MIF 2013: Discussion Notes

Monday: Following the Lord

  1. Looking at Psalm 23, what are some key features that apply to the Lord Jesus? Can you think of some examples of these features in the life of the Lord?
    • —Luke 22:35 – Provides there was no lack
    • —Care, Companionship, Comfort
    • Exclusivity “My sheep”
    • Leading, accompanying , following his disciples
    • Restores, comforts (Example Peter John 21)
    • John 6:10 – Makes to lie down; caused the people to sit down
    • Mark 5:19,20 – Sought for the one man
    • Romans 8:32 – No fear!
    • John 13 – Serving; set a table
  2. Review John 10:1-30. Discuss some of the characteristics of the True Shepherd seen in this chapter.
    • Savior, that gave his life to give life to the sheep (abundant)
      • Esther – willing to lay down life for her people, Esther 4:16
    • Leads to green pasture
    • —Appointed by the Father
    • Knows His sheep; His sheep know and follow him
      • By name – individually
    • Searches, feeds, brings them to a good pasture (Eze. 34:14)
    • Guards the sheep – “Whom seek ye? ” When they came to arrest Him
  3. We see a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus as the True Shepherd in Luke 15:1-5. What can we learn from this and what we read in Hebrews 13:20?
    • —Approachable
    • Brings the sheep home – on his shoulder
      • Strength required to do this
      • Receives us as we are
    • —Cares for the individual
    • Unrelenting – searches till he finds
    • Rejoices in recovery
    • Secured by His blood
  4. The Lord Jesus does the work of a shepherd in Luke 24:13-36. What principles of shepherding can you find in this passage? What are similar occasions when the Lord served as a shepherd?
    • —Drew near
    • Asked and listened to them
    • Walked with them
    • —Taught the scriptures – concerning Himself
      • True food to nourish them
      • Affected their hearts
    • —Communed with them – in breaking bread
    • —Restored them
    • Stood in their midst

Tuesday: Guiding the Flock

  1. Examine Ezekiel 34:1-11. What can we learn from what is said about the shepherds mentioned here? What are some necessary moral qualifications of shepherding?
    • Motivated by love for God and love for the sheep
    • Selflessness – putting others before themselves
    • Shepherds are for the sheep – not the sheep for the shepherds
    • Shepherds must be selected by the Holy Spirit – Acts 20:28
      • Takes responsibility as appointed
    • Moral authority, integrity, confidentiality, empathy
    • Recognition of who the sheep belong too – They are the Lord’s
  2. According to the following Scriptures, who calls or ordains one to be a shepherd of the sheep of God (Ex. 3:10-11, 2 Sam. 7:8, Jn. 21:15-17, Acts 13:1-2, 20:28)?
    • Prepared – Moses spent 40 years in “training”
    • God called Moses, Jesus Christ called Peter, Spirit of God – the elders at Ephesus
    • Some are specifically called and gifted…
    • All have a responsibility to care one for another
  3. Review John 21:15-17 and 1 Peter 5:2-5. What are some specific things to emphasize?
  4. What can we learn from 2 Samuel 24:17 about the heart of a shepherd?
    • The Lord’s feeds his sheep – under shepherds are one of the means
      • Lambs – the younger
      • Sheep – more experienced
    • There is a reward (crown of glory) for faithful under shepherds.
  5. What principles for shepherding can be found at Antioch in Acts 11:20-26?
    • Recognized co-laborers in feeding the sheep
      • Barnabas sought out Paul
    • Encouraged to cleave to the Lord
  6. What is the relationship between shepherds and overseers (the roles of pastor and bishop)? Consider Acts 20:28.
    • Overseer looks at and is concerned with the local needs
      • Apt to teach
    • Takes heed to themselves and then the flock of God
    • Humility of mind characterizes both…
    • Guard against dangers to the sheep
    • Done so willingly – 1Pet 5:2

Wednesday: Building Relationships

  1. Moses was called to shepherd God’s sheep. Based on Deuteronomy 9:13-29, what is one of the most important steps in being an under-shepherd?
    • Humility marked Moses
    • Prayed for the people(sheep)
    • Prayed for an individual(Aaron)
    • Care for the condition of people cost Moses in fasting and prayer
      • Identified with the people
    • Desire and motivation was that God’s interest be maintained – The people were His
  2. The Lord Jesus uses three different expressions when speaking to Peter in John 21:15-17. What can we learn about building relationships with the sheep? Why is this important?
    • Peter needed to be reminded of his own weakness
    • Necessity of love for Christ
    • Lambs – may point out relationships with children
      • What is appropriate for the lambs.
  3. What does 1 Samuel 17:17-18 reveal as one motivation of a shepherd? What are some other scriptural examples of correct motives for shepherds?
    • Provides help to feed them
      • Comes from God the Father what he has given for his own
    • Obedient to fulfill the Father’s will(desire)
    • Cares for how the sheep are getting on
    • Acts with urgency in care
      • Got up early
      • Adjusted priority – David made provisions for the sheep in his absence
    • Seeks a response for God.
  4. How would 2 Timothy 2:2 and Titus 2:4 apply to shepherding?
    • Being an example of the lessons taught and admonishment given…
      • Titus – instructs older sister to instruct younger sisters
      • Instruction is best received from a strong relationship
  5. How should shepherds act when they see a need among the sheep, yet the sheep are resistant to change?
    • Prayer and patience
    • Perseverance
    • Submission and humility
    • Meekness, apt to teach
    • Ready to forgive
    • Seek for a right word from the Lord

Thursday: Listening to Others

  1. How does James 1:19-20 apply to shepherding the sheep God has entrusted to us?
    • As God invites us to call unto him because he hears us
    • Listen attentively – undistracted
    • Responsive to the word of God
    • Listening will be demonstrated by actions
    • With carefulness – more than just words
    • From a loving relationship – “my beloved brethren”
    • Well placed questions may provoke more dialog
      • Open ended question – promote communication
  2. What can we learn from Jacob considering the life of a shepherd (Gen. 31:38-40, 33:13-14)?
    • Continued watchfulness – day and night
      • Availability
    • Personal investment in the sheep
      • Sacrifice in time
    • Accountability to the Lord for the sheep – Heb 13:17
    • Leads at the right pace…
  3. Why is listening to the sheep so important? What must we do if we are going to hear the sheep? How does Proverbs 18:13,17 fit in here? Can you think of other scriptures?
    • Necessary to listen in problem resolution
    • Listen before speaking – speaking without listening is folly
    • Essential to hear all sides of the issue…
      • First account is not necessarily the whole story
  4. Consider Luke 12:13-15. What should shepherds learn about how to handle complaints?
    • Be careful not to be an ally to a side…
    • Discernment required for how and what to respond to a complaint
    • Response should be from the scripture – the mind of Lord
      • Need to pray for wisdom on how/what to answer
  5. Even if shepherds are not aware of specific concerns, there are certain needs that always apply. What can we learn from Galatians 4:19 and other verses as we seek to help the sheep?
    • Be enlightened – Eph. 1:18,19
    • Pursue Peace – Rom 14:19
    • Spiritual growth – 2 Pet 1:4-7
    • Resist temptation – Eph. 6:10