Scripture reading for November 4th: John 10
Key Scriptures: John 10:14-18 “I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 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. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.”
Jesus further revealed His identity to His disciples by using the metaphor of the ‘Good Shepherd’ and a willingness to lay His life down for the sake of the sheep. A good shepherd trains the sheep to know his voice and follow him. A good shepherd takes care of all his sheep, and Jesus had other sheep, the Gentiles, that He would also lay His life down for. Jesus also had authority from the Father to lay His life down as a part of the plan of salvation for lost sinners (sheep) and He also had authority because of a sinless life and perfect obedience to take His life back up again in resurrection power by the Spirit of Holiness. (Romans 1:4) This was all given by the Father to His Son because He loved Him (and us)! We are eternally safe in His amazing care.
John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”
Faith Confession and prayer: Father God, Your amazing plan of salvation through sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to lay His life down for me, a sinner, is humbling and beyond full understanding. Jesus’ death and resurrection from the grave is also amazing and exciting because He is alive forever and ever! I receive eternal life and will never perish and the fear of death has been forever vanquished! Open doors that I might share this Good News today!
Psalm 23:1-3 “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake.”
Scripture reading for August 2nd: Matthew 25
Key Scriptures: Matthew 25:41-46 “”Then He will say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave Me no food, I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome Me, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.””
Jesus was again very clear about God’s judgment of mankind. God the Father has given all judgment to His Son. When the Son of Man comes, He will gather all nations before Him and then separate people one by one into either the sheep, who will be placed on His right hand, or the goats, which will be placed on His left hand. The Son will reward the sheep with eternal life and commendation while the goats will be sent away in disgrace to face eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. This place of punishment was prepared by God for the devil and his angels but will also be the lot of those who refused Christ’s mercy and went their own way, rebellious as a goat. From Christ’s description, there will be many surprises on that day among both the sheep and the goats. These surprises will be eternal life and blessing or eternal damnation. No intermediate place is ever mentioned!
Matthew 25:30 “‘And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'”
Faith confession and prayer: Father God, You are loving and good in all that You do and Your Word is flawless and true. Help me to listen carefully and obediently and share it as clearly as Jesus did that none might suffer eternal fire. May Your sheepfold be full of those brought to safety through the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.
Ezekiel 34:11-12 “For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, Myself will search for My sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when is is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out My sheep, and I will rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.”
Scripture reading for April 18th: John 10, Psalm 78, Proverbs 16
Key Scriptures: John 10:7-11 “So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Jesus, still speaking to the Pharisees, who were struggling to believe that He was the Messiah, told them that He alone was the ‘Good Shepherd’ and also the ‘Door’ that God’s sheep may enter and find safe pasture and care. Jesus said that others had come before Him, but they were only thieves and robbers. The thief came only to steal, kill and destroy. The ‘Good Shepherd’ came to bring abundant life.
Faith Confession: Jesus, I believe that You are the Good Shepherd who laid Your life down for Your sheep. I am one of Your sheep. You are the Door that I go through to find provision and safety and eternal life abundant and free!
Psalm 78:70-73 “He chose David His servant and took him from the sheepfolds; from following the nursing ewes He brought him to shepherd Jacob His people, Israel His inheritance. With upright heart he shepherded them and guided them with his skillful hand.”