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Summary: Whatever we follow influences the way we live our lives. The question is, does it work for us and does it make our lives worth living? Here’s five reasons why I follow the Good Shepherd and why I think you should too.

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Facebook and following the Good Shepherd this Christmas

VIDEO – http://www.sermonspice.com/product/37237/a-social-network-christmas

INTRODUCTION

If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, then you know all about following. These social networks are a great way to follow what your friends are up to; to keep up to speed with what’s going on. But whether or not we’re on facebook or twitter we all follow someone or something.

You might follow the news. You might follow a football team. You might follow your own instinct. You might follow your horoscope. You might follow the markets. You might follow the crowd. You might follow your heart

What’s your philosophy of life? What and who do you follow?

The thing is, whatever it is we follow, it influences the way we live our lives and that may be good or that may be bad. The question is, whatever it is YOU’RE following, is it working for you? Are you living more successfully because of it? Are you happier for it? Are you healthier for it? Are you content and free from worry because of it? Is your life worth living because of it? Are you making a difference? Is it really working for you?

The reason I ask this question at Christmas time is because one of the many names Jesus was given was “The Good Shepherd.” He was a shepherd of people. It’s not a very flattering picture but people followed Jesus like sheep, and so the name “The Good Shepherd” is an appropriate name for him.

When he was born Jesus was given several different names …

 Emmanuel – which means God with us (Matthew 1:23).

 Horn of Salvation (Luke 1:69)

 Son of the Most High God (Lk. 1:32)

 The Son of God (Luke 1:35)

 A Nazarene (Matthew 2:23)

 And of course the name Jesus – (Matthew 1:25 – Joseph named him)

But what about this name “The Good Shepherd?” People were drawn to and followed Jesus from the moment he was born.

First there are the shepherds we read about who were in the field at night when angels appeared to them to tell them that Jesus had been born in a stable in Bethlehem. The shepherds were drawn to Jesus and went to see him.

Then there were the wise men – the Magi. They saw Jesus’ star in the night sky and sought him out to worship him. - - They were drawn to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd. And they travelled a long way to see him.

When Jesus began his ministry as an adult one of the first things he did was to approach people and simply say, “Come follow me.” And they did! Men like Peter, Simon, John and Matthew simply left their professions and began to follow Jesus.

And as we read through the Bible we discover this is in fact what Jesus wants us to do; to simply follow him.

But why? Why should we follow Jesus?

Well, there are many good reasons. This Christmas I want to get real personal with you and give you five reasons why I follow Jesus and why I think you should too …

1. HE GIVES THE MOST SATISFYING PATHWAY TO WHOLENESS/FULFILLMENT IN MY LIFE

First, I follow the Good Shepherd because He gives the most satisfying pathway to wholeness and fulfilment in life.

We all only have on life to live and most sane people have stopped at some point to consider how they are going to invest this one life we have to live.

And I guess when it comes to deciding what we’re going to do with our lives we have three choices …

a. We can do whatever WE want to do – i.e. we can live to please ourselves.

b. We can do what someone else wants us to do – i.e. live to please other people.

c. Or we can do what God wants us to do – i.e. we can live to please God.

The question is, which is these is most satisfying? The first is all about being a selfish, egotistical person. The second is all about being a doormat. But in the third, we are offered a new and far more satisfying way to live - - the problem is, it’s not an easy way to live. Jesus once said …

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. 25 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 26 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? 27 For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge [and reward] all people according to their deeds. (Matthew 16:24-27 NLT).

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