Feed My Sheep: preface to Children's Desiring God

He Established a Testimony (c) 2003 Desiring God 

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17

If we love God, we will love the things that God loves. When Jesus was on earth, He said, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great” (Luke 9:48). Jesus loved children. In Mark we read that “he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them” (Mark 10:16). If we love God we will feed His lambs (John 21:15-17).

It is both an awesome privilege and a sobering responsibility to feed Jesus’ lambs. It is an awesome privilege because in so doing we are touching the heart of God. It is a sobering responsibility because, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:2).

To nurture the faith of children through formal teaching, informal teaching, or modeling the life of God in you is a high calling. It is not something that should be done carelessly, haphazardly, or half-heartedly. There are great rewards for diligence and grave consequences for negligence. In taking this task seriously, you may find yourself lying awake at night seeking from God the heart and wisdom to teach His children; you will find faith growing in your heart as you wrestle to understand and embrace the Word of God; you will find yourself driven to your knees continually as you struggle with your own limitations and sinfulness, and the limitations and sinfulness of your students; and you will see God glorified. God bless you as you undertake this great privilege and responsibility,

A Blessing on You

May you be blessed as a woman/man who fears the Lord, a woman/man who finds great delight in his commandments. May your children be mighty in the land; even to the next generation may your children be blessed. May you find your wealth and riches in God; may you endure in righteousness forever. Even in the darkness may the light dawn for you; may you be a gracious, compassionate and righteous woman/man. May you never be shaken; and may you be remembered by the Lord forever


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