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Why is Jesus the Good Shepherd? – John 10:11

Why is Jesus the Good Shepherd? John 10:11

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Recently, I was asked the question, “Why is Jesus the Good Shepherd?” Truthfully, I never gave it much thought. I simply accepted what I was taught as a child. But it’s an intriguing and important question, so I did a little research.

In John 10, Jesus calls Himself the good shepherd many times. Today I’d like to explore four of the different aspects of what Jesus was talking about.

#1 Jesus is the door.

Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  John 10:7

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  John 10:9

In ancient times, the shepherd kept the sheep safe at night by laying down to sleep in front of the door of the sheep’s pin. He did this to keep the sheep safely inside of the pin and to keep predators out.

Jesus is the door that we must enter through if we want to see God the Father. Jesus said in John 14:6 “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the door is opened to the Father. Then Jesus becomes not only “the Good Shepherd” but our shepherd. He keeps us safely in the fold and protects us from the predators of a Christian life.

#Jesus is the door that we must enter through, if we want to see God the Father.Click To Tweet

#2 Jesus is the Leader

…and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them: and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  John 10:3-4

A shepherd doesn’t follow his sheep, he leads them. The shepherd would go out in the front of the fold and the sheep would follow behind their shepherd.

Jesus has lead the way for us. His life is the example for us to follow. Everything He did and everything He said was to teach us how to live. Our path is to follow the example set by our leader and shepherd, Jesus.

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#3 Jesus is the One We Know

Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.  John 10:5

I am the good shepherd, and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  John 10:14

When the shepherd called to his sheep, they could easily recognize his voice and they would come to him. But sheep are timid and scared animals and they will run and hide from someone they don’t know. Sheep may be timid, but they are smart enough to tell the difference between a stranger’s voice and the voice of their shepherd. They would never follow a stranger even if the stranger called to them the same way that their shepherd would call.

We can recognize our shepherd too. Because we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and because we have an intimate and personal relationship with Him, we can easily recognize His voice. There are many competing voices out there in the world and they all want our attention. But just like the sheep, we shouldn’t listen to or follow anyone other than our shepherd, Jesus.

#4 Jesus is the Savior

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.  John 10:11

Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have the power take it again.  John 10:17-18

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep. John 10:11Click To Tweet

A shepherd takes care of and protects his sheep no matter what the cost. If just one sheep goes missing, he will go out to find that missing sheep. And the shepherd will put his own life at risk to find his sheep and bring it back into the fold.

How fortunate we are, that we have a Savior and Shepherd who died for us! Jesus willingly gave up His life as a sacrifice for us. Then He took it back up three days later because He has the power to do so!

Jesus is the Good Shepherd because He is our door and way to the Father. He is our leader and example. He is the voice that we know. And above all else, He is our Savior.

Your Turn
Do you have a story to tell about how Jesus has been the Good Shepherd in your life? I’d love to read it, so please leave a comment below.

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Monday Motivation – Zechariah 10:1

Spring is finally here! And if April showers bring May flowers, then we’re in for a beautiful show of pastel-colored blooms this year! Because outside my window, there is a downpour of rain, spring rain. It will wash away the remains of a long dark winter and usher in a new season. Flowers will begin to blossom and trees will start to bud. The birds will return soon and bring their song with them.

Yes, the grandeur of Spring is about to arrive on the earth. But what about in our hearts? Spring is a time for new beginnings for us too. And a perfect time to leave behind the past and move forward. This Bible Verse about spring rain is an invitation to ask for and receive an abundant outpouring of God’s love and faithfulness. It’s a reminder of God’s promise to care for us even in the toughest of times. If we ask, He will take the barren parts of our lives and turn them into a blossoming garden. So, whatever hurt or disappointment lingers in your heart, give it to God and let Him usher in a new season in your life today! Be blessed this Spring and always! 🙂

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Spring Forth – Isaiah 43:18-19

Spring Forth Isaiah 43:18-19

It seems that I’ve spent the last few years waiting for God. It’s been hard. Patience doesn’t come easily for me. I just want to do something, ANYTHING, to get from where I am, to where I want to be. But God said, wait. So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Until I thought God would never give me the green light to move forward with all that He has for me to do. And finally, I got it…the green light I’ve been waiting so long for!

Do not remember the former things,
Nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do a new thing,
Now it shall spring forth;
Shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the wilderness,
And rivers in the desert.

                               Isaiah 43:18-19

God gave me this verse recently to say, “Now is the time, go for it!” This new thing that God wants to do in my life means taking action and putting myself out there, something that I’ve been longing to do, but now it seems so scary. Will it work? Will I succeed? Or will I fall flat on my face? Whatever happens, I know I have to trust God and follow His plan.

But God doesn’t just want to do something new in my life. He wants to do something new in yours too! So let’s dive into this scripture and discover how we can spring forth!

Do not remember the former things…

Let’s face it, we all have a past. And it probably has a few things in it that we’d rather not think about or share with the rest of the world. But that’s okay because God is giving us permission to let go of those hurts and disappointments from the past. So, whatever hardships you’ve endured up until now, take them to God and leave them at His feet. It’s okay to forget them and move on.

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Behold, I will do a new thing…

God has something new in store for us! Something greater than we can even imagine! But we have to be willing to accept this new thing and take action to achieve it. God doesn’t expect us to be spectators in our own lives, He wants us to participate fully in this new thing and see it through to fruition. I know what you’re thinking because I’m thinking about it too. Taking action is hard. It feels unnatural and like I’m setting myself up for a big letdown. But this is where it gets good because God continues on…

Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it?…

Spring is finally here. And with it comes the beautiful blooming flowers and budding trees. All winter long these flowers and trees have been there resting, taking root and waiting for the right time to spring forth. We’re just like these flowers and trees. We’ve been waiting, praying and letting God’s Word take root in our hearts so that when springtime comes for us, we’ll be ready to bloom.

We’ve been waiting, praying and letting God’s Word take root in our hearts so that when springtime comes for us, we’ll be ready to bloom. #Spring #BibleStudyClick To Tweet

I will even make a road in the wilderness…

Have you ever gone hiking? There are usually some pretty well-worn trails that other people, or maybe animals have made. Instead of stumbling through the tall grass, rocks and downed tree branches, we choose to walk these trails. When we start to take action and work toward this new thing in our life, we will face roadblocks. But God promises that He will go before us and blaze the trail. He will remove the roadblocks when they present themselves. He will remove all of the debris in front of us and make a road for us to walk on. And He will lead us into this something new. There will always be roadblocks in our path, but we can hold tight to God’s promise, that He will make a road in the wilderness for us.

There will always be roadblocks in our path, but we can hold tight to God’s promise, that He will make a road in the wilderness for us. #SpringClick To Tweet

And rivers in the desert…

Back to that hike through the wilderness, only this time it’s a hundred degrees in the shade. When the temperature is soaring, you’re going to get a little bit thirsty. All you can think about is a cold, tall glass of water. (And maybe some ice cream!) Okay, just the water, but we definitely need a little refreshment when it gets so hot outside. Likewise, when the heat is on in our lives and we feel like we’re failing in this new thing, it’s easy for our spirit to become parched. We’re so focused on the task at hand that we forget to replenish our resources, like reading the Bible, praying or seeking God’s will. But in the midst of our thirst, God is our oasis in the desert of our lives. He offers us a cool river to relax and refresh ourselves in because He understands that we get tired and discouraged when things are hard and don’t go the way we thought they would. So, when hard times hit us square in the face, all we need to do is to turn to God. He will fill us up when we’re empty and pick us up when we’re down. Then, when the thirst subsides and we feel better, we can continue on.

Now is the time. God wants to do something new in your life! Will you let Him? Will you accept this new thing that He has planned for you? I know my answer. I will gladly accept this new thing. I will follow wherever He leads me. I will hold tight to His promises when things get tough. And, when the time is right, just like a blooming flower, I will spring forth.

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How to Store up Treasures in Heaven – Matthew 6:19-21

How to Store up Treasures in Heaven

Have you ever wondered how to store up treasures in heaven? What does that even mean anyway?

The world tells us that having wealth, or treasure, is the most important thing in life. And that having money is what gives us worth as people. The more treasure we accumulate the better off we’ll be.

In my life there never seems to be enough money to go around. I live on a tight budget and I try to make every dollar stretch. I save for a rainy day, but, honestly, when it comes to finances, it’s always pouring. 😊 Somehow, by the grace of God, my family makes it through, the bills get paid and the groceries are bought.

Maybe your life is like this too. I know so many of us are in this same situation.

Because we are, it seems we’re always on the lookout for that proverbial “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow”. And if we can’t have a cute green leprechaun to call our own, we can wish on a star that we’ll win it big in the lottery or inherit from a long lost rich relative. If that doesn’t work out, maybe we can work eighty hours a week and finally get ahead. That sounds like a lot of fun, right?!

As much as I would love for one of these get rich quick plans to work in our favor, I seriously doubt they will.

But God has a plan for us. A perfect plan to give us lasting wealth. It’s not wealth in the traditional sense, but something much greater.

I’d like to share with you what Jesus said about true wealth and what He thinks gives us value.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
                                                                      Matthew 6:19-21 

 

Jesus has a lot to say in these scriptures. So, let’s dig a little deeper and discover God’s version of a get rich quick plan and how we can have it for ourselves.

 

lay up for yourselves…

The phrase “lay up” in verse 19 and 20 means “give priority to”, so these words of Jesus are about the priorities we have in life. Our priority as Christians should always be to have a lasting relationship with our Savior and to reflect His light to the world.

I often ask myself, “What are my priorities and are they pleasing to God?” Sometimes my priorities are in line with God’s. And other times, it becomes obvious I need to do a real gut check and change my way of thinking. 

where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal…

Society tells us having “stuff” will make us happy and give us meaning in life. They say that the more “treasure” you have the better off you’ll be. But material objects can be broken, stolen or lost. And in the end, they won’t give us the happiness we’re looking for.

It’s true, we all need money to survive and it isn’t necessarily bad to have things. It’s the importance we place on them that makes them worldly instead of heavenly. And when “stuff” becomes more important to us than anything else, we are missing out on the blessings God wants to give us.

 

treasures in heaven…

Our reward is waiting for us in heaven. And guess what…Jesus is that reward! He is our treasure!

But at the same time, we don’t want to forget that what we do here on earth matters. Our job as Christians is bigger than just paying the bills. It’s to show others the way to heaven through our words and actions. Then they will repeat the cycle of sharing the gospel and begin to lay up their treasures in heaven also. It’s the circle of life! Yah! 😊

there your heart will be also…

The condition of our hearts is what is most important to God, and in verse 21, that’s what Jesus is talking about. When our focus is on making money and accumulating wealth then we aren’t making room in our heart for Jesus. But when we focus on the spiritual rewards of a Christian life our walk with Jesus will be greatly improved and our hearts will be opened to receiving His blessings.

So, how do we store up treasures in heaven? The answer sounds so simple, but sometimes as we go through life it gets lost in the jumble.

When we live for Jesus, that’s when we are laying up our treasures in heaven! Our priority should always be our personal relationship with Him, walking with Him every day, and sharing our faith with other people.

I pray you will join me in asking yourself these questions…What is my priority? Is it acquiring wealth? Or is it my relationship with Jesus and bringing other people to Him? If we search deep within our hearts and ask God to reveal the areas of our lives that keep us from having a meaningful relationship with Him, we can rest assured that He will give us the answer.

May you store up treasures in heaven today and always!

And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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