Jun 25, 2007

A sloppy springboard from John 10

Originally posted 11:39pm Sunday, Nov 26, 2006 on Facebook

John 10:10-13 0 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 11 "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. 12 "He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 "He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd”… wow what a statement and a teaching!!! This should be the motto and heartbeat of ALL of our ministry and personal / interrelationships. We need to stop looking at things and people through self-serving vision and truly, earnestly be concerned with their well being above our own. Self-sacrifice is the model here (John 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends). It is only when you come to the point that you totally abandon all concern for yourself and your own well being, for that of another person, that you even begin to catch a GLIMPSE of what it means to love in Christ (and I do not claim to have arrived). It means laying down all rights (and especially pride), at all costs, so that the other person can be built up in Him. If that means allowing them to step on your back to reach the next step, or even costing your own life, so be it! A shepherd is one who loves and owns his sheep. He knows them by name and protects them at all costs, they are dear to his heart. A hired person is only there for the money (insert other random self-serving things here) and has no investment in, commitment, or loyalty to the sheep. Thus, when trouble comes, his own wicked, self-preservation takes over and he runs, leaving the sheep unguarded and lost!

I must reflect and sadly admit the number of times I have been a hireling. No, not for money, but for equally selfish reasons. When we talk to someone or interact with them, what is our motive? It should be to see them brought closer to Christ, at any cost. If their personality or mannerisms bother us, of what eternal significance is it, compared with their spiritual edification?! If a misunderstanding, why must I be right? Note: I am not talking about matters of scriptural truth here, I am speaking of people’s interactions. Is it not better to “give ground” for the sake of their spiritual growth? Or are we so weak in faith and love, that we are willing to let our pride and EVIL ambitions prevent the other person’s growth? Do we lift ourselves up, on their back? God forbid!!! This is the antithesis of love in Christ!

Colossians 3:12-14 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.

Or are we so short-sighted that we don’t even realize what we are (or aren’t) doing? Do we see through our eyes, or the eyes of Christ? Brothers, we must bear with one another, building each other up, for the sake of the kingdom, with a PURE motive of LOVE IN CHRIST. We must CRUCIFY that evil, arrogant pride that destroys, and through the spirit, receive a new heart of love and compassion, which builds up eternally!!!

Ezekiel 11:19 19 "And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And I will take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh
Matthew 6:19-21 19 "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 "But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

May God grant us eternal vision and blind us to ourselves!!!

2 Corinthians 4:18 …we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

Are you as jealous over God’s flock as He is?

May God grant mercy and forgiveness for our manifold failures and transgressions against each other, and ultimately, against Him, as we throw ourselves at His mercy, trusting only in the blood of Christ!!!

1 comment:

Diane said...

Interesting to know.