Personal Poverty 

For ye were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls" (1 Pet. 2:25).

It is during the time of our being broken that we learn that His promises concerning us cannot be broken.

"It is more than comforting to realise that it is those who have plumbed the depths of failure to whom the Father invariably gives the call to shepherd others. This is not a call to the gifted, the highly trained, or the polished as such. Without a bitter realisation of their own inadequacy and poverty they are quite unfitted to bear the burdens of spiritual ministry.

"It takes a man who has discovered something of the measure of his own weakness to be patient with the foibles of others. Such a man also has a firsthand knowledge of the loving care of the Chief Shepherd, and His ability to heal one who has come humbly to trust Him and Him alone. Therefore he does not easily despair of others, but looks beyond sinfulness, wilfulness, and stupidity, to the might of unchanging love. The Lord Jesus does not give the charge, Be a shepherd to My lambs. . . to My sheep,' on hearing Peter's self-confident affirmation of undying loyalty, but He gives it after he has utterly failed to keep his vows, and has wept bitterly in the streets of Jerusalem." -J.C.M.

"As to Simon Peter, we not only see him restored to the work to which he was called at the first, but to something even higher. Feed My lambs - shepherd My sheep' - is the new commission given to the man who had denied his Lord with an oath. When thou art restored, strengthen thy brethren.' There is nothing in all this world nearer and dearer to the heart of the Lord Jesus than His sheep, His lambs: and hence He could not have given Peter a more affecting proof of His confidence than by committing to his care the dearest objects of His deep and tender love." -C.H.M.

"Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord. . . And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men" (Lk. 5:8, 10).

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