What does the Church need now more than ever? It is not more young people to balance our rolls. It is not new worship music, or a reset back to hymns. It is not Christian politicians to protect our rights. It is not more tithing. It is not a new mercy ministry. What the Church needs is food.
It is interesting that we live in a society that has flipped. At one time we were a Bible reading nation. It was preached from our pulpits, read in in our schools, discussed at the dinner table, memorized in the mornings, and soaked in everyday by true Christians. Today preachers quote world leaders, schools prohibit even T-Shirts with an illusion of Christianity, we rarely eat together let alone talk about God's Word, and we memorize pointless movies and commercials. When we look in the mirror we are physically fat and spiritually anorexic.
One of the last commands that Jesus gave Peter was to feed His sheep. What does that mean? It doesn't mean Church pot-lucks. It means to give them what they need to spiritually function, the Word of God. Listen to what Jesus proclaims in the desert to Satan when he is physically starving:
- “But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” - Matthew 4:4
One of the main purposes of Church is to feed disciples. Preeminently on Sunday morning, but Sunday morning alone is not sufficient. There must be more. It is crucial to the health of the people. They cannot eat once a week, they must eat every day, multiple times a day. This was the task given to Peter.
So what was Peter's the motivation for doing this? Love. Not love for theology. Not love for preaching. Not love for the Sheep. Love for Jesus. This was the force behind Peter's obedience to preach the Word. Why would this be the catalyst behind feeding His Sheep? Because if you love Jesus, you love the Book that is written about Him. You love to read about Him, to preach about Him, to teach about Him, and you love to encourage others to read the Book about your favorite person in the Universe.
It always saddens me to hear people claim to be Christian, and then say the Bible is boring. To me, this is inconsistent. I hate to say that those people are not saved, but I have to admit that I wonder. Think of it this way, if you love your wife and you are away from her for months and then you get a letter from her, do you read it? Of course you do. You read it over and over and over again. If we love Jesus, why is it not the same? Perhaps you don't love him.
It also saddens me when I see Pastors fill their sermons with everything but the Word of God. They love to quote men, they love to tell quaint little stories they found via Google, or share some experience they had when they were in high school, but they don't exposit the Word. Why? Once again, I can't help but wonder if they love Jesus or love the pulpit.
If you love Jesus, then read His book. Pastors, if you love Jesus, then preach His Word. Let us lay down our forks and pick up the Bible. So did Peter do it? Did he feed the sheep?
- “Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.” - Acts 6:1-2