newhope Church is six years old; I count myself blessed to be in the number that calls newhope my church home. I have a simple reflection on the worship, the message, the praise and prayers from today.
I stand in awe of a God that is so gracious and so merciful. Baptism and baby dedications that took place today humbly remind me that I am still and work in progress (saved truly by grace and one God’s sacrifice of his only begotten Son). The one and only living God the one I serve is still faithfully in the business of changing lives.
If you don’t know him, you should get to know him. Try Jesus (again or for the first time), if you think your life is good or even great without Him; I can promise it is imaginable with Him.
John 10:6-18 (The Message)
Jesus told this simple story, but they had no idea what he was talking about. So he tried again. “I’ll be explicit, then. I am the Gate for the sheep. All those others are up to no good-sheep stealers, every one of them. But the sheep didn’t listen to them. I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for-will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd puts the sheep before himself, sacrifices himself if necessary. A hired man is not a real shepherd. The sheep mean nothing to him. He sees a wolf come and runs for it, leaving the sheep to be ravaged and scattered by the wolf. He’s only in it for the money. The sheep don’t matter to him.
“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me. In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary. You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They’ll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd. This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again. No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father.”