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Monday, January 8, 2018

My Sheep – John 10:27

            Listen to My voice

          Jesus tells the Pharisees, “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” Jesus had told the Pharisees that they were not true shepherds. Shepherds were those who loved, tended and cared for the sheep.  Now Jesus tells them that they are not even His sheep. He explains who are His sheep – “those who listen to His voice and follow Him.” In other words, true followers of Christ are not hearers only, but doers of His Word. They do as Jesus says and does. Jesus said in John 18:37, “Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me.” One of the reasons Jesus was sent to earth was to testify to the Truth. He was testifying to Truth as He spoke to the Pharisees, but they didn’t hear His Word.
         The way to know the Shepherd’s voice is through studying the Bible comparing scripture with scripture. No part of the Godhead will speak contrary to scripture. If we don’t know and understand the Word of God, we can easily be led astray. Eve was lured into sin by the serpent. Eve received God’s Word secondhand through Adam making her vulnerable. Adam received it directly from God. While Eve was alone, the serpent put doubt in the woman’s mind about God’s Word, Did God really say, “You must not eat from any tree in the Garden?” Genesis 3:1b Then the serpent convinced Eve that there would be no consequences for disobeying God’s direction.  “You will not surely die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4-5 The devil is a counterfeit, so he will use scripture by twisting it and coming as close as he can to the original scripture to deceive us. For this reason, it is important for Christians to know the Word of God, rightly-divide it, understand it and then do it.

             I know them 

     Jesus knows each one of His followers intimately and personally. We are His  treasured possession. God doesn’t change! He called Israel His treasure in Exodus 19:5 above all the people of the earth. The Israelites were the carriers of the Word of God even though they were sinful and didn’t always obey God. For this reason God had to send the Perfect Man who was also fully God (Jesus) to earth to be perfectly obedient to the Father so humanity could be saved. Only One who is God could do this. Now, both sinners whether Jew or Gentile must be restored to the Father through the sinless, shed blood of the Perfect Man Jesus. The sin of the first holy man Adam had to be paid for by a holy Man Jesus – the Second and Last Adam.
     Those who love and follow Jesus are His treasure – both Jew and Gentile. And, God wants us to treasure His Word. Proverbs 7:1: My son, keep My words, and treasure My commands within you. In Psalm 119 about the Word of God, he said, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path. Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it that I will follow your righteous laws. Vv103-106 David understood this. He was a man after God’s own heart although not perfect.
    Jesus is continually drawing us closer and closer to Him. If we are to be satisfied, we must find our meaning and purpose in Jesus. We were made through Him, by Him and for Him. (see Colossians 1:16-17) When His Word abides in us, He abides in us because He is the Word brought to life.

·         They follow Me

    “Follow” is in the present tense meaning that it is a continual and habitual activity. To follow Him means to have faith in Him and learn from Him – to walk as He walks. When Jesus invites us to follow Him, He is inviting us into an intimate relationship with Him. This relationship is fueled by love just as Jesus’ relationship with His Heavenly Father was fueled by love. Jesus was obedient to the Father because of His love for Him and for humanity. He wants us to do the same with Him. He is our example. We don’t earn salvation through obedience. Our obedience shows Him that we love Him and establishes His Word and life within us. He abides in us! In obeying and following Jesus, we bring glory to God and Jesus as Jesus brought glory to God in all that He did while on earth. He only did what the Father told Him to do and only spoke what the Father told Him to speak. Because Jesus was in human form, He was submitted to the will of His Heavenly Father.
      Jesus goes ahead of His sheep and they follow Him. He even went ahead of the Old Testament saints who had died and they followed behind Him to the Heavenly Promised Land.

·         “I Give Them Eternal Life”

      Hearing Jesus’ words and obeying them is the way Jesus and the Holy Spirit breathe spiritual, eternal life into us now. When we do His Word, Jesus’ life abides in us. In other words, His Word takes on spiritual life within us and is established in us. The way of salvation and eternal life is through the death of Jesus in the flesh. Obedience is not giving us salvation. That is the gift of God through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, but listening to Jesus and the Father’s Word breathes spiritual, eternal life in us as we walk on earth. We obey Him and want to please Him because we love Him, just as Jesus pleased the Father through His obedience to His will and word, and love. The mark of Christ’s sheep is that they listen to Him and follow Him. The greatest glory and honor a believer can give to Chris t is to listen and obey Jesus and His Word.

    Jesus wants us to be fully human. The Godhead operates in fullness. The Godhead wants to transform us into the very spiritual being that they are. Jesus -- who is the Word of God brought to life -- and the Holy Spirit are slowly and progressively perfecting us as we walk this earth. All they need is a willing, obedient heart. This perfection will be completed when we too are resurrected from death. We will be like Him – spiritually perfect – Godlike, without sin and radiating His light and glory. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit will always be greater than us. Their position over the entire heavens and earth will never change. Sin has never touched them unlike us! God created the original Man/Adam perfect and holy. Unfortunately sin corrupted Adam and Eve making them no longer holy. The love of God toward those who were created in His very image and likeness had to correct this. Jesus was, is and will ever be sinless making Him worthy to stand in God’s presence. Only Jesus’ death on the cross for sin makes us worthy to stand before God. His death on the cross was not for punishment but for His love for God and for sinful human beings. He suffered what He did for us! Jesus had power over His own death, and He has power over the death of those who love and follow Him. Jesus gave His life and took it up again! To those who have faith in Him, He gives eternal life. They will never perish.

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