The Good Shepherd

April 29, 2013

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.” – John 10:11-12

Have you ever had a situation where you said, “This is too much; I’m out of here; they are not paying me enough to do this”?

Imagine you are hired for minimum wage to tend sheep. You figure it shouldn’t be too difficult. How hard is watching sheep? But you fail to read the fine print of your job description: Must be willing to lay down your life for the sheep.

One evening while on duty, you are faced with a pack of hungry wolves. Do you stay and protect the sheep, even if it means you might be injured or worse? Or do you say, “I’m out of here”? And you take off leaving the sheep defenseless. Some shepherd you turn out to be!

In stark contrast, Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”

The sheep Jesus lays down his life for is you – a weak, wandering, defenseless sheep. Many would question if you were worth it, even yourself.  But obviously you were to him. Look at the cross where Jesus died for you.

The wolves that attacked and killed Jesus instead of you are sin, death and the devil. Jesus could have said, “I’m out of here,” when facing those wolves. But he loved you and cared for you so much that he wouldn’t forsake you. He was willing to save you at all costs, even it if meant his life. And that’s what he did.

A lot of times when we say, “This is too much; I’m out of here; they are not paying me enough to do this,” it reflects our feelings about life. It’s so easy to want to quit, to give up, to run away. But knowing what you know about your Good Shepherd gives you a new resolve. You live for the one who laid down his life for you and saved you from sin, death and the devil.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for saving my life. I couldn’t have a better Shepherd. Amen.


Fifth Sunday of Easter

April 28, 2013

Order of Service Printed in Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Readings

Today’s Adult Bible Class Notes


Good Shepherd Sunday

April 21, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Divine Service II, Page 158, Lutheran Worship

Today’s Readings

Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Adult Bible Class Notes

Listen to Today’s Sermon:

Read Today’s Sermon


Hope’s Testimony

April 15, 2013

Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. – 1 Peter 3:15

Remember cramming (studying) for an exam? Trying to somehow embed your resistant memory with all those details written in the textbook or recorded in your class notes? You knew that if you didn’t have a grasp on most of the material, you’d bring home the news of a less than desirable test score, or perhaps even a failing grade.

Peter isn’t talking about a test when he says, “Always be prepared to give an answer.” He’s talking about an opportunity! A God-given one! The Lord brings into your presence, or opens a door to someone who doesn’t know what is yours – hope in Jesus! When your unbelieving neighbors see your life for Christ, they may become curious. “What accounts for this obvious joy?” “Where does this generosity of patience and love come from?” “Why are you so filled with hope?” Ah! Opportunity!

This is a passage that addresses the subject of witnessing! Of evangelizing! Of sharing the Good News that has delivered a sure and certain hope to you, and is meant for everyone! And the apostle says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

Are you prepared to do so? You may be more prepared than you think! You know what Jesus has done for you. You know why he died on the cross. You know the meaning of his resurrection. You know that eternal life is already yours. You know that he is coming again to judge everyone. You know that those who die in Christ are blessed. And that means you also know that those who die without Jesus have no hope.

“We believe,” Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians, “and therefore speak.” Christian hope needs to find expression. The questions of our unbelieving friends need answering. The love of Christ compels us to share our hope. They must hear the Gospel!

Prayer: Lord, open my lips to share my hope in you. Amen.


Third Sunday of Easter

April 14, 2013

Matins, Page 208, Lutheran Worship

Today’s Readings

Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Adult Bible Class Notes

Listen to Today’s Sermon:

Read Today’s Sermon


Not Left Abandoned

April 8, 2013

My heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. – Psalm 16:9-10

Occasionally we hear the unfortunate report of a mine collapse. We pray for the safety and rescue of the miners, but our prayers are not always answered the way we would like. It is especially hard when they can’t get the miners out, dead or alive. The mine is too dangerous. They can’t even go in and try to find the bodies. They have to abandon the mine and the miners inside.

Without Jesus and his resurrection we would be like those miners. We would be trapped in our own graves with no hope of rescue. But the Lord will not abandon us to our graves. He initiated a rescue operation through his Son. Jesus suffered the punishment for our sins and paid the penalty of death for us. His body was placed into the tomb, but the Lord did not abandon his Son, the Holy One. His body rested in the grave for three days and then just as promised the almighty Lord raised Jesus from dead.

Our risen Savior said, “Because I live, you also will live.” By his own resurrection, we are assured that the Lord will save us from our graves – we will make it out alive!

The Lord did not abandon Jesus to the grave. He will not abandon you either.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep my mind fixed on your glorious victory over death so that I may know the joy of your resurrection and the hope that it brings. Amen.


Second Sunday of Easter

April 7, 2013

Divine Service II, Page 158, Lutheran Worship

Today’s Readings

Today’s Bulletin

Today’s Adult Bible Class Slides

Listen to Today’s Sermon:

Read Today’s Sermon