At Jesus last appearance to His Eleven Disciples as a group and just before His Ascension, Jesus gives His Great Commission to us and to His Disciples. In Matthew 28:16-20, Jesus commissions or, indeed, commands us: “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”.
Jesus, in Matthew 28:16-20, has commissioned us and commanded us to: Go, Make Disciples, Baptize, and to Teach everything that he has taught us (e.g., the Bible, our walk with the Holy Spirit) to the “ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Remember again, that this commission and commandment (i.e. “as you go”) was the last thing that Jesus, as the Incarnate God-Man, told His Disciples and, therefore, us before His Ascension into Heaven to become solely God again.
Because of the Resurrection and God’s Grace, we have the opportunity for Salvation and Eternal Life; and God has given this opportunity to others next door and around the world, through us, if we Go, Make Disciples, Baptize, and Teach!
Today’ Message – Hearing God’s Voice:
In John 10:1-18, Jesus presents the picture of the Shephard and the Shepherd’s relationship to His flock. Shepherding, in the First Century, was an intense and demanding occupation with the need for the Shepherd to lead and communicate with His sheep and to prevent “false shepherds” from stealing sheep. In communicating with His sheep, the sheep learn and listen for the Shepherd’s voice which protects the sheep from “false shepherds”. Jesus tells us, in John 10:7-11, that He is the Shepherd and only through and with Jesus can we enter into the Gate, which is our Salvation and Eternal Life:’ 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. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’”.
Jesus tells us that the sheep will hear His voice; therefore, if we are followers of Jesus, we should hear Jesus voice – we are all called to be Jesus’ sheep.
How do we know the voice of Jesus our Good Shepherd? To hear and know Jesus’ voice, we need to consider: 1) we must “enter through the Gate” – the “Gate” is only Jesus; 2) we must be a sheep (i.e. must be saved and have a personal relationship with Jesus) of the Good Shepherd to hear and distinguish His voice from the “false shepherds”; 3) we must learn to listen – God’s voice can present to us in many ways, especially through the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit gives us an insight into the mind of God and puts our mind in sync with God; 4) the voice of Satan is discernable from the voice and message of Jesus; and 5) we must obey the Lord as we listen – in the New Testament, the words “hear” and “obey” are the same; and God wants to guide and direct us.
Ultimately, God tells us: “Be still and know that I am God.”.
He is Risen, and He is alive today!
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: I affirm that because of what God has done for me in His Son, Jesus, I AM RIGHTEOUS IN GOD’S EYES. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Scripture Reference (ESV): Matthew 28:16-20; John 21:1-14; Acts 1:8; John 3:3-8; John 10:1-27 ; Ezekiel 34:22-24,31; Psalms 23:1-6; John 5:25; Ezekiel 1:28; Ezekiel 43:2; 1 Kings 19:12; Isiah 30:21; Ephesians 1:17-18; Hebrews 3:7.
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