Sermon for 6/10/2001
1 Peter 5:1-4
What Kind of a Boss Do You Have?
A. What kind of a boss do you have?
B. A best-selling book business book is “Best Boss, Worst Boss’ by management techniques expert Jim Miller. The book grew out of a contest he began in 1992 to find the worst boss in America.
C. One of the winners has the following story: A bookkeeper breaks his ankle when he slips on a wet office floor, but his boos won’t let him go the emergency room until the company’s daily invoices are processed. That takes 5 hours. By then, the ankle is so swollen that it takes 3 days before it can be cast. When the doctor’s office called to asked why the boss didn’t permit the employee to seek medical treatment, the boss said, “Invoices are more important than a stupid employee.”
A. What does it take to be a boss in today’s world? Negative view.
1. Imposition of boss’s will and power over others.
a) Claw and scrape way to the top. Intimidation. Getting things done at any cost.
b) Nice guys finish last. If care about co-workers, cannot be a good boss.
2. Emotional detachment. Don’t get involved in the lives of employees.
** Adolf Hitler in the fall of 1942 was on a train going to his new headquarters. His army was fighting bitterly at Stalingrad. On Nov. 7, 1942, as he was sitting down to supper in the fancy diner on his special train, a freight car chanced to stop on an adjacent track. The car contained a throng of starving and wounded soldiers from the eastern front, who naturally stared in astonishment at the Fuhrer in his diner just two yards away. Without as much as a gesture of greeting in their direction, Hitler ordered the servant to close the shades.
B. In the church, who is the boss? Some might say that I am. Rather cultic.
C. Jesus Christ is the boss in the church or should be. How does he act? What is his leadership style? It is a shepherd to the sheep.
1. Yes, the sheep are dirty, dumb, and defenseless but instead of abuse and use the sheep, he loves them, he cleans them up, he guides them, he protects them. With his own life. He serves them.
2. Background to John 10. I am the good shepherd. Why did Jesus discuss this?
a) In John 9, Jesus comes across a man born blind. Jesus makes mud with his saliva, puts it on the blind mans eyes, and tells the blind man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. When he does, the man born blind can see. Imagine it. He is so happy! Never before has he seen.
b) People were astonished and began to talk about it. The Pharisees and religious leaders heard about it and brought the blind man in for questioning. They did not believe that it was so. They also were upset for Jesus had broken man made laws about the Sabbath.
c) The man’s answers were not satisfactory for them, so they called in this man’s parents. They verified that he was blind from birth but now he could see.
d) The former blind man was brought in again for more questioning. The Pharisees refused to believe that this man was born blind. The man begins to talk about how wonderful this man Jesus is. It did not go over well. They became infuriated with him and cast the former blind man out of the synagogue. He was excommunicated!
e) Jesus hears about it and comes to the former blind man. Jesus tells him that he is the Son of God, the Messiah. This man believes in Jesus and worships Him. Right after this Jesus begins to speak about how he is the good shepherd.
f) In contrast the Pharisees cared nothing about this blind man. Did they praise God for him seeing? No, they cursed the blind man for talking about Jesus. They cared nothing about the condition of the blind man. They just cared about themselves. Jesus is saying that in contrast to these other shepherds, I am the good shepherd. I care about my sheep.
g) Bad shepherds were nothing new to Israel. The prophets, priests and kings were to shepherd the people of Israel but God many times said that they were bad shepherds.
h) (Jer 23:1 NIV) "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!" declares the LORD. (Jer 23:2 NIV) Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: "Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done," declares the LORD. (Jer 23:3 NIV) "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number.
i) Jesus is the great Shepherd who did this. (Ezek 34:23 NIV) I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd.
j) However, Jesus has gone physically. Jeremiah goes on and says: (Jer 23:4 NIV) I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing," declares the LORD.
k) Shepherds, plural.
l) I thought there was only one shepherd.
D. Ron Ritchie- Last October, my wife and I were driving through the Highlands of Scotland, an area of beautiful mountains and meadows, when we happened to see two shepherds caring for a large flock of sheep in a field. We parked our car and walked over to the fence to observe what was going on. The chief shepherd was leading his flock of 200 sheep around in a large circle. Every now and then he would instruct his undershepherd to grab a sheep, lay him on his back and hold him, while he himself worked on the sheep’s hooves. Seeing us, the chief shepherd came toward us and asked if he could assist us in any way. We introduced ourselves and I told him that I also was a shepherd. By watching him, I said, I hoped to become a better one!
E. I explained that I was a pastor, an elder, and asked him what he was doing by casting certain sheep on their backs and examining them. He replied that the flock had just returned from the high country and he was in the process of preparing them to graze in the lower pastures. Many of the sheep had been injured during the time in the mountains and he was in the act of observing which of them were hurt. To help him observe he drove them around in a circle while he watched for those which were limping. When he saw one, he called to the undershepherd to grab the sheep, cast him on his back, and he then examined his hoofs to see what was causing the limp.
F. As I watched, I could not help but think that I was witnessing a wonderful illustration of the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Chief Shepherd, and that as such he has appointed shepherds, who are known as elders, to care, feed and protect his flock in the Age of the Spirit.
G. This doesn’t apply to me. Oh, what about the Great Commission. Making disciples is every Christian’s business.
H. In John 21:15-17- Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Peter says three times that he does. After every response, Jesus says to Peter, feed or tend my sheep, lambs.
I. If this just for Peter or the whole church. If we love God, we will love and care for people.
J. The Great Commandment. These two are interconnected.
K. We are not perfect, but need to lead the sheep to the Chief Shepherd.
L. I need a Jesus with some flesh on. Undershepherds.
M. Elders- “Older ones who lead because of experience.”
Thesis: Acts 20:28 and 1 Peter 5:1-4 admonishes the shepherd. It says, “Take heed to yourselves and to the flock.” The first care of the Spiritual Shepherd is for Himself and then for the flock.
I. To himself.
A. First part of this year, we talked about many of these issues.
B. A mature Christian will be self-controlled.
C. Watch walk of discipline before the flock.
D. He/she will live in the Spirit. Disciplined, vital spiritual life, blameless, temperate, have a good reputation, etc.
E. Demonstrate fruits of the Spirit.
F. Watch words of doctrine to the flock. Able to teach. Must know the Bible and what is correct and what is not correct and why.
G. Listening to preachers on TV and radio can confuse.
H. Know what is important.
I. Focus on work of dedication among the flock. Through long time and frequent touch, the shepherds smell like sheep. Sheep listen to his voice.
J. Good sheep can sniff out good shepherds: they are the people who are already shepherding and have tended a flock long before they were thought of as elders.
II. The flock.
A. Who is the flock? Especially those of the household of faith. We are all God’s children but must focus on the flock.
1. The church.
a. A building- where God dwells, it is a lasting union.
1) (1 Pet 2:5 NIV) you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
b. A bride- Where God embraces- a loving union.
1) (Rev 19:7 NIV) Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come and his bride has made herself ready.
c. A body- where he expresses himself, a living union.
1) Christ has no feet except our feet, Christ has no…
2) (1 Cor 3:16 NIV) Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Cor 3:17 NIV) If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
B. Jesus is the Great Shepherd of the sheep by…
1. The cost He paid- Blood. Laid down his life. Are you washed in the blood? Plan of salvation.
2. The call He makes… church means the called out ones. The door of the sheep.
3. The care He takes- He appoints overseers for his sheep.
C. The undershepherd’s charge.
1. Holy Spirit made overseer.
a. Not by compulsion but willingly. Must love the job. Best way to love the sheep.
b. It is difficult, but as Christians we have no choice.
c. A preacher quit the ministry after 20 years and became a funeral director. When asked why he changed, he said: “I spent 3 years trying to straighten out John and John’s still an alcoholic, then I spent 6 months trying to straighten out Susan’s marriage and she filed for divorce, then I spent 2 ½ years trying to straighten out Bob’s drug problem and he’s still an addict. Now at the funeral home when I straighten them out- they stay straight!
d. Who wants to take care of stupid sheep? The Lord does, we should as well.
2. To find the sheep- Evangelism.
a. I have other sheep that are not of this fold; I must bring them.
b. Know those who are guests. Get to know them to bring them into the flock. Know name.
c. One minister expects his elders to know the specific concerns among their sheep and to pray about these concerns. These may include family concerns, spiritual struggles, financial needs, and other anxieties. Part of this is to keep the sheep from straying. Lift up the fallen and strengthen the knees of the weak.
d. Straying sheep need someone to bring them back.
3. To feed the sheep- Edification. Build them up in the faith. So that they can shepherd others. Spend time on questions and the Word of God.
4. To forego the sheep- Direction. Know about them so that they do not get off on the wrong path. Man who was meeting with Jehovah Witnesses.
5. To fight for the sheep. Protection.
a. Those in the flock who are troublesome.
b. Those outside the flock who are trying to steal them away.
6. To favor the sheep- Affection.
a. Must love the sheep no matter how dirty, dumb and defenseless.
b. One minister expects his elders to contact sheep at least once a month. He wants them to know where they work and their family situation, etc.
c. This minister expects the shepherds to tend to people when they are hospitalized, grieving, or in crisis, showing compassion and extending personal care and support.
d. Preacher is not to be the only one doing these things… Need to get involved in people’s lives.
D. Dysfunctional churches use people instead of ministering to their needs.
E. We need more shepherds. 20 to 40 sheep. Over 100 shepherd cannot take care of sheep. Hirelings are not good.
F. Eagerly, not greedy. Not using the sheep for power or prestige.
G. Motivation does not come from power or prestige.
H. Vs. 3 of Peter- Epistle of Clement- For Christ is of those who are humble-minded, and not of those who exalt themselves over His flock. Our Lord Jesus Christ did not come in the pomp of pride or arrogance, although He might have done so, but in a lowly condition, as the Holy Spirit had declared regarding Him.
III. Motivation, the servant’s crown, the reward.
A. Just in heaven, but also on earth.
B. Seeing the Savior magnified. If I be lifted up…
C. Seeing sinners justified. Nothing like it.
D. Seeing saints edified. Growing, nothing like it.
E. Seeing Satan mortified. Flock is growing, shepherds are caring, and Satan is disgusted.
I am so glad that I am a part of the family of God #419