As a pastor, cell pastor or cell leader, it is our responsibility to be students of the Word of God. This is a joyful responsibility and we feel privileged to know that God has invited us into a strong relationship with Himself and His life-giving Words.
When Jesus, the Great Shepherd first gives us the task to watch for His flock, great joy floods our heart (Acts 20:28). We are faithful to rise early and seek Him (Psalm 5:1-3), ensuring our steadfastness to be good shepherds, like our Master.
Over time, the needs of the people, like sheep, begin to occupy much of our time. Initially, being able to care for God’s people delights us and we willingly respond. However, their needs expand, eroding and encroaching upon us until we find ourselves pressed for time to spend with the Master Shepherd.
It becomes ‘easy,’ or a temptation, to use our own devotion time to prepare for public presentations. Our Word study for personal growth is overcome by our need to prepare for preaching or cell leadership. We justify this change by telling ourselves it is being ‘efficient’ with our use of time.
Picture in your mind, a shepherd running all around the fields, constantly caring for roving sheep, without stopping to care for himself/herself. The shepherd becomes so busy there is never time to check in with the flock owner and eventually connection is lost with the overall purpose of the owner’s desires and timing. Only eating when trying to feed the sheep, overrun by the constant needs of the flock, this shepherd is destined for demise.
Return to your first love! Be an example to the flock! Seek first the kingdom of God and allow the Master Shepherd to refresh you so that your joy will remain full in responding to the call to care for HIS flock (Psalm 23).
This article originally appeared here.