Monday, 28 May 2012

Sermon Review - "How Great is our Good Shepherd" ( Updated )

Sermon Review - "How Great is our Good Shepherd"   May 27, 2012   ( Updated  with lyrics from a song by "Sanctus Real" )

Preview - Have you ever felt alone and abondoned in your troubles and it seems as if God is not taking care of your situation? You ask - If He is the Good Shepherd, why does He seem distant from me in my struggles. The preacher went on to discuss his own experience of a concussion due to a mountain biking accident and the struggle to recover and feeling some abandonment from the Lord during this time. He reminded us that Jesus went through  more abandonment -(betrayal and loss of loved ones, suffering on the cross) than any of us will ever experience. The Lord cares for us. Matthew 6:26 -Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
The preacher proceeded to read the text from John 10 : 1-21 ( posted at the bottom) .
He discussed  the job of shepherding and what it involved. It is a 24/7 job, not glamorous, sheep are defenseless and unintelligent and need a constant protector. A shepherd must have a genuine love for the sheep, protecting them from danger with his own life at stake. At night a shepherd would bring the sheep into an enclosed area. The shepherd would physically lie down in the doorway and guard the door and the sheep with his own life. verse 7 - Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep

Three Reasons Jesus is that Shepherd:
1) He Cares and Knows us intimately - knows everything about us, knows us better than we know ourselves, loves us like His sons, knows us by name. A shepherd knows his sheep by name, not just as a number in a herd, he knows when and where he got each sheep.
2) He Protects the Flock - He guards the lives of the sheep with His own life, will stay and fight for his own sheep while a hired hand would leave the sheep when he fears for his own life. A hired hand would flee in a dangerous situation thinking he could get another job elsewhere. verse 13 -The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
3) He Provides - Jesus gives us what we need. Sheep need water, food and safety. We are needy, and a lost people whom Jesus came to save. Why would we die in sin when we can come to Jesus? Sin separated us from God  but through Christ we can be brought back to God into relationship with Him again. Jesus gave His life for us for that purpose.
Analogy of the mother Octopus: The mother octopus will find a safe place to lay her eggs. She will not leave the eggs for anything, not for food, not for water, but stays by the eggs the entire time to care for them and protect them from danger.  By the time the day draws near for the eggs to hatch, a mother octopus will be weakened to the point that she dies. She is devoted to those eggs and she gives up her life up for the life of her children. The  first meal the baby octopus will eat is the remains of his mother.  So also Jesus loves, guards and protects us as His children and He gave us His life so that we may have life to the full. verse 11 -  I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep
Please take the time to read John 10:1-21, as there we can see "How Great our Good Shepherd" really is

John 10 : 1-21
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.
This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.
10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I 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 shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh 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 commandment have I received of my Father.
19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.
20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?
21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

The sermon ended with the preacher reading the lyrics to a fitting song by "Sanctus Real".  The song lyrics are as follows:

       Everything About You
Be my light in this darkened room
I'm on my face and I'm calling you
I can't fathom all you've done for me
Everytime it finds me on my knees

Like sunlight in the winter cold

Everything about you, it takes my breath
I tried this once without you and it was my
Great mistake...Hallelujah

Questions fade when you invade
You chase all my fears away
With your love in my atmosphere
All confusion disappears

And nothing but your truth remains

Questions fade, you remain
You are color on a page of white, bright
Like eyes beneath black lights
Like a glowing city on the plains, you call
My name


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