Month: June 2016
17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
As God, Jesus knew who He was and He knew what He came to do. With full understanding of the Father’s mission the Son came. The three and a half year public ministry of Christ taught us about God, eternal life and abundant life. Over and over again, perhaps tens of thousands of times, Jesus demonstrated power over sin, sickness and death. So well-known was Jesus for his power that when he was on the cross someone said, “He saved others, Himself he cannot save.” That person spoke in ignorance for Jesus was going to save Himself from the tomb after his redemptive work was finished.
Think about this: on the cross, suffering for our sin, separated from the Father while bearing our eternal curse, Jesus knew he was going to raise himself from the dead. He knew all along that the Cross was not final but only an altar where He, like Isaac, would raise up from. Yes, Jesus knew that he would lay down his life and that he would take it up again. And while the resurrection of Christ gives us hope for our resurrection, none of us thinks that we will raise ourselves from the grave.
In our study of the Lord Jesus we see the second person of the Trinity comfortable in His position. Jesus never fought against the Father wanting something different than that for which he was made flesh. On the contrary, Jesus lived in complete and total submission to the Father throughout his life knowing that there was a position that He was in and a work that he was to complete. Oh that we would be so committed to our God-given positions and tasks. Jesus was secure knowing that the Father had equipped him for life and for death and for resurrection. God would have us to be secure in who He made us to be and in what He designed us to do.
Tomorrow morning our family is going to Sacramento to spend time with Justin and Katelyn and Joel, Hudson, Owen, and Carson. As we get to see them only once a year, this is a greatly anticipated trip. In our absence, Ben will be bringing the message on Sunday following an emphasis on Christian patriotism. This will be a great service of remembering what God has done to give us our freedom to serve Him.
Remember the funeral of Micah Schmidt this Saturday at noon. Bobbi needs someone to set up the snacks for the family. The wake starts at 10:00 and someone needs to set up the food in the East room before 10:00 so the family will have something to snack on. If you can help with this please call or text Bobbi today. I expect this funeral to have more unsaved people in attendance than we have had in any service here for a long time. Let’s gather around Nancy and her family and their friends to show them the love of the Savior in a dark time. Pray for a moving of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction and salvation to many. As these grieving people are coming to “our house” let’s be sure to show them our Savior’s love.
Be in prayer for both Saturday and for Sunday.
Tonight the Glee Club is singing patriotic songs along with the Municipal Band. Several of us will be there for the concert. It is a fun time with a lot of really good music. There is no cost for admission just come join us for some good family fun. It is at the band shell in Naperville starting at 7:30. Look for Bobbi, Stef and Jared down front in the grass. Bring chairs or a blanket.
Have a great day in the Lord,
14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Jesus made many points during this discourse on the Good Shepherd. As Gentiles we should greatly enjoy this point.
Jesus, the Shepherd, was also the Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. We can enjoy this mixed metaphor for the Lamb was shepherding His flock even while on the altar of the Cross. No lamb of nature could ever shepherd other sheep but Jesus did just that. He had to be the sinless lamb to qualify as our sacrifice. He also came to shepherd our souls so that we would hear His voice and be saved. Therefore, He knows his sheep and we know Him.
Then Jesus tells them (and us) that he has other sheep, not of this fold, whom he must bring to hear His voice. Whenever people hear the voice of the Lord Jesus they are saved for only those who will be saved hear His voice. “My sheep hear my voice,” Jesus said. I am thankful that He called me one of His sheep who heard His voice and came in repentance to His call.
I am also thankful that the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd, called me from the Gentile flock. I am not of the fold of the people to whom he was talking that day. No, I am of the “other sheep which are not of this fold.” Yet, Jesus said that he must bring me to hear His voice that I may be a part of the “one flock and the one shepherd.” How marvelous is God’s grace and how unsearchable are His ways. God loves all of His creation, not just the people of Israel. Paul calls us “spiritual Israel” and “the sons of Abraham by faith.” Peter said that we all are “chosen by God and precious.”
We, born in God’s image, are loved by our Creator. He who designed eternal salvation did so to reach all people of all races and all times not just the Jews in Jesus’ day. When we read John 3:16 we place our names in the “whosoever will.” In Romans 10:13, again we place our names in the “whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Jesus gave us this glorious option when He said, “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.” Rejoice today in the call of the Good Shepherd on your life and pray that others will hear His voice and be saved with us.
The funeral for Micah Schmidt will be this Saturday at our church. The wake will be from 10:00-12:00 with the funeral at 12:00. Continue to keep Nancy and her family in your prayers. They are driving back from Denver tomorrow. I would like to provide some finger food and snacks for the family at the church during the wake. If you could bring something please let me know.
Tonight is our prayer meeting, kids club and youth group. Join us for prayer as there is much to pray for. I would love to see more or our members joining us for prayer. We are a needy people and God honors the prayers of His people.
Pray for the mess that our world is in. There just does not seem to be any good news anywhere. We are definitely reaping the results of years of rejecting God. Pray for people to turn from their sin and to come humbly to the only God who can hear and save.
Have a great day in the Lord,
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
Once Jesus gave an illustration, he often gave the plain meaning and here does so again. I can picture Christ putting out his arms and as loud as he could proclaiming that He was the door of the sheepfold! Only through Him could anyone be saved and enjoy the life of coming in and out of the fold. Those trusting the Shepherd came into the fold for rest and went out of the fold for food and water and came back into the fold for rest and protection. The Good Shepherd was the Door.
We have often quoted verse 10 knowing that in Christ we have both eternal life and abundant life. Since a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses, true abundance is found in the Good Shepherd. Whether we have little of this world’s goods or much of it know that our abundance comes from the grace and peace of sins’ forgiven and righteousness imputed. Justification is our abundance! Of this wonderful salvation we sing and study and talk and worship the Giver. We have live eternal and life abundant from the Good Shepherd.
Who is the Good Shepherd? He is the One who gave His life for His sheep. The Lamb of God became the Good Shepherd. The spotless Lamb is now the Door of eternal life. Unlike the hireling, our Good Shepherd will never lead us astray, no; He loves us, His sheep. May we never stray from our Shepherd and always find joy and comfort in His presence. Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
Remember the Nancy Schmidt family in prayer as Nancy’s son Micah and his girlfriend died in a car accident Friday night. Nancy and her adult children have driven to Colorado to collect Micah’s pets and belongings. Nancy needs our prayer and love. If you would like to send a card to Nancy I can give you her address.
I sent out the prayer request yesterday and continue to ask your prayer for the respectful closing of all accounts regarding the daycare. We now have enough to meet yesterday’s needs. For this we are thankful. We still have all of the past year’s paid time off to cover. If we had closed in March this figure would be much less. However, it is our responsibility. Join us in prayer for God to show us how He will meet all of these money needs so that we can finish this part of our race with joy.
Have a great day in the Lord,
Hugging our Gospel coach Don.
Taking the train to Milenium park to give the Gospel.
Kendall and Sasha giving the Italian ice man!!
Stefani and other sharing the Gospel after playing frisbee.
10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
In using an illustration from culture Jesus would take a simple example to explain an eternal truth. The simple example here was simple for them who saw shepherds and sheep every day but it is a bit lost to us who have only seen shepherds and sheep in pictures and movies.
In an open field, shepherds would take the time to make a paddock of stones. The wall of the paddock would be high enough to keep the sheep in and the predators out. The paddock may or may not have an actual gate on it but it was common for the shepherd to sleep at the gate making sure that whoever or whatever gained entrance to the paddock had to go through the shepherd. He then was the gate-keeper for the well-being of his sheep.
The sheep, kept by one shepherd, knew the voice of their shepherd. If two or three flocks were kept in one paddock, in the morning a shepherd would make his particular call to his sheep and only his sheep would follow him out of the paddock. The sheep of another shepherd would not follow him out for they did not recognize his voice.
John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
Using this illustration, Jesus made it clear that He was the door and that His sheep followed His voice. He protected His sheep and led them according to His will.
As we go through our Christian lives we who know the Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, we hear His voice in the Bible, in sermons, and in Christian books. We recognize the voice of the Lord as He speaks truth and peace to our souls. We know the difference between the voices of this world and His voice for we know His voice. When we seek direction we are awaiting the familiar voice of the Lord Jesus to lead us.
Why do some church members seem to be unguided and disinterested in spiritual things? Perhaps they don’t know the voice of the Shepherd. Why do some who call themselves Christians have unbiblical philosophies? Perhaps they don’t know the voice of the Shepherd. When Jesus speaks from His word to us those of us who know Him also know His voice. We are in agreement as to His messages and His calls. We follow His truths according to His word. We live under the Shepherds leadership, know and follow His voice. He is our peace and our security just as the sheep found their comfort in their shepherd.
Thank you for your prayers for last night’s community event. It went very well and we had a great time with the people of the community. There was great peace amongst us and I now pray that those involved will know that it was the Lord who was leading us and will seek His leading in their lives.
Pray for us this evening as we have a neighbor’s wedding to attend. I have been asked to bring a prayer before the reception. I will be praying 1 Corinthians 13.
We are once again looking forward to Sunday and the gathering of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are His bride gathering to be together with Him. Pray for God to bring His people together with joy and peace in believing.
Our offerings have been down for a month. Pray with us for God to meet our financial needs.
Have a great day in the Lord,
30 The man answered and said to them, “Why, this is a marvelous thing, that you do not know where He is from; yet He has opened my eyes! 31 Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the world began it has been unheard of that anyone opened the eyes of one who was born blind. 33 If this Man were not from God, He could do nothing.”
34 They answered and said to him, “You were completely born in sins, and are you teaching us?” And they cast him out.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of God?”
36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”
37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.”
38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
The enlightened man, enlightened by Jesus opening his eyes, has more godly wisdom than the religious leaders did. Indeed a marvelous thing had happened. So marvelous was this miracle that the man now seeing stated that this had never happened before! The One who had the power to make a blind man see must be from God. How clear of a statement this is. Of course Jesus came from God and of course he was God in the flesh. His very acts demonstrated that Jesus was not a mere human. No mere human could ever open the eyes of a man born blind.
Why is it that the one changed is not given more credibility? A drunkard that is saved and whose life is redeemed and rescued from alcohol, or a drug user whose worthless life becomes profitable and caring, or a fornicator who completely leaves his or her lusts to live for Christ and turn away from their sexual sin, or a homosexual who comes to Christ and leaves the lifestyle of sin behind, or a profane person who in Christ gets a new tongue, or an angry person who with the Holy Spirit becomes a peaceful person, or a bitter person who in the love of God forgives and releases all of their bitterness, these changed people should be looked at with respect and should be given opportunity to tell others how they changed and who changed them.
But society today is not much different from Jesus’ day. To accept that Jesus gave the man his sight was to accept that Jesus came from God. They did not want to accept Jesus so they denied this man’s new condition. People today are skeptical of the change in the life of a Christian. They don’t believe it will last or they don’t think it is real. They are glad for the difference but won’t credit Jesus for the change.
Yet, when Jesus came back to the man who could now see and made sure the man knew who He was, the man worshipped Jesus for giving him his sight. We too gather with others who were born blind that Jesus had made to see and we worship Him together. We know who made the difference and we know what He did the day He came into our lives. He called us, He justified us, He washed us and He gave us our salvation and our new life in Him.
1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.
Some of you volunteered to make pies for me for tonight’s sale. I will be at the church or near the church. Call me to let me know when you are coming by.
We have four teens with Ben at the “Lead the Cause” missions outreach in Chicago. They will be going out today to talk to people in the streets about Christ. Pray for open doors for the gospel for Kyle, Kendall, Kameron and Stefani. There will be 500 teens plus their leaders going out. This should be a life-changing time for hundreds of people. Do pray for this amazing outreach.
Be in prayer for Sunday. I am preparing a message from Isaiah 62 and other passages looking at the call to the watchman.
Have a great day in the Lord,
1 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.
2 And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.
4 I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.
5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay.
7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?”
9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, “He is like him.” He said, “I am he.”
10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?”
11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.”
13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees.
14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes.
15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”
16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.
17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight.
19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?”
20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind;
21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”
22 His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed that He was Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue.
23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.”
25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or not I do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
There are several accounts from the life of Christ that should grab our attention; this is one of them. A family endured the agony of a blind child in a day when handicaps were seen as something evil, some sort of judgment on those who had them. For forty years their son, now a man, lived the life of a blind beggar. The family knew they had done nothing sinful to deserve this malady but endured the harassment of the public.
When Jesus came by he had a plan that was at least forty years old (from eternity Jesus knew of this event.). Jesus was going to give this man sight so that God could be glorified. On the Sabbath, Jesus did good to a man and the Pharisees went into attack mode. As you read this account your heart goes out to the healed man and to his family. They were being thrown out of the synagogue because Jesus healed a blind man! This is absurd to say the least. The man is grilled, his parents are grilled, and the Pharisees are trying to find fault in a God-ordained, faultless situation.
The man born blind gives the greatest answer he could give. He concludes by saying, “Whether this man is a sinner or not I don’t know. What I do know is this, once I was blind but now I see.” When Jesus comes by He gives sight to all of us who are blinded by our sin. Those who argue about Christ don’t know what He can do and have never enjoyed His life-giving and sight-giving grace. Were you blind? Now do you see? There is no greater testimony.
Dave is going in for a shot in his back tonight. Pray that this will bring him so needed relief. Pray for him to be able to focus through his pain.
Pam called me yesterday and she too is in pain. Pray for the antibiotics to help. Pray for her peace too.
Tonight is our Wednesday night prayer and Bible study. We will have a kids club and some kids from VBS will be coming. Youth group will also be in full swing. Join us for a great time together.
Have a great day in the Lord,
From Isaiah 62 Pastor Steve shows us that God delights in us. He also shows us that Satan deceives us into thinking that we are destitute and forsaken even by God. This is a great message for anyone who has ever felt forsaken by God as they will see that throughout the Bible and throughout history God has never forsaken His people even when they ran as fast and as far as they could from Him. God delights in us, His creation in His image.