Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Shepherds Take Care of Their Sheep
A friend invites you to worship with him on Sunday. He says, “Do you want to come to my church with me?” Two pastors get together for coffee, and each of them asks, “How are things going at your church?” Christians speak this way about the churches they attend because they have such a close connection to them. And this is a good thing.
But sometimes, this idea can go too far. People might say, “This is my church,” as they try to push their own personal agendas on the ministry of a congregation.
As a man named Paul spoke to the church leaders in the ancient city of Ephesus, he reminded them to whom the church belonged. He called the church “the church of God.” And then he explained why it belongs to God. God bought it with his own blood.
When you pay a lot for something, it is worth a lot to you. God paid a price for you and me too. He paid the price of his blood. Because Jesus was the innocent Son of God, his blood was infinitely precious—more valuable than all of the gold in the world. And Jesus paid the price with his blood, bleeding and dying to buy us out of our slavery to sin and death.
Now we belong to him. And the one who paid so much for us makes sure that we are taken care of. He chooses pastors and church leaders to care for the spiritual needs of Christians the way that shepherds take care of sheep. They have an important responsibility. But in the end, they are simply those chosen by God to care for his sheep.
Thank God for faithful pastors. Pray for them. Encourage them. And most of all, rejoice that, while pastors may come and go and churches rise and fall, the church of God remains as those forgiven, set free, and purchased with the precious blood of Christ.
Bought by your blood, Jesus, I belong to you. Amen.