Friday, April 1, 2016


Now that Easter Day, 2016 has passed by, let’s look at JOHN 10:11-15,17-18, a passage I don’t think I’ve ever heard presented at Easter time. “11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, 15 just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep  17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”                            As I re-read it, I realized the EASTER message..                                                     NOBODY TOOK HIS LIFE FROM JESUS! HE LAID IT DOWN WILLINGLY!                                        Yes, He still had authority to save his physical life, but at what cost? Our text lets us know WHY He yielded to death on the cross! He needed, and desired to, protect us. For, as His sheep, we are very vulnerable to the THIEF, who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy us eternally! He knew of the ‘JOY set before Him’, as the PERFECT SHEPHERD who was making permanent provision for our care possible! We can all delight in JESUS’ final words, “IT IS FINISHED!” He knew He’d rise again.. breaking the power of sin and death for all who will receive Him through His gracious, merciful, sacrificial act, resulting in our reconciliation with, and to, HOLY GOD ALMIGHTY! For, you see, HE was THE LAST SACRIFICE required by (acceptable to) the LORD for this restoration of relationship to HIM. Prior to JESUS’ death, the blood of animals was what it took in order for people to atone for their sins..
A beloved hymn, AMAZING LOVE, asks a couple of key questions which can help focus us here..The first one is, “And can it be that I should gain and interest in the Savior’s blood?.” Then, the chorus begins with,                                                                  ‘AMAZING LOVE, HOW CAN IT BE THAT THOU MY GOD SHOULDST DIE FOR ME?’
The HOW, is that HE KNEW HE’D be completing the necessary sacrifice so we, as humans could then answer the most important question of our lives..
Will we decide whether to REJECT, RESIST, and REFUSE HIM,                                         or to RECEIVE HIM in ALL HIS GLORIOUS, GRACIOUS, MERCIFUL, WONDROUS, and COMPASSIONATE ways and character?        
   Simply acknowledging, “The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want..” is a great way to anticipate an abundant life for, as His sheep, we can GROW, GLOW, AND GO forth each day, knowing we are fully cared FOR, .. not simply, cared ABOUT!      
My  ‘LIFE’ verse is JOHN 10:10.. I have included it in its parts on this sheet, but here it is in full. “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come so you may have abundant LIFE!” (I am amazed at HIS ways!)                                                                                                       

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