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THE GOOD SHEPHERD (3)

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CHRIST IN ME AND ME IN CHRIST

THIS IS THE THIRD SUNDAY THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE INVESTIGATING - THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
WE HAVE LOOKED INTO AND IN THAT WE WERE REMINDED OF HOW THE SHEPHERD ENTERS INTO OUR LIVES BY THE DOORWAY, THE ONLY WAY AND HE DOES NOT PUSH HIS WAY IN, HE DOES NOT SURPRISE US AND MANIPULATE US.
THERE IS A GENTLE CALL, A WOO AND HE ASKS PERMISSION TO ENTER.
WE WERE REMINDED THAT WHEN WE ARE READY, HE WILL ENTER IN AND TAKE CHARGE. HE IS THERE TO TAKE CARE OF AND LOOK OUR FOR OUR BEST INTERESTS
WE HEAR HIS VOICE AND RECOGNISE IT AS THAT OF A FRIENDLY AND LISTEN FOR HIS BECKON.
THE SECOND SUNDAY WE LOOKED AT VERSES 7-18 () AND WE SAW THAT THERE IS ONE FLOCK AND ONE SHEPHERD.
JESUS IS THE DOOR AND IF AND WHEN WE ENTER WE WILL BE SAVED. WE ALLOW HIM IN AND HE TAKES CARE OF US. THERE IS A SACRIFICE AND A TRUST THAT HAPPENS ON BOTH SIDES.
WHEN WE ALLOW GOD IN AND GIVE HIM CONTROL THERE WE ENJOY SAFE PASTURE AND GREEN PASTURE. ALL OF OUR NEEDS WILL BE MET AND EVEN SOME OF OUR WANTS.
JESUS REMINDED US THAT THIS LIFE IS FOR ALL, THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS - THERE WILL BE ONE SHEPHERD AND ONE FLOCK.

TO BELEIVE IN CHRIST IS TO BELONG TO CHRIST

TELL THE STORY:
John 10:22–30 ESV
At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
THIS IS A POINT WHERE PEOPLE ARE DIVIDED.
THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.
THERE CAN BE NO STRADDLING THE FENCE OF NEUTRALITY.
EITHER WE BELIEVE IN HIM OR WE DON’T.
THIS POLARISATION CAN BE EXPLAINED LIKE THIS:
POLARASATION SLIDE
WHENEVER A TRUTH OR AN ABSOLUTE IS PRESENTED TO A PERSON - ONE OF TWO THINGS HAPPEN
THE FIRST IS THAT THE SOUL AND SPIRIT IN SEARCH OF GOD RESPONDS POSITIVELY AND PROMPTLY. THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE MOVE TOWARD TRUTH
THEY BECOME A PART OF ONES LIFE, IT IS THE ENERGISED, INVIGORATING LIFE OF GOD MOVING INTO HUMAN CHARACTER. HUMAN CONDUCT. HUMAN CONVERSATION.
IT CHANGES OUR CHARACTER AND CONDUCT UNTIL WE ARE CONFORMED TO CHRIST.
THE ALTERNATIVE IS THE OPPOSITE:
REJECTION OF TRUTH
WHICH OF COURSE IMPLIES THE ULTIMATE - THE REJECTION OF CHRIST
THIS IS TRUE OF WHEN JESUS ROAMED THE EARTH JUST AS MUCH AS IT IS TRUE TODAY.
HIS ATTACKERS WENT SO FAR AS TO DECLARE HIM INSANE AND A LUNATIC
HE WAS PERSUED AND MANY TRIED TO GET RID OF HIM
HE MANAGED TO ESCAPE THEM SEVERAL TIMES BUT EVENTUALLY THEY HAD THEIR MAN AND “DID AWAY” WITH HIM - OR SO THEY THOUGHT.
HANGING ON A ROMAN CROSS WAS THOUGHT TO BE THE END OF HIM.
WE ALL KNOW:
TRUTH DOES NOT DIE THAT WAY
TRUTH DOES NOT DISAPPEAR INTHE FACE OF EVIL
TRUTH IS INDESTRUCTIBLE JUST AS GOD IS INDESTRUCTIBLE
TRUTH ENDURES FOREVER
TRUTH REMAINS ETERNAL
OVER THE CENTURIES TRUTH HAS BEEN UNDER ATTACK - IT HAS BEEN DESPISED AND THERE HAVE BEEN MANY ATTEMPTS AT DEMOLISHING THE TRUTH.
OR PUT THIS WAY IN OUR BLINDNESS AND IGNORANCE THIS HAS BEEN THE DESIRE.
WHY? SLIDE
WE ASK OURSELVES WHY?
THE CLEAREST AND MOST CONCISE ANSWER TO THAT ENORMOUS , UNENDING QUESTION WAS GIVEN BY CHRIST HIMSELF:
John 3:16–21 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 3:16–21 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John 10:24 ESV
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
ON THIS PARTICULAR OCCASION WE SEE JESUS QUESTIONED.
John 10:24 ESV
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
REPEATEDLY JESUS HAD DECLARED HIS IDENTITY. THEY KNEW FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT SCRIPTURES THAT IT WAS CONFIRMED THAT THE ONE WHO STOOD IN FRONT OF THEM WAS NONE OTHER THAN THE PROMISED MESSIAH.
THE GREAT GOOD SHEPHERD FORETOLD THROUGH DAVID, ISAIAH, EZEKIEL AND OTHERS.
THEY REFUSED TO BELEIVE
THEY REFUSED TO ACCEPT
TO BELIEVE - WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
THIS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT TO WHAT HE HAS SAID AND DONE IN MY LIFE
HE SHARES IT WITH ME
LIVES IT WITH ME
BECOMES AN INTEGRAL AND VIATAL PART OF IT
HE IS IN ME AND I IN HIM
THE CLOSEST PARALLEL TO THIS IS MARRIAGE, WE CAN:
READ ABOUT
TALK ABOUT
DEBATE ABOUT
DISCUSS IT
BUT UNTIL YOU FIND THE ONE THAT YOU WILL TRUST AND LOVE AND INVITE INTO SHARE YOUR LIFE YOU WILL KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE TRUTH OF MARRIAGE.
SLIDE
IT MUST BE EXPERIENCED TO BE KNOWN
TRIED TO BE UNDERSTOOD
UNDERTAKEN TO BE ENJOYED
IT IS THE SAME WITH CHRIST
SCRIPTURE REFERS TO HIM AS THE BRIDEGROOM AND US THE BRIDE
THE SECOND CLOSEST PARALLEL IS THE INTIMATE INTERRELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A SHEPHERD AND HIS SHEEP.
WE CAN DISCUSS SHEPHERDING
READ ABOUT IT
STUDY IT
EVEN OBSERVE IT
YET UNTIL WE ACTUALLY PARTICIPATE - WE REALLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT.
ON THE FIRST WEEK WE SPOKE ABOUT LETTING CHRIST IN AND ALLOWING HIM TO HAVE CONTROL OVER OUR LIVES. OF LETTING HIM MANAGE AND WE GET THE BENEFIT OF COMING UNDER HIS CHARGE.
HE CALLS TO US
HE INVITES US
HE LONGS TO BE A PART OF OUR LIFE AND FOR US TO BE ENJOYING THE BENEFITS OF SHARING LIFE WITH HIM
THIS IS A VERY SCARY THING TO COMMIT THIS MUCH - A LOT OF US SHY AWAY FROM DOING THIS. THIS IS A COMPLETE COMMITMENT.
ALL OF THIS LIFE, ALL OF ETERNITY AND ALL OF ME IS AT STAKE.
ETERNAL LIFE
JOHN 10

ETERNAL LIFE IN THE HAND OF THE SHEPHERD

John 10:27–28 ESV
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
THESE TWO VERSES IN JOHN CAN ONLY BE SEEN TOGETHER AND NOT SEPERATELY
IT IS A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE OF THE SHEPHERD AND HIS SHEEP. IT SPEAKS OF AN INTIMATE AND PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP OF TRUST AND CARE.
THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN GET IN THE WAY - THERE IS A “BLESSED ASSURANCE” TAKING PLACE.
IF WE LOOK AT THE RELATIONSHIP OF A HUMAN SHEPHERD TO DRAW THE PARALLEL.
THE SHEEP THAT REMAIN IN THE SHEPHERDS FOLD BENEFIT FROM HIS PROTECTION AND PROVISION AND THEY THRIVE UNDER HIS EXPERT MANAGEMENT AND CARE.
HE TAKES GOOD CARE OF THEM AND THERE IS AN INTIMACY THEY SHARE.
IT IS NOT A RESISTANT RELATIONSHIP IT IS NOW A BEAUTIFUL DANCE.
PHILLIP KELLER IN HIS BOOK DESCRIBES THIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS SHEEP WHEN HE FARMED - HE LOVED TAKING CARE OF HIS SHEEP AND THEY LOVED HIM TAKING CARE OF THEM AND TOGETHER THEY FLOURISHED.
HE ALSO TELLS OF THE SHEEP THAT WERE IN THE FOLD THAT WERE NEVER REALLY SATISFIED WITH BEING IN THE FOLD AND LOOKED FOR ANY AND EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO ESCAPE THROUGH A HOLE ON THE FENCE OR ALONG THE SIDE WALL AT LOW TIDE.
SOME WOULD WANDER OFF DOWN THE ROAD AND GET LOST IN THE FOREST AND THIS WANDERING ALLOWED THEM TO BE EXPOSED TO ALL KINDS OF DANGERS AND PERILS AND THEY OFTEN MET THEIR DEMISE.
MY RELATIONSHIP TO CHRIST IS THREE FOLD - BODY MIND AND SPIRIT.
THINK ABOUT THIS - AN ORGANISM IS ONLY ABLE TO SURVIVE AS LONG AS IT IS CONNECTED TO THE SOURCE THAT FEEDS AND TAKES CARE OF IT. IF THERE IS A DISCONNECT THE ORGANISM IS SAID TO BE DEAD.
GOD GIVES LIFE TO ALL OF US - NOT JUST OUR SPIRIT - BUT THE BODY AND MIND AS WELL.
PHYSICAL
MORAL
SPIRITUAL
IN CHRIST I LIVE AND MOVE AND HAVE MY BEING
THERE IS A FLOW OF LIFE AND AS WE MEDITATE ON WHAT THIS ETERNAL LIFE ENTAILS WE SEE THIS AMAZING JOURNEY OF GIVE AND TAKE - PROVISION AND PROTECTION.
WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT BEING “ALL IN” IS HOW GOD VIEWS OUR RELATIONSHIP.
THERE IS SUCH A DEEP CONNECTION HERE AND HOW POWERFUL ARE THE WORDS THAT JESUS SPEAKS -
I KNOW THEM
I GIVE THEM ETERNAL LIFE
NEVER PERISH
NO ONE CAN SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND
AS LONG AS WE REMAIN IN HIM AND HE IN US WE ARE SAFE AND TAKEN CARE OF.
NO MATTER WHAT COMES OUT WAY WE ARE IN THE BEST PLACE.
SLIDE SWEET SPOT
YOU SEE ON THE SLIDE HOW THE THREE MEET AND THE AREA WERE ALL THREE ARE INTER CONNECTED IS THE SWEET SPOT.
CHRIST IN ME
ME IN CHRIST
CHRIST IN ME AND ME IN CHRIST
TO REALISE THE INTIMACY OF THE MASTERS TOUCH OF EVERY MINUTE DETAIL OF MY LIFE. TO EXPEREINCE HIS:
GUIDING
DIRECTING
LEADING
THIS IS THAT SWEET SPOT
MY PART IS TO BE SENSITIVE TO HIS SPIRIT, SHOWING ME AND HELPING ME.
KNOWING HE HAS MY BEST INTERESTS AT HEART.
MY PART TO WAIT QUIETLY FOR THE UNFOLDING OF HIS PLANS
HE BECOMES MY FONDEST FRIEND
MY MOST INTIMATE COMPANION
HE BECOMES MY LIFE!!!
Isaiah 40:9–11 ESV
Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, “Behold your God!” Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.
THIS PICTURE OF BEING HELP IN THE ARMS OF JESUS IS ONE OF SWEET SERENITY.
SLIDE
John 10:28 ESV
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
I WANT YOU TO THINK OF YOUR OWN CHILDREN OR EVEN GRANDCHILDREN AND WHEN YOU GO TO CROSS THE STREET - THEY SLIP THEIR HAND INTO YOURS AND OFF YOU GO TOGETHER.
THERE IS NO EFFORT INVOLVED IT IS NOT THAT WE HAVE TO HAVE THIS SUPERNATURAL STRENGTH TO HOLD ON TO GOD IN CASE HE LETS GO - THAT QUIET ASSURANCE THAT WE ARE SAFE AND SECURE.
THINK ABOUT IT AS A PARENT WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE YOUR KID TO LET GO OF YOUR HAND
Romans 8:35–39 ESV
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

THE GOOD SHEPHERD IS GOD

John 10:29–30 ESV
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”
AS WE LOOK AT THIS STATEMENT WE REALISE AND COME TO THE INCREDIBLE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE MOST PRECIOUS THING TO GOD IS THE PRESERVATION OF HIS PEOPLE.
IT IS NO WONDER THE JEWISH PEOPLE REJECTED JESUS FOR CLAIMING THAT HE IS ON THE SAME LEVEL AS GOD. BUT IT IS BECAUSE THEY COULD NOT COMPREHEND SUCH LOVE - I DON’T EVEN THINK THAT WE FULLY GRASP IT TODAY.
YOU KNOW AS I SAT THERE PREPARING THIS SERMON I WAS A LITTLE TICKED AND SAID TO GOD - WHAT DO YOU MEAN NO ONE IS ABLE TO SNATCH THEM OUT OF THE FATHERS HAND?
I FELT ROBBED, I FELT BETRAYED.
GOD GENTLY REMINDED ME THAT HE WAS GOD AND NOT ME AND THAT NOTHING HAS BEEN MISSED BY HIM. HE IS STILL TAKING CARE OF HIS SHEEP.
ITS NOT WHO I AM THAT MAKES ME SPECIAL TO GOD IT’S WHOSE I AM.
JOHN 10:
GODS SALVATION IS WHAT SETS ME FREE TO FOLLOW HIM.
PICTURE OF A RAM
KELLER IN HIS BOOK TELLS THE STORY OF HOW HE WAS LOOKING FOR GOOD RAMS TO BREED WITH AS HE HAD DECIDED TO GO FOR QUALITY NOT QUANTITY
HE FOUND AN ESTEEMED BREEDER NOT TOO FAR FROM HIM AND WHEN HE HAD GONE TO SEE HIM AND KELLER EXPLAINED WHAT HE WANTED, THE SCOT INVITED HIM TO TAKE HIS VERY BEST RAM. WHEN KELLER TOLD HIM THAT HE WOULD NOT KNOW HIS BEST RAM THE BREEDER ENTERED INTO THE FOLD AND WALKED STRAIGHT TO THE RAM HE WAS TALKING ABOUT.
HE HAD NAMED THE RAM AND EVEN SHED A TEAR AT PARTING WITH THE RAM, BUT HE KNEW THAT IF THE LEGACY OF THAT RAM NEEDED TO CONTINUE HE WAS TO SEND HIM OUT AND LET HIM DO WHAT HE HAD RAISED HIM TO DO.
THE THING THAT HIT KELLER THAT DAY WAS THE FACT THAT THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE SHEEP WAS NOT THE BREEDING BUT THE OWNER.
WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE BREEDING, RAISING AND SHEPHERDING OF THEM. WAS IT A GRAND FLOCK MASTER, OR A SUPERB SHEEPMAN.
AND SO IT IS WITH US.
ARE WE IN GOD’S HANDS?
WHO IS HANDLING US?
SHAPING US?
WHOSE ARE WE?
WHOSE LIFE IS MOULDING MINE?
John 10:30 ESV
I and the Father are one.”
IF WE ARE UNDER THE CARE OF GOD THE FATHER, JESUS THE SON OR GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT THEY ARE ONE.
JOHN 10:
1 Peter 2:7 ESV
So the honor is for you who believe, but for those who do not believe, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,”
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