Saturday, April 20, 2013

Good Shepherd Sunday

Jesus tells us, “My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish and no one shall snatch them out of My hand.” (John 10:2728)

A young Christian was once asked, “What is the most important thing you have learned about God?” The reply, “That God can be trusted in every circumstance of life.” What say you? Is this true?

There is talk these days about the future soundness of the Social Security system. Will sufficient funds be available when baby boomers retire? And, not only the current generation but future generations yet to come. Generation X and Y. How will they fare? As pressing and important as this question may be an even more pressing issue  is thisWill your spiritual security ever fail you? Jesus assures us that when your life is in the Shepherd’s hands you will live securely.

I.  You belong to the Good Shepherd. “My sheep hear My voice and I know them and they follow Me.”

A.       As a sheep of His flock, you listen to the voice of your Shepherd.
1.      There are many voices all trying to get our attention.
2.      In our struggle in this life, to whom will you listen?   Whom will you follow? Is this true? It is not that our baptism didn’t work. It’s not that Jesus’ suffering and death didn’t redeem us. It’s a continuing question. Will we continue to hear and follow our Savior?  Will we, as it were, change the channel? The challenge for us is to stay focused on Christ our Good Shepherd.

B.        We are assured of the Shepherd’s love and care for He knows us.
1.      Your Shepherd knows your needs. He knows you even better then you know yourself.
2.      As a Good Shepherd who knows you, He will provide you with all that you need to support your body and life.

C.       We follow Him alone.
1.      We don’t have to follow other Shepherds voices, which would tempt us.
2.      We follow the direction and the voice of our true Shepherd. Jesus reminds us, “My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me...” My prayer is that you would hear, obey and follow the Good Shepherd faithfully.

Transition: We live securely because we belong to the Good Shepherd. Our Good Shepherd gives us two promises.

II. Jesus gives us his Word and Promise “I give them eternal life.”

A.        The real story is not what we do.  Rather it’s always about Christ. What our shepherd has done. His cross and empty tomb guarantees for us life everlasting with our Shepherd in heaven.

B.        In glory, we will live and reign with Him forever. Just think of the life decisions our youth will be making in the next few years. Where will you go to school? What career will you choose? Whom will you marry? Where will you live? But of all the decisions you will ever make the most important decision has been made already for you – “I give them eternal life and they will never perish.”

C.        In sin, all we like sheep wander. Jesus your Good Shepherd finds you. He carries you. And brings you to a safe place. This is how we come to know how must He loves us. That’s why we follow Him. Not because the law says, we must. Not because we are afraid of sin or death. – But because we trust the Good Shepherd!

D.        We also know of the quiet waters and green pastures He provides us. We live thankful lives for the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation we have been given. We are Easter people.  We are given the gift of eternal life. The life we have now continues to eternity.

Transition: Jesus has promised us eternal life. He has also provided security and safety.

III. Jesus’ word and promise is sure “No one shall snatch them out of My hand.”

A.            There is a choice.  It’s simple.  Whose sheep will you be? I’m not saying that you will be perfect, and I’m not saying that sin doesn’t matter. What I am saying is that every day in what we think, do and say we are answering the question, “whose sheep will I be?”

B.       We sometimes struggle.  We are tempted. We often fail to listen to our Savior and follow where He leads. Yet, we keep coming back to Him. We come back because nowhere else can we find the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation that is ours in Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd.

I am Jesus’ little lamb. Ever glad at heart I am. For my shepherd gently guides me. Knows my needs and well provides me. Loves me every day the same, even calls me by my name.

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