pure love for the brethren and pure motives for service.

I believe that there are those within the body of Christ who have not taken up their ministry roles or have laid down their roles and gifts for many different reasons. There will be so many different reasons but Jesus knows them all. Jesus wants to restore us just as He restored Peter. There is a way back to Jesus and there is a way forward to serve Jesus in love as He has called us to do.

As Satan wanted to hinder Peter and to sift him like wheat, so satan does not want any of us to take up our God given callings within the body of Christ. Don’t let Satan deceive us or rob us and the body of Christ of our service to each other.

Every beautiful thing in community pantry

Taking only what is necessary. That is the theme of the Community Pantry. Those wise words remind me of God’s provision for the Children of Israel in the wilderness. God only provided the food that was necessary for the day ahead and if the people tried to take more than they needed and store it, the manna would spoil. God was faithful in providing each day sufficient food for the day.

Give us this day Lord our daily bread. Thank you for your provision to us God. Bless the community pantry Lord amongst the people of the Philippines and may it be a light and inspiration to others to help others and share their bread with the needy. May it be like the widow’s oil which will never run dry and will sustain all in these times of need. 🙏

Quiet Storm by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 26 April 2021 Patring the lovely lady behind this community pantry said it so well “this is not a charity” …

Every beautiful thing in community pantry

Power in the Presence

This is a beautiful inspiring poem written by a lovely lady called Bee from our church fellowship. She has allowed me the privilege of sharing it on my blog. It really touched my heart and I hope you enjoy it and it inspires you too x

They prayed & laid on hands in love
But the one who held the key
Was the one who came in silence
And sat and cried with me.

He didn’t seek for understanding
He didn’t offer prayer
He just came down into my valley
And waited with me there

No aid was offered nor accepted
To relieve me of my pain
But there was power in his presence
With no judgement, fear or shame.

You say ‘he must have been an angel,
Or even Christ the Lord!’ Believe me –
He was just a man.
Human. Christian. Flawed.

But when he sat beside me
I knew the presence of the Son
For the Spirit dwelt within him
And he let God’s glory come.

I didn’t leave the valley
When he left me for the light
But my faith and hope
Did flicker in the darkness of my night.

I ask God to pull me from the valley
But so far, he has said no.
So I need friends to walk with me
To go where I must go

One day the King will come
Glorious light to end all pain
But still there’s power in the presence
Of the ones who love His Name

B.H.
Jan 2021
Mark 9:24

A love letter from God

For God is love.

Every bit of God’s love is in creation. His footprint of love is in creation. Jesus was the living Word and where He walked…..love, where He lived….love, the air He breathed…love, the ground on which He spilt His blood…love. A loving touch by a loving Son felt in the fabric of Creation.

God’s touch of love was in Creation. His loving breath into Adam’s lungs. The gift of life given by a loving Father by His very breath. The breath of love. His hands of love. His imprint of love is in the very fabric of Creation.

This beautiful earth which was created for us is a love letter from our Creator God. He created us and gave us the gift of life to enjoy the beauty of His creation.

A loving Father, a loving son Jesus, a gentle & loving Spirit, Holy Spirit; the dove that hovers, wings outstretched over all Creation.

The Lord has written His love into the very foundations of the earth. All that He is, all that He has, it was His very best which was poured out as a love offering for us before the throne of Grace. A love so pure, so strong, so amazing that none could be found that could possess such love but God himself. God who gave of Himself for all of us. To give us life.

How amazing to be loved like that. A love that will sacrifice itself for someone else. What love is this? The love letter from God poured out in the blood that flowed from its Creator’s side, received into the earth itself. Poured out as an offering before God’s throne. What love is this that could be so pure; so amazing; so freely and abundantly given. Nothing held back but all done for His good pleasure and to redeem His children and show us that He loves us.

Blessed be the name of the Most High God. Blessed be His name forever and ever. Amen.

A Covering of Love

When Adam and Eve sinned and stepped outside of God’s glory, God made a covering of animal skins for them because their nakedness made them vulnerable to their changed environment. They had tried to cover themselves with fig leaves but God knew that fig leaves alone would not give them enough covering for warmth and protection.

The ground itself was now cursed because of their sin and disobedience and would bring forth thorns. God gave them a covering to protect them when they left the Garden of Eden and went into that new hostile environment. God knew that Adam and Eve would still need His continued protection. He covered them with His love.

God does the same for us. He covers us with His love. He covers our shame and our sins are covered and washed away forever by the blood of Jesus. An animal had to first die to provide the skins to cover Adam and Eve. Jesus also had to die on the cross as a sacrifice for us to cover our sins. He was the lamb of God who was sacrificed for us. His blood covers us.

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”John 1:29

“For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” Isaiah 53:12

Through prayer & love in action we too can also be a covering of love and support for each other. In the body of believers, our pastors and shepherds are a covering for us. We are so blessed to have good shepherds over us. They are responsible for teaching, discipling, supporting and leading us and accountable to God for us. What a responsibility they have. Let us pray for God’s protection, strength, wisdom and grace to cover them.

Families also cover each other. A husband covers his wife. He is to cover her with the same love which Christ has for His church. This is why God’s heart is for widows who have no husband’s covering and He becomes their covering instead. He becomes a husband to them.

For your Maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:5

Parents cover their children with love until it is time for them to step out from under that covering and mature and grow. This is why Gods heart is also for orphans who have no one to parent them. He calls to others to adopt them into their families as God has adopted us as sons and daughters into His family. His love is over them.

We can consider who we are covering today and who is covering us. We cover in love those who God has given and entrusted to us. We cover our brothers and sisters in Christ. When one part of the body suffers the rest suffers with it. We should not expose or cause pain to anyone but love one another in accordance with Gods teaching. We must not be triumphant over those who have erred or wandered from the truth but in a spirit of gentleness seek to restore them. Pull them back from the fire. Let us cover each other with love. Not a love that excuses or hides bad behaviour or sin but a love that also disciplines and corrects. We do not cover sin but we rather expose the works of darkness in the right and Godly way. Speaking the truth in love.

Jesus took our shame and nailed it to His cross. We are all saved by His grace lest any of us should boast. Our hope and assurance is in Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith. Praise God. Let us be holy in all our conduct as He is Holy.

Blessing to you this day in Jesus precious name.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” Genesis 3:7

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Genesis 3:21

“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.” Romans 4:7-8

My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.
Job 14:17

My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8