Lysa TerKeurst (www.lysaterkeurst.com) is the New York Times bestselling author of Made to Crave, Unglued and The Best Yes, along with numerous other titles and a speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa and her team have seen thousands of women make personal commitments to Jesus.
Lysa TerKeurst was the 2nd main stage speaker, taking the stage just after Dr. Emerson Eggerichs on the 1st day of D6 Conference 2014. Her speech was titled “Unrush Me,” and she talked about “Finding the Us in the Middle of the Rush.” She focused on the story from John 21 where Jesus reinstates Peter, after Peter had denied Jesus 3 times. Below are my notes from the speech.
JESUS REINSTATES PETER
When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:15-17) (NIV)
Jesus is turning Peter from a fisherman to a shepherd.
- A fisherman must set his life to the rhythm of the rush to survive financially (quickly deciding which fish to keep and which fish to throw out).
- The preceding story in John 21 shows another miraculous catch, in which Jesus and the disciples caught 153 large fish. Lysa TerKeurst questioned why they took note of such a specific number, and she made a good point that they would have to pay taxes on the fish they caught. Why pay more taxes on a fish than you can sell the fish for? So fisherman would quickly decide which fish were worth keeping and throw back the rest.
- Shepherds do not have to be as judgmental as fisherman. Rather than kill or get rid of the weak sheep or abandon the lost sheep, shepherds go after the lost sheep and protect all the sheep in their care.
Do for one person what you wish you could do for all.
- As ministry leaders, and even just as Christian people, it can be overwhelming thinking about all the different people who need help. There is too much need for any one of us to help every person we know with every need that they have.
- Even though we cannot be everything to everyone, we can still serve people in our lives as those opportunities arise. When we help one person, we can do so with the attitude that we will do for this one person what we wish we could do for everyone.
JESUS’ INSTRUCTIONS TO PETER IN JOHN 21
1. Feed the Lambs
- Lambs are young sheep, and they need to be fed to grow.
- Food is necessary for survival, and lambs must be fed even before their other needs are met.
2. Take Care of the Sheep
- Hold them close.
- Go to the hurting ones and give them grace and love.
3. Feed the Sheep
- Remember the pattern of the shepherd.
- Follow the master.
- Keep your eyes on the master!
LYSA’S PERSONAL STORY
Lysa shared a story about her adopted son from Liberia. He got a late start on schooling, and it was a huge accomplishment for him to graduate high school at age 21. While he overcame many obstacles, his GPA was not high enough to get into college. Thanks to an award from his high school based on his high character, one college took a chance and admitted him. As many college freshman do, her son made some major mistakes and got himself into some trouble that first year. He was suspended from college for a year.
While Lysa and her husband were obviously upset with their son, they approached the situation in a delicate way. They knew he would regret his mistakes and understand his wrongdoing, so rather than admonishing their son, their first reaction was to hold him close like a shepherd taking care of his sheep. They showed him grace and love.
They did hold their son accountable for his mistakes and helped him make changes to prevent a reoccurrence of these mistakes, but they held him close before they held him accountable. This was the kind of shepherding their son needed in this situation and at this point in his life.
LYSA’S FINAL THOUGHT
We cannot confuse the command to love with the need to please!