“So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.”
Recently I took a moment to observe my dear wife laboring in the kitchen. I have never seen a woman more active in the kitchen than her. She seems perpetually busy cooking, baking, frying, mixing, stirring, pouring, or icing something. When she’s not doing that, she’s either serving food or packing up food to take to someone. Without a doubt, feeding people is Linde’s “love language;” it is one of her ways of expressing genuine care for others. As I marvel at her tireless labor and the enormous volume of pots, pans, appliances, and tupperware containers that fill every corner of our kitchen, my eyes drift to the bookshelves in my home. They (and those in my office) are almost creaking under the weight of books. Every shelf is full as is my night stand. There is even a stack of books on the floor beside my bed! Those are my “pots and pans;” those are the tools I use to nourish the people I love, not with physical food, but with God-given truth. Just as Linde’s ministry requires a substantial investment of time and effort, so too does the ministry of the word (Acts 6:2-4; 20:32; 1 Timothy 5:17). One cannot read the New Testament and miss the importance of being nourished with sound doctrine (Acts 2:42; 1 Timothy 4:6, 16, 18; 2 Timothy 2:15; 4:2; Titus 1:9; 2:1; 1 Peter 2:2; et al). “Feed my sheep,” said the resurrected and glorified Jesus to the spokesman for the apostles. We who have trusted in Christ for salvation have become the risen Lord’s ambassadors also (2 Corinthians 5:20). Though the original apostles do indeed have special and unique recognition and privileges in the Kingdom of God, it remains true that we have been entrusted with their witness, the testimony of Jesus, which is the very Spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). That inspired testimony and the Word incarnate of Whom it speaks are together our necessary spiritual food and drink (Matthew 4:4; John 6:35, 63; Hebrews 5:12-14; 1 Peter 2:2). We ministers of the word will give an account of how we executed this sacred duty (James 3:1). “Who then is that faithful and wise steward,” asked Jesus of Peter, “whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing” (Luke 12:42-43). People need both physical and spiritual food to survive in the present dispensation, and the church is tasked with helping provide them with both (James 2:16-17; 1 John 3:16-18). I praise God for the perfect partnership Linde and I enjoy, and pray these twin ministries will continue to grow and flourish, both in our home and in our beloved church.
God bless you dear saints,