Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Lent Mid-week 3

Mid-week 3
February 23, 2005
John 10:11-18
"Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd”

INTRODUCTION: We are now mid way through our Lenten Pilgrimage. What would we learn of the Savior this night? In a clear and straightforward manner the Savior would remind us, “I am the Good Shepherd.” (v.11) What makes Him such a good shepherd? By His own words He will explain why we can call Him good.

I.                    Jesus is our Good Shepherd because He alone lays down His life for His Sheep.

A.     He is not a hireling.

1.      The hired man, who is not a shepherd, does not own the sheep.

a.       There is no investment on his part.

b.      The sheep mean nothing to him.

2.      The hired man cares nothing for the sheep.

B.      Jesus is willing to die for the sheep.

1.      Because He cares for them.

a.       He will tend, feed and watch over them.

b.      He will leave 99 in safety to seek after one who is lost.

    2. Because He loves them! “Greater love that no man then this that He lay down His life for His friends.”

Transition: We can call Jesus our Good Shepherd because He lays down His life for His sheep. We call Him Shepherd because He guards and protects us.

II.                 Jesus is our Good Shepherd because He guards and protects us.

A.     Not so with the hireling.

1.       He runs when he sees the wolf coming. He’s more interested in self; in self-preservation, in self-promotion then the sheep.

2.       The wolf preys upon the flock. He snatches the sheep and scatters them.

B.      Jesus is our protector.

1.      “No one shall snatch them out of My hand!” Says Jesus our Good Shepherd.

2.      He offers His life for the flock. He’s willing to die for the sheep and will in fact offer His life for the flock.

3.      He owns the flock – they are His – He is responsible.

Transition: Our Good Shepherd lays down His life for us. He guards and protects us. He knows us.

III.               The Good Shepherd knows the sheep.

A.       “As the Father knows Me and I know the Father, in the same way I know My sheep and they know Me.” (Vv. 14-15)

1.           There is a special and close relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep.

2.           He’s your closest and dearest friend.

3.           For a second time Jesus will remind us, “And I am willing to die for them.” (v.15)

B.       He calls them each by name. “There are other sheep that belong to Me that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring them too.” (v. 16)

1.      “They will listen to My voice.” (v.16) We do not heed the voice of a different Shepherd. We know His voice only. From the mount of Transfiguration, “This is My beloved Son – listen to Him.” (Matthew 17)

2.      “They will become one flock with one shepherd.” He is not one voice among many – one of several options. He demands our whole heart and our true devotion. Heed His voice and follow in His wake as He leads the flock.

CONCLUSION: Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He lays down His life for the sheep. He guards and protects His sheep. He knows them each by name! No wonder we call Him our Good Shepherd.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Lent mid-week 2

Mid-week 2
February 16, 2005
John 10:7-10
Jesus said,  “I am the gate”

INTRODUCTION: As we review the words of the Savior we have a better understanding of His will and His ways. Last week we learned that Jesus is the light of the world. Tonight we will learn that He is the door, which leads to eternal life. He is the gate, which lead into mansions glorious. In very clear words Jesus would tell us, “I tell you the truth I am the door for the sheep.”
I.                    Whoever enters through Him will be saved.

A.      “All others who came before Me are thieves and robbers.” (V.8)

1.       There had been many false Christ’s who had come, claiming to be the only Christ.

2.       In our day, to this very hour, many false prophets will come claiming to be Him. “Jesus answered, “watch out, and do not let anyone fool you. Because man men will come in My name, saying I am the Messiah and fool many people.” (Matthew 24:4-5)

3.       These imposters can not help, they can not heal, they cannot lead. They only seek to destroy. “The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy.” (v. 10)

B.      There is something special about the Savior’s voice – He speaks as a true shepherd.

1.      “The sheep do not listen to them” (v. 8)

2.      “My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me and I give them eternal life and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

Transition: Jesus is the true door. Whoever comes in by Him will be saved. And in His care they will live securely.

II.                 As the true door He gives life to the fullest measure.

A.     Jesus reminds us why He came into this world.

1.      “I have come in order that they might have life.” (v. 10b)

2.      The life He gives is one He won for us by suffering on the cross. He lost His life to give us our life. He sacrificed Himself so we could obtain glory.

B.      The life He offers is “life in all its fullness.” (V.10c)

1.      The wine He offered at His first miracle in Cana was “the best.” (John 2)

2.      Anything worth doing is worth doing well. The blessing He bestows are only the best; forgiveness, life, salvation.

CONCLUSION: Jesus is the gate for the sheep. They enter through a marked door to safety and security. Listen to your Shepherd’s voice and follow Him into a safe way made secure by Him.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday
February 9, 2005
John 8:12-20
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world”

INTRODUCTION: Our Lenten pilgrimage begins tonight on Ash Wednesday. During these next 40 days we will observe our Lord’s Passion as He bears our sins on the bloody cross, offering us a great exchange – our sins for His righteousness

To help us along this Lenten journey we will be listening to Jesus’ words as He describes Himself to us in the Gospel of John. What would the Savior say to us tonight? He would remind us that He is the light of the world.

“Then Jesus spoke again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life.” (John 8:12) Light – we take it for granted until we don’t have it – as in an ice or snowstorm! Its wonders are beheld in magnificent sunsets and sunrises – it can travel at a distance of _____________.  In our text for this evening Jesus refers Himself as the true light that this world still needs. 

I.                    Jesus is the light of the world.

A.       He is the one who gives life and light to the world.

1.        He was present at the world’s creation. “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood it.”  (John 1:1-5)

2.        He alone can give us life and rest spiritually. “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give your rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

B.        He alone is capable of sustaining life.

1.        He asks, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25)

2.        His answer – “Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (V. 26)

3.        We need to commit all into His care, trusting in Him that He will bring everything to pass.

Transition: Since the Savior has brought life into this world He asks of us to trust Him.

II.                 Believe and follow Him.

A.       You’ll never walk in darkness.

1.      You can’t be in darkness if He is the true light.

2.      Follow Him as He goes to the cross exchanging your life of sin for His perfection, your darkness for His true light.

B.        With Jesus leading we will always have the light of life.

1.      John reminds us early in his Gospel “He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him.” (v.11) The world rejected Him! Who killed Jesus? You did! I did!

2.      But to those who come by faith – “Yet to all who received Him to those who believed in His name. He gave the right to be come children of God – children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will but born of God.” (John 1:12-13)

CONCLUSION: Jesus is the light – neglect not the light! Hate not the light! Seek it. But beware of false light!

Sunday, February 6, 2005


February 6, 2005
Matthew 17:1-9
The Transfiguration of our Lord

INTRODUCTION: The Transfiguration of our Lord – how should we consider it? To some, the transfiguration was only an historical event, which occurred in the distant past. They may ask, “so what?” What does the transfiguration have to do with me today in the year 2005? If it is to be real some may argue it must be applied to my life today. This morning let’s address this question, “how does the transfiguration transfigure my life today?” To answer this question we must say that the transfiguration gives us today four certain realities. Let’s consider them.

I.        The transfiguration gives us today a sense of awe for the holy.

A.     “When the disciples heard this they fell on their faces in awe.” (V.6)

1.      By most accounts they fell due to fear.

2.      Is there a genuine fear and awe of God today?

B.     We experience a sense of awe when we come into God’s presence – we have done so this day.

1.      When He comes to us through His Word – Gospel.

2.      When we receive His body and blood in the Holy Communion.

3.      Worship is more then mere entertainment. It is a time to experience God in His holiness and awesomeness.

Transition: There a sense of the holy. There is an appeal to listen to His voice.

II.     A command to listen and obey, “This is My Son listen to Him” (v.5)

A.     We hear Him – listen to Him. There is a difference between looking and seeing, hearing and listening.

1.      May we hear His message – may we hear His voice.

2.      We are called to listen to His voice.

B.     Christ is the Word made flesh – John 1

1.      Christ has come to dwell among us, full of grace and truth.

2.      Christ bestows on us the Father’s peace.

Transition: We witness someone holy, we list, we witness of Him.

III.   An opportunity to witness. (V. 9) “Tell no one until the Son is risen from the dead.”

A. Now we know who He is; no longer a mere carpenter, an infant, a young obedient son, not even a miracle worker.

1.      He’s God’s Son – The One made flesh.

2.      In Whom the Father is pleased for He will bear the world’s sin and guilt.

B. The disciples would keep the vision a secret until only after Jesus had risen from the dead.

1.      Then they would boldly proclaim, “He is Risen!”

2.      We have opportunity to witness. Lent is a time to pilgrimage with the Savior.

Transition: Faith is not lived in a vacuum it’s expressed as we witness in this world.

IV.  An example of service. (V.4) “Lord it is good to be here, if You wish we can make three booths…”

A. Peter wanted to tabernacle with Jesus – stay with Him removed from the trappings and temptations of the world.

1.      We today remain separated from the world.

2.      But we live in it – this is our arena where we work, play and interact with others.

B.     Thus into this world we shine forth being witnesses for     Christ – we become shining lights for Him.

1.      This happens when day dawns and morning star rises in our hearts.

2.      Christ shines through us, as He is the true light that shines forth into our life and into the world.

CONCLUSION: Today we close the season of Epiphany only to begin the discipline of Lent. During our pilgrimage we will walk with the Savior as He comes down from the mountain of exaltation and transfiguration to the valley of suffering. As we view His humiliation, agony and denial we will witness Him offering Himself to give us His life in exchange for our sin and our guilt. This is the Father’s Son – the beloved –may we listen and learn from Him.