Some days, my 9 year old Lauren is the ideal big sister. She changes the baby’s diaper and dresses him; she helps tie shoes; she corrals everybody to the car and helps fasten car seats. Many times, she jumps in and offers her help before I even have the chance to ask. When she cares for her younger brothers like this, I feel blessed and loved and respected and honored.
Last week, 8 year old Rachel offered to lead her brothers in cleaning up the living room. She promised them she would not be bossy and that she would work alongside them. She kept her word. She nicely pointed out the toys that needed put away, and she encouraged them while they worked. “Caleb, you are doing a great job! Thanks.” “Silas, you’re perfect at picking up Legos. You’re the fastest worker I know.” On and on, she praised them. Faster and faster, they worked. I was so proud of them all. Rachel loved and cared for her brothers while serving me; she encouraged them and blessed our entire family by her leadership.
This morning, I was reading in John chapter 21. After Jesus served the disciples a breakfast of fish by the sea, He lovingly restores Simon Peter. “Do you love Me?” Jesus asks him 3 times. Each time, after Simon Peter answers that he does indeed love Jesus, Jesus gives Peter an interesting instruction.
“Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”
“Feed My Lambs.” . . .
“Yes, Lord; You know that I love you.”
“Tend My sheep.” . . .
“Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”
“Feed My sheep.”
When my children take care of each other, when they love each other, when they encourage each other and serve each other, I feel loved and blessed. It seems, from this glimpse of Jesus, that our Father must feel the same way. I can show Him I love Him by serving His children. As I love and serve and bless and encourage other Christians, I am loving and serving and blessing my Father in Heaven.
What if Peter assured Jesus that he loved Him and then completely ignored the instructions about tending and feeding the sheep? I know I’ve been guilty of that. “Jesus, You know I love You.” Then I just go on my selfish way, absorbed by my own life and my own agenda.
Father, please open my eyes for opportunities to tend Your children today. Please show me ways I can bless my brothers and sisters. Please use me to take care of someone.
If you’re looking for a way to encourage other believers and can’t think of anything, I know of some Christians in Brazil who currently meet in a tiny garage but who have the opportunity to purchase land. This land will have a church building with an auditorium and plenty of classroom space, and there is also room for kids to play basketball or soccer in an adjoining lot. The land is along a busy street in a neighborhood filled with children, just a few doors up from where the church meets now. It’s ideal and the Lord’s hand is in it. If you want God to use you to help provide the land for this church, express your interest in my comments section or email me, and I’ll let you know where to send your money.