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,