Summary: There are times when we have questions but no answers. There are times when the problems of family, finances, relationships, or work seem to have us in a rut. When you grow in focused worship of God, you will become smarter. The good shepherd will provide

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John 10:11–18 (ESV)

True worship of God can make you smarter. Life can offer challenges that no matter how hard you try; the testing and trials in life seem to grind you down. To understand how to become more creative and productive seek God’s help.

The neatest little cloth bracelet was out back in 1990’s. They were available in numerous colors even camouflage. On the bracelet were written the four letters WWJD meaning “What Would Jesus Do?”

Are you a good and creative thinker? Has God ever given you an answer or idea? Has God ever spoken to you by using the Lord’s tools of a dream, a thought or a vision? God’s thoughts are above human thoughts and being a good provider God will provide good and creative thoughts. We have a free will choice to accept the good and creative thoughts God provides.

The opponents of Jesus caught on to the meanings of what Jesus said and meant. However they did not want to accept what they understood; their hearts were hard to the Son of God. The Jews were trapped in a bad situation.

To be in a right relationship with God and open to receiving good and creative thoughts we need to honor God’s Word. One of God’s Words involves what we are to do on the day we honor as the Sabbath. If the God of all creation took the seventh day as a day of rest why do humans think they know better? Understand God did not declare that humankind was to be lazy on the Sabbath. Instead this was a day to be focused on giving glory and honor to God.

The Son of God spoke about His role in helping humankind with his role being the good shepherd. Understand the religious leaders heard and understood on two key references when Jesus said “I am the good shepherd”. The “I am” took their thoughts back to the burning bush when God spoke to Moses. Second they were familiar with Psalm 23 and King David’s writing his thoughts about God being his good shepherd. A good shepherd feeds and leads his flock. The English word “good” has over twenty eight different meanings for its use in a sentence. One of its meanings is to describe the understanding of a higher quality being present. The religious leaders objected to understanding Jesus being the perfectly good and moral good shepherd? Are you willing to make a good decision and be led into life everlasting by Jesus Christ the good shepherd?

The imagery of a shepherd would not be new to those hearing the words of Jesus. Israel thru the word of God given to the prophets understood the Messiah would be a powerful shepherd feeding and leading God’s chosen people.

Isaiah 40:11 (Tanakh) 11Like a shepherd He pastures His flock: He gathers the lambs in His arms And carries them in His bosom; Gently He drives the mother sheep.

The prophet Ezekiel chapter 34 also spoke God Word about the restoration of Israel thru the good shepherd.

Jesus said “11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” Our first thought might be how can it be good for the sheep if the shepherd lays down his life? We will revisit that question but let us contrast against the false shepherds. Others who claim the flock belonging to God do so seeking personal gain. The false shepherd abandons the flock when the going gets tough, because they truly do not care. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Jesus is the shepherd claiming the flock belonging to God, but he is willing to be sacrificed for the abundant life of the flock. Because Jesus cares he came to share knowledge about life, more importantly spiritual life. This kind of life is salvation from death.

14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Mutual knowledge is awesome and beautiful. Not only does Jesus know those who belong to God but the ones who belong to God know who Jesus is.

16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.

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