John 21: 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.” 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.” source
From the book, Lessons From A Sheep Dog by Phillip Keller published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.; from pages 28, 29, and 30 and reads as follows:
But the best part for Lass, it seemed, was just being with me. Now this is no small honor. For it places upon the one so trusted great responsibility. Her happiness was in my hands. Her contentment was in my company. Where before she had shied away from me, now by degrees she became my very shadow. This began to make an indelible impression upon my own spirit. Searching, stabbing questions came to me as to my own walk with my Master. Was I conscious of Christ? Did I find life with Him an adventure? Had I become so fond of His friendship that it surpassed all other interests? Was the devotion I received from this beautiful dog any measure of my loyalty to my Master? In devastating truth I had to admit my devotion fell far short of hers. Nor would it even begin to approach her level of trust for years yet to come. Over and beyond all this Lass became a one-man dog. She would eat only if I fed her. She would drink only the fresh water I set before her. She would permit only me to pet her intensively. If it was necessary for me to be away, she would go on a fast until my return. She was unwilling to partake of anything offered to her by others –even my wife. This single-minded fixation was an integral part of her personality. It was a measure of her character. Above all it was the core of our splendid success as coworkers on the ranch. For it was based on this unwavering fidelity that I in turn could begin to trust her. I could be sure that here was a sheep dog capable of great service as we learned to work together. The future of Fairwinds and the welfare of the flock would in large measure hinge on our mutual trust and loyalty. This is why Jesus asked Peter beside the lake, “Friend, do you really love Me? Are you really loyal? Do you trust Me?” Then, and only then could the rough-hewn fisherman be entrusted to tend the Master’s flock. And if we are serious in our desires to serve the Living Christ, we must examine carefully our relationship to Him. Can it be said of me, “He is a one-man person”? Is my devotion single-minded, centered, and concentration upon Christ? From whose hand do I eat and drink? Where do I get my nourishment and refreshment? It was from Lass that I learned the sterling lesson that God can only truly trust those who truly trust Him. He gives Himself in wondrous plenitude to the person whose single-minded de-votion, love and loyalty is given to the Lord. And because of this mutual trust, those all around are enriched and blessed beyond their wildest imagination.
And in this very moment, I understand more fully something I have said when I have acted foolishly, when I have hurt someone and have said, “I feel like a ‘sheep killing dog’.”
How unthinkable it would be for Lass, the Border Collier of this book, to turn and rend one of the sheep. That would betray her love and trust of her master.
And what would it do to her master (think about that a moment in light of what you just read about Lass and Phillip and then go on to the next question.)?
What does it do to our Christ when we fail to tenderly tend to one another?
Look again at the question: do you love Me?”
I know what my truthful answer is. Yes, Lord, I love You but not nearly enough. Help me love You more.
And I believe He is saying you will come to love Me more when I Am your only nourishment, refreshment, and contentment.
N R C that’s what I need Father. To feed and drink at Your Table rather than taking in the world’s poisoned ‘nourishment’ and empty refreshment which does not lead to contentment but rather more dissatisfaction.
Apply this lesson over and over until I get it, LORD. Till we all get it and live it. You know the conditions of us all. You know what each of us needs today.
Each IDOK, each unspoken request, and LORD when folks come and ask us to pray that is a testimony to You. To Your faithfulness and love. Thank You for allowing us to be a part of that. We are privileged to bring them and we know You are listening and we know You love them and us and we know You are acting on the individual, personal behalf of each of them. Thank You. The report on Lucas was wonderful to get. To know he is now at Walter Reed, his family is with him, and he is talking and wanting to get up out of that bed. I loved getting that report but You know the surgeries that are needed and You know the outcome.
We pray and ask You now for a complete recovery for Lucas. And we pray for the protection of our IDOK Troops today. Please keep them safe in mind, body, and spirit and create a desire in them to love You more and more and to be as faithful as a Border Collier named Lass. Bring us all, Father, to N R C in You. Amen and amen.
As I post this it is 68°F and Clear in Baghdad, IQ & the time there is 3:59 PM AST- on December 9, 2008.
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