trusted online casino malaysia
Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
Pastor to Pastor

The Example of the Savior

Imitate Paul imitating Jesus.

Shepherding God’s Flock (4)

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11.1

Paul was not shy to put himself forward as a faithful shepherd. He had prosecuted his ministry following as closely as possible the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. He instructed the elders from the churches in Ephesus to remember the example he had set for them so that they would shepherd the flock of God faithfully and well (Acts 20.18-21, 28). To follow Paul’s example was to follow the example of Jesus. Jesus alone, and Paul as His best example, must guide our own development as shepherds over God’s flocks.

But if Gregory the Great (540-604) is correct, following Jesus and leading His flock to follow Him will make for a different kind of community than what we typically see in churches today: “He fled from the offered glory of pre-eminence, but desired the pain of an ignominious death; that so His members might learn to fly from the favours of the world, to be afraid of no terrors, to love adversity for the truth’s sake, and to shrink in fear from prosperity; because this often defiles the heart through vain glory, while that purges it through sorrow; in this the mind exalts itself, but in that, even though it had once exalted itself, it brings itself low…” (The Book of Pastoral Rule

Jesus set the example for the shepherds of His flock by following a course of self-denial, sacrificial giving, and devoted service to the needs of others. He eschewed all honors of men and never sought any material advantage from His efforts. Paul followed in His example and commanded us to do the same.

We must guard our hearts and lives against seeing pastoral ministry and the work of shepherding as a means to personal fulfillment or gain. Instead, let us always be emptying ourselves, dying to ourselves, and sacrificing our own convenience for the sake of God’s flock (Phil. 2.5-11). Jesus must increase, brethren, not us.

Resources for Shepherds
What does it mean to imitate Jesus? Our ReVision study, “We Would See Jesus”, addresses that question in four seven-lesson installments. This study is free and suitable for personal or group use. You can download all four installments by clicking here. Our book, To Know Him, can also help you in focusing on Jesus. Learn more and order a free copy by clicking here.

Our course, “Shepherding God’s Flock”, is designed for shepherds to help them assess their ministries and discover ways of being more like Jesus in this important work. “Shepherding God’s Flock” is based on our workbook by that name. To order a free copy of Shepherding God’s Flock, click here. The course is available at The Ailbe Seminary at no cost and can be taken on your own or with a Reader to review your work. To receive an overview of the work of shepherding – and the contents of our workbook – watch this brief video.

From the Celtic Revival
Becoming like Jesus is what the Spirit is striving to accomplish within us (2 Cor. 3.12-18). We want to be more like Him now because being like Him is what we will be forever, once we see Him as He is (1 Jn. 3.1-3). The anonymous writer of The Book of the Order of Creatures understood this. Here’s an excerpt which will appear in tomorrow’s edition of Crosfgell:

…human beings, themselves also created by nature subject to change – as has been ascertained in Adam and his offspring – accordingly rendered changeless after the resurrection by contemplation of the Creator, will neither wish to sin nor will they be able to. For every rational creature which is refreshed by the contemplation of God cannot sin.

  - The Book of the Order of Creatures XV.2[1]

Seems our anonymous scribe knew his Augustine: We who are at present posse peccare (capable of sinning) and posse non peccare (capable of not sinning) are on a journey toward the day when we will be non posse peccare (not capable of sinning) because of Jesus. “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn. 3.3)

In the current Crosfigell series, we are looking at a Celtic Christian worldview through excerpts from The Book of the Order of Creatures. Here is an excellent opportunity to learn why we firmly believe we have much to learn from these ancient saints. Crosfigell is mailed every Tuesday and Thursday. Subscribe to Crosfigell today (click here to update your subscriptions). Be sure you click each teaching letter you want to receive, (including Pastor to Pastor), and follow us through our devotional study of this remarkable document.

T. M. Moore.

Please pray that God will move many of those we serve through this ministry to share with us financially in its support. If the Lord moves you to give, you can use the
Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal or Anedot, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 103 Reynolds Lane, West Grove, PA 19390.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


[1] Davies, p. 27

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

Subscribe to Ailbe Newsletters

Sign up to receive our email newsletters and read columns about revival, renewal, and awakening built upon prayer, sharing, and mutual edification.