When we think of Jesus as the “good shepherd” of John 10, we usually don’t think of the His work as hard, challenging, and demanding; most of the time, we look only at the image of the shepherd holding a cute little lamb. In reality, our Shepherd (the Lord) must contend with thieves and robbers who intend to steal or harm the sheep (that’s us!), and this is why He must correct us as well as nurturing and protecting us. Both His words of encouragement and His words of rebuke are meant to provide us with a quality of life that “overflows” with good things!
Jesus said in John 10:10 that He came to bring us “abundant life;” the how of our receiving that blessing is explained in John 20:30-31, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
When Jesus said “I will give you rest” in Matthew 11:28, that offer is conditioned on our willingness to work with Him, verse 29 (“take my yoke upon you”). If we refuse His condition, we are also refusing His offer!
We diligently “respond” to chest pains, the rattling of a rattlesnake, and the wail of a siren; sometimes the most “loving” gift we can receive is a warning, and Jesus has given us plenty of them (Matthew 7:21-23; Matthew 22:29; Luke 9:62; Luke 16:13; John 21:20-22, to note just a few!).
True love for Jesus is “displayed” through keeping the commitment to obey Him, Luke 6:46.
All of our “possessions” in this world are part of our stewardship as Christians; therefore, put all your “treasures” in the right place, Matthew 6:19-21! For Jesus to be “Lord” in our lives, He has to be Lord of everything in our lives, including all our “stuff!”
To love like Jesus loves must mean that when I say “I love you,” it means that I will treat you with kindness and gentleness, I will never put a stumbling block for sin in your way, and I will put your eternal destiny above my own convenience (cf. John 13:34-35 and Philippians 2:5).
Virtually all Christians would agree that we should be “people of prayer” and that we should spend more time in prayer, yet the reality of our lives is that we often give only a cursory amount of time (usually at meals) to actually praying! In Acts 3:1, the disciples knew that 3:00 in the afternoon was the Jews’ designated “hour of prayer” and Peter and John were going to the temple then. If we expect God to answer our prayers, we need to do our “part” by abiding in Christ, John 15:7 (i.e., doing His will!).
Jesus described four types of “ground” in the parable of Luke 8:4-8. If I’m not bearing fruit, then I must not be “good” ground; so what kind of ground does that make me?
In the parable of the wise and foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-28, the difference between wisdom and foolishness is not in the Lord’s word, but in our response to it!
Because “someone” was willing to love an “enemy” who had mistreated him, we will get to call the Philippian jailer (Acts 16) “brother” when we get to heaven! Do you love the Lord enough to keep His commandments (John 14:15)?