Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Fourth Sunday After
#1: "What is This Abundant Life?"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
This Sunday in the Church Year is called Good Shepherd Sunday.
We put our faith in our living Lord Jesus who promises the abundant life. What
is this abundant life?:
I. It is to have a Good Shepherd--vv1-2
A. He knows the sheep intimately--Jesus is their Creator/God
B. He alone has the right to enter the
sheep pen--He lays down his life for them--vv9 & 11--"I am the Gate
for the sheep"; see also John 14:6 & Matt 20:28
II. It is to recognize and follow His voice--vv3-4, 16, 27; Ps 95:6-7
Lawrence O. Richards writes in The Teachers Commentary: True Shepherd recognized (John 10:1-6). In Israel sheep were not herded with dogs or by men who walked behind them. The shepherd of the Middle East led his sheep. He knew each one by name, and the sheep recognized his voice. At night several herds of sheep might sleep in the same fold. In the morning, when the one door was unbarred, each shepherd could unerringly pick out his own flock. And each member of that flock would be able to distinguish his shepherd from the others because the sheep would know the shepherds voice, just as Gods people recognize Jesus as the living Word of God.
III. It is to live in safety
A. In this life--Isa 40:11, Ps 78:52-53, Ps 100:3, Isa 40:11-12, Col 2:6-10, Rom 5:1-2
B. In the life which is to come--Rev 7:17, Rev 21:1-7; see also John 14: 2
Christ is full and sufficient for all his people. He is bread, wine, milk, living waters, to feed them; he is a garment of righteousness to cover and adorn them; a Physician to heal them; a Counselor to advise them; a Captain to defend them; a Prince to rule; a Prophet to teach; a Priest to make atonement for them; a Husband to protect; a Father to provide; a Brother to relieve; a Foundation to support; a Root to quicken; a Head to guide; a Treasure to enrich; a Sun to enlighten; and a Fountain to cleanse. (John Spencer, 1630-1693)
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CHILDRENS MESSAGE (John 10:4-5)
Most of the farms around here used to be dairy farms. It wasnt any problem getting the cows into the barn because they were hungry. They would walk in and youd close the stanchions and then you would milk them. It was when you had to send them out that you might have a problem. Thats when you needed a good COW DOG. Youve heard of a hunting dog and a seeing-eye dog, but what is a COW DOG? A COW DOG chases the cows out of the barn before they could make a big mess, if you know what I mean. If the cows were hungry, you could call them and they would come, but not always. Sometimes the COW DOG had to chase them home.
Thats not the way it is with SHEEP. Jesus said: "His sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5) But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." I want to tell you something. This is why you go to Sunday School, this is why you will go to Confirmation class, this is why we listen to Gods Word here in church. YOU NEED TO KNOW THE SHEPHERDS VOICE! Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He loved the sheep (thats us) so much that He laid down His life on the cross to die for their sins. His Word calls to you and says: "Follow me."
Jesus says that His people know his voice and will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not know his voice. Some people will come to your house with a strange voice. Some of them will tell you that Jesus is not God. Dont listen to them!
If you go to college, you will hear some strange voices. They will tell you that Jesus is not the only way to God. Run away from them! You have learned to know the Shepherds voice here so that you never follow the voice of a stranger and get lost.
Always follow the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Follow His voice all the way to eternal life. And then you will be at rest forever with Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
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"God, The Grin Reaper" or "Shear Delight!" or "God's 'Fleece &
Release'!" or "Baamen!"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
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This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:35 PM