Summary: If Jesus is our Shepherd, what do we do to follow Him?
It Can Get Personal
Message three of five
I Am the Good Shepherd
March 18, 2012
Do you like going to the county or state fair? I grew up in Louisville KY. Each year KY holds their State Fair in Louisville. I remember going each year primarily to see the animals. I really enjoyed walking through the barns, looking at all the cattle sheep and pigs. My dad and I showed pigeons at the fair. Even though I’ve never lived on a livestock farm, I’ve always wanted to. We don’t make it to our county fair every year, but when we do, I want to make a beeline to the barns. My family humors me and goes with me, but they want to walk through quickly and get out of there. I could stay all day.
Most of us here didn’t grow up in a farming atmosphere so we don’t understand that lifestyle.
We do need to know however, that most of the Bible was written to and by people who lived it and understood it.
In the tenth chapter of John, Jesus identifies Himself as the “Good Shepherd!”
When he said that, the people got it! Not because they went to the fair each year, but because they lived in the farming culture.
Some of the mid-East culture is still like this today. A family owns a flock of sheep. One of the family members shepherds the sheep or they hire someone to shepherd them.
The Shepherd leads the sheep from pasture to pasture, moving them about to find food and water. Sheep were one of the earliest animals to be domesticated, largely because they are easy to herd and maintain. Sheep are one of the few animals that can memorize and recognize the face of their shepherd and will remember it for years. Sheep have a “follow the leader” instinct and will follow their shepherd everywhere.
Now to our text: READ John 10:1-15
So in this text, we are the sheep and Jesus is the shepherd.
Look at your neighbor and say Baaaaa! :)
Now, if we are the sheep and Jesus is the Shepherd, I want to spend the remaining of our time discussing
How to Follow your Shepherd:
First, You must Trust Him!
Sheep trust their shepherd! Where do you put your trust?
Do you put your trust – your hope in the government?
We are in an election year.
On March 20, 2012, Illinois citizens will choose candidates seeking state and federal offices, including: U.S. President, U.S. House of Representatives, and Illinois state lawmakers (House & Senate)
Are you going to vote?
I believe it is the right of every American to vote.
I believe it is the duty of every Christian to vote.
Go to Illinoisfamily.org for a non-partisan voter guide to see what the candidates believe on the major issues.
Government is important because it affects our everyday lives. But as important as voting is.
Don’t put your hope in government! (Psalm 146: 3-5 NLT)
3Don’t put your confidence in powerful people;
there is no help for you there.
4When they breathe their last, they return to the earth,
and all their plans die with them.
5But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper,
whose hope is in the LORD their God.
The survival of the sheep is based on their trust in Him. The sheep must trust their shepherd!
(Psalm 56:8-9 NLT)
8 You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.
9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
John 10:3-4 says, The Shepherd (Jesus), leads us out and He goes before us!
The whole idea of this relationship is that Jesus leads us! He goes before us. As the Lord God promised to go before the Israelites while leading them to the Promised Land, Jesus our Shepherd goes before us to lead us where we need to go.
BUT, you must trust your shepherd!
Trust Him to lead you, in every decision, and down every path!
In order to follow your Shepherd, You listen for His voice (verse 3)
English Standard Version (ESV)
3 …The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name…
We all know it. Most of us are lousy listeners! Yes, even women are lousy listeners. Sometime in your life, possibly in school, you played the pass-it-on game. You put people in a circle. The leader whispers something to the first person and tells them to pass it on…They whisper to the next person and so on…
When you ask the last person what was said, it is never 100% correct. And sometimes it’s not the least bit correct.