God’s House Forever

I “stumbled” upon this verse today from Psalm 84…

For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. [Psalm 84:10]

Now, consider the closing verse of the beloved Psalm 23…

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. [Psalm 23:6]

Do you see it? One day in the courts of God would far exceed a 1000 years elsewhere. I agree with that. I am right there with the psalmist. But now consider this, through faith in Jesus Christ, we get more than one day in God’s courts. Actually, we get to dwell in God’s HOUSE…FOREVER. Did you just get goose bumps? Yup me too 🙂

All praise be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Pastor -|—

Lenten Sermon Teaser ~ The Good Shepherd

Sermon teaser for our midweek Lenten worship tonight…

The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
[John 10:3-4]

As followers of Jesus Christ, it is our joy to hear the beautiful voice of our Shepherd; knowing that that voice is one of peace and love and compassion. It is a voice of Truth. It is a voice that can be trusted. It is a voice the beckons. It is a voice that soothes. To ignore that voice is foolish and dangerous; not because our Shepherd is vengeful; but rather to follow another voice means following unto our death. The Good Shepherd is the only one who loves us unto death and beyond; for he lays his life down for his sheep. The Good Shepherd is the only one who true cares about you. And therefore it behooves us to drown out the competing voices and listen to THE Shepherd and joyfully follow him…

The Pastor -|—

The Wolf and The Shepherd

I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” [John 10:28-30]

Earlier in chapter 10, Jesus is talking about him being the Good Shepherd. He cares for his sheep and his sheep hear and listen to his voice, and thus follow.

[The sheep, of course, are those who place their faith in Jesus.]

Under the care of anyone else, the wolf comes and snatches the sheep away because the hired hand does not care for the sheep like the shepherd does.

[The wolf, of course, is Satan]

I am the Good Shepherd Jesus says. Under my care the wolf will not snatch you away.

But yet there are many sheep who would rather put themselves under the care of “hired men”. They follow them because of what they claim to provide. These sheep blindly trust these false guides but when the going gets tough, the “hire men” have no interest in the well being of the sheep. They will run away and protect themselves for they know deep down inside that they have no power over the wolf. And they are definitely not willing to lay down their life for the sheep.

Just before these verses, the Jews are questioning Jesus; imploring him to tell them plainly if he is the Christ. Jesus basically said this, maybe not as plainly as they wanted, but Jesus did say it.

I am the Good Shepherd and I lay down my life for the sheep.

The problem is that the Jews are still following and listening to the “hired men” so they can’t and won’t hear the voice of another shepherd. So therefore they can’t understand or accept a “Christ” that is going to die.

But this is what this Good Shepherd does:
~ He places himself between his sheep (you) and the wolf.
~ The wolf attacks and kills the Good Shepherd (Jesus).
~ The wolf celebrates his victory.
~ The wolf prepares to devour the sheep.
~ BAM!
~ The Good Shepherd rises from the dead; claiming and protecting his sheep.
~ The wolf is held at bay; unable to snatch the sheep out of the shepherd’s hand.
~ The wolf’s ultimate defeat is at hand.

And only the sheep of the Good Shepherd can hear this and see this and know this.

Through faith in Jesus you will never parish.
Through faith in Jesus, Satan can not touch you (but Satan still can entice you, so beware).
Through faith in Jesus we are corralled into the Father’s hand.

I am the Good Shepherd and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Meditate on that verse today and relish in the joy of being in the Good Shepherd’s flock.

May God grant you the ears to hear the Good Shepherd.

All praise, honor and glory be to God our Father through Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd. Amen.

The Pastor -|—