Open Heavens 22nd June 2018 — A Shepherd Or A Hunter? – Pastor E.A Adeboye
Memorise: And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. – 1 Peter 5:4
Read: 1 Peter 5:1-4 (KJV)
1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 24-25, Acts 15:12-35
It is disheartening to note that many hunters have crept into the Body of Christ, disguising themselves as shepherds. How do we distinguish a hunter from a shepherd? A hunter is an opportunist who feeds on the flesh of animals he did not rear. He kills his game indiscriminately without consideration for the wellbeing of the animals he kills. A shepherd, on the other hand, knows even the smallest details about the state of his or her flock. His disposition to the flock is captured beautifully in Psalm 23. Psalm 23:1-3 says,
“1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
All those occupying the office of shepherd in the Body of Christ are instructed on God’s expectation of them in today’s Bible reading. They are expected to feed the flock of God and watch over them without any constraint or covetousness. Unlike a hunter that goes after a kill, the shepherd must nurture, preserve and ensure the safety of the sheep. He pampers the lambs and leads the sheep towards green pastures. The shepherd defends the flock against external aggression of wolves and other carnivores. Jesus Christ is our perfect example of a shepherd. In John 10:11, He said:
“I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
God expects us to be good shepherds just as our Lord Jesus Christ is. In the Body of Christ today, it is unfortunate that we have unsuspecting sheep who are being led by hunters instead of shepherds. Paul wrote concerning them in Philippians 3:18-19, saying:
“18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)”
Beloved, you need to identify the shepherds and the hunters in the Body of Christ and ensure you are not being led by a hunter. Any pastor whose primary concern is what he or she can get out of you and not how you will be nurtured and built up in Christ is a hunter. I pray that God will open your eyes of understanding and enable you to discern if you are under a hunter or a shepherd.
Prayer Point: Father, please rid your Church of hunters disguised in the coats of shepherds in Jesus’ Name.