If Steve speaks on Sunday, my goal on Monday's is to debrief the sermon. My thoughts, what I took away from it.
Let me start by saying, I love listening to my husband preach. I try to attend all 3 services when he preaches, and I enjoy each time more and more. I believe God has gifted him as a communicator. You can go to www.indiancreek.org and listen to sermon's online.
We are in a sermon series called "Jesus on Jesus, Jesus in his own words"
This week sermon's was based on Jesus calling himself the Good Shepherd.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.12 The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me–15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father–and I lay down my life for the sheep.
Steve gave us a little lesson on shepherding, since most of us don't know too many shepherds personally. Shepherds protect their sheep. Sheep will actually eat themselves to death, not literally eat themselves, but they will eat so much and not stop that their stomach's can't handle it and they die. The shepherd helps protect sheep not only from outside threats but protects them from themselves. How many times in our lives, would we be in a better spot, if we would get out of our own way? I found myself thinking about the sheep over eating, and wondered what do I overindulge in that might be harmful to myself that I need the Lord to protect me from.
Shepherd provide for their sheep. Sheep's wool can get so heavy that they can't get up. They need the shepherd's strength to help them get up and move. When have you experienced something that you thought you would not recover from, you would not get up, yet with the help of the Lord, you were able to get up and move? When have you been over your head, that you needed the Lord to show up in your life?
Shepherd guide their sheep. Sheep will eat a whole pasture and not know what to do next, they need the perspective of the shepherd, to help them find more food. How often I only see my limited perspective, that if I trusted the viewpoint of God, if I believed he had the proper perspective, I would save myself so much pain.
These insights into shepherding were so easy to see how they fit into my life, seeing Jesus as my good Shepherd. The problem we as human's often experience is that we don't know the voice of our shepherd, we have to know is His voice to be able to follow him.
2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
How do we learn the sound of His voice? I believe the answer to this question isn't complicated. Many Christians know the answer, but do to busyness or laziness, we don't seek to hear His voice more.
I believe we need to get into His word. Read the Bible, ask the Spirit to speak to us through the word. Read it, pray it, meditate on it, seek to understand how it can be applied to your life. The more you know about the Bible and the more you know the Bible, the more exciting it gets. I used to read the Bible and think it was so boring. There are so many great resources out there to help you in reading the Bible. www.youversion.com is a great online resource to help you read the Bible. Read the Bible to know and understand the Author more.
We also need to quiet the white noise in our lives. I am terrible at this. Even when I make "quiet time" to sit and read the Bible, my head is going a thousand directions. I am already on to planning my day, or thinking about my to do list. It is such a challenge not only to find time, but to quiet yourself in that time, but at times, I have experienced the reward of the hard work of seeking that still, quiet time alone with the Lord.
Those are my thoughts and reflections on Steve's sermon. Can't claim any of the material, stole it from him. Really enjoyed the new information about shepherding, and being able to see how Jesus is my good shepherd, and loved the reminder to do what I know is best for me, to quiet my soul, read God's word and listen for my shepherd's voice.