Summary: The purpose of this sermon is To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that Good Pastors are rare, because they sacrifice life activities for their parishioners by trying to lead like Jesus.
U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr.
Fort Ord Chapel
13 April 2008
Big Idea: Good Pastors are rare because they sacrifice life activities for their parishioners, by trying to lead like Jesus.
Scriptural References: EAI (Expository; Application; Illustration); Jeremiah 6:16 (CEV) The LORD said: My people, when you stood at the crossroads, I told you, "Follow the road your ancestors took, and you will find peace." But you refused.; John 10:1-12 (NIV); Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” 1 Timothy 5:18 (KJV) For the scripture saith, thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward; Luke 10:7 (KJV) And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house; John 14:12 (KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father; Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you, … plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD …"; Numbers 20:1-12; Numbers 27:15-17 (NIV) Moses said to the LORD, "May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd."’
I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: John 10:1-12 (NIV)
II. READ THE PERICOPE: John 10:1-12 (NIV)
III. READ THE TEXT: John 10:11 NIV (I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep).
IV. PURPOSE: To motivate the hearers to affirm to others that Good Pastors are rare, because they sacrifice life activities for their parishioners by trying to lead like Jesus.
V. SERMONIC THEME: “How To Tell If You Have A Good Pastor”
VI. Introduction: How To Tell If You Have A Good Pastor. Good Pastors are hard to find. In fact, my favorite pastor of all time is Moses. Who can ever forget the story of Moses (in Numbers 20:1-12), and how he provided selfless pastoral leadership to the whining and complaining people of God? For don’t you remember, in the Book of Numbers – Chapter 20:1 – we learn of Moses’ sister’s (Miriam) death.
Of course, you remember Miriam. She was the sister that whinnied and complained so much (against Pastor Moses) that God struck her with leprosy. Caring for God’s people is challenging. So many times throughout the Book of Numbers, we find Moses and Aaron constantly going before God on behalf of the people. Simply, because the people of God were never satisfied.
Yet, the people of Israel then - mirrors church folk of today. If it’s not one thing’ it’s another. In fact, you may recall the People of God complaining about their need for water for themselves and their animals. Moses and Aaron once again carried the people concerns before God. As a result, God instructed Moses to speak to the rock (in Zin) and out of the rock would flow water for the people and their animals.
But, my hunch is, the more Moses thought about how much the people whined and how ungrateful they seemed to be, in spite of all God had done for them, it angered him. So much so, that the scriptures indicate that instead of Moses doing exactly what God told him to do; he struck the rock.
By striking the rock, Moses caused God “not” to get the glory that God deserved. As result, God told Moses - in Number 27 - that he would not be able to enter into the Promised Land. Now, I’ll be honest with you; if God had informed me, that due to my act of disobedience - which was brought on by the people that I served as pastor - I wasn’t going to enter the promised land, I probably would have been pretty upset.
But, Moses understood God. And, as a result, he didn’t display any sign of being concern about himself. He simply asks God to appoint a leader for the people that would lead them out and bring them in. For don’t you remember: “Moses said to the LORD, 1"May the LORD, the God of the spirits of all mankind, appoint a man over this community 17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the LORD’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd (Numbers 27:15-17 - NIV)"