Summary: As the door for the sheep and the good shepherd, Jesus is commtited to care for, keep watch over, and protect those who are His.
“Doors and Shepherds” – I Am Sermon Series
February 9, 2003
(Note: this sermon uses a technique called the Lowry Loop which is basically telling all the negative and then showing how the Gospel speaks and liberates us from it.)
Purpose: Jesus is committed to care for, keep watch over, and protect those who are His.
Introduction – I don’t know about you, but to me, things haven’t been looking to good lately.
- with war on the horizon…the stock market has slumped, our children and our neighbor’s children are being sent over seas in vast numbers separating families for unknown periods of time, and just this week we’ve been put on high alert by our government telling us that Sept. 11 could happen all over again.
- and if that weren’t enough…we saw 72 cars pile-up on an I-94 killing one and injuring many, we’ve seen people move from high paying careers to low-paying jobs due to the poor economy and other factors, and as a nation, we are still grieving the loss of seven courageous astronauts of Columbia.
- and if we were to widen our scope…we would hear about extensive flooding in Mozambique, a severe cold spell hitting South Asia, continued recovery form hurricanes, tropical storms, and typhoons around the globe, hunger in Zimbabwe and Central America, nuclear worries stirred up by Kim Jong Il in North Korea, and the extensive earthquake damage in Mexico…to just name a few.
And in the midst of it all, it seems like people are trying to persuade us this way, while others are trying to pull us in a different directions. We sense that there is so much to do, so much that needs to be understood, so much that we cannot begin to get our minds around it all.
A feeling of helplessness pervades our thinking…like sheep without a shepherd…it seems that humanity in our “humanness” is wandering all over the place and not finding any source of faith, hope, and love anywhere.
But we often forget that Jesus has told us all of this would happen. In fact, through the Word we are told that this is only the beginning. “Wars and rumors of wars…hunger…failing world systems…crumbling economies” are not a surprise to our Creator.
But there is some good news this morning…
Jesus said not only is He the door that provides access, protection, and the only entrance to the
kingdom of His father, but He is also the good shepherd, willing to lay down His life for
those of his fold, as well as those who will be of his fold.
Jesus is committed to care for, keep watch over, and protect those who are and who will be His.
But how does this happen…how should we respond?
First, I believe that we need to understand that we are protected by the strongest of doors.
This isn’t often easy to remember! When we have television blaring high alert levels,
radios in our cars relating and repeating all the bad news, and newspapers delivered to our homes each day reminding us of all that’s wrong in the world, we tend to forget that we don’t have to let the “thief come to steal, to kill, to destroy” (v.10) our faith.
Instead, we as the people of Jesus Christ can proclaim from the rooftops that even in these days
our God has come, a door has been provided, so that “we may have life and have it more abundantly!” (v.10)
Jesus said that “If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find
pasture.” I don’t know about you, but some pasture sounds good this morning…Amen?
I’m sick of listening to the nay-sayers…
Like the words of the old gospel spiritual, I don’t need to study war no more…
Instead of relying upon my own strengths and abilities, and of those around me, I’m going to stand up and shout that I am a protected member of the body of Christ and there is nothing that this world can say or do to tell me any different!
I will still pray that those who lead will do so by God’s will. But I will do so recognizing that I am a part of a protected people, protected by the strongest of doors that no human can destroy.
The second part of the good news is that we are following this great shepherd and no one else.
Church, please hear me clearly when I tell you that there are many hirelings running
around that aren’t doing dittily to protect this flock from the wolves.
There are hirelings telling us that we need to make more, be more, and have more…that we need make our own way at the expense of everyone else…that we need to forget about others and focus on ourselves…