The Good Shepherd

John 10:11 “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
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The greatest expression of love. Jesus said, “Greater love has no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). He said, “I lay down My life for the sheep…No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself” (John 10:17-18).
He knows His sheep. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine” (John 10:14). “He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3). “When He puts forth His own sheep, He goes before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice” (John 10:4).
He gives them eternal life. “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish; neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand” (John 10:28-29). He not only gives us eternal life but as our Shepherd, He protects us and provides for us.
Our responsibility. We are to be ever listening for His voice and following Him. Herein shall we be blessed.

I leave you with Paul’s closing in 2 Corinthians 13:14. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen”.

Ambassadors For Christ

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “All things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; to wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.”
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What is an ambassador? An ambassador is the highest-ranking representative of one country to another. As Christians we are Christ’s highest-ranking representatives to this world. An ambassador is also an official messenger on a special mission.
God has commissioned us as His messengers. Jesus said, “As my Father has sent me, even so send I you” (John 20:21).
(1) “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
(2) God “has given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18).
(3) He has also “committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19). As God’s ambassadors we are to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this world.
(4) Now God is in us (the Holy Spirit) reconciling the world unto Himself. We have a responsibility to tell the world of God’s ministry of reconciliation in Christ. We are to beseech people to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are to tell them to come to God through Jesus Christ.
Let us carry out our mission that one day we might hear God say, “Well done thou good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).

God enlighten us and empower us that we may be pleasing to you in this mission; in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Holy Spirit–Our Teacher

John 14:26 “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
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God wants us to understand His word, but we have a problem.
Our problem. We cannot know the things of the Spirit of God within our natural ability. “The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).
The reason. This is understandable when we consider Isaiah 55:8-9: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”. We cannot receive them without His help.
The Helper. God has given us His Spirit to help us understand His word. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to help us. The Holy Spirit teaches us and reminds us of God’s word when we need it and as it applies to the moment. In John 16:13 we see that the Spirit of truth will come and guide us into all truth. He will help us to grow in our knowledge of the word of God and in the skill of using it. He can teach us anywhere and anytime if we are sensitive and receptive to His teaching. The Holy Spirit looks for the teachable moments in our lives and will use these moments to increase our wisdom and knowledge of God and His word.

Holy Spirit teach us the things of God and guide us into all truth, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Walking By Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7 “Walk by faith, not by sight.”
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We are to live our lives in faith. To walk by sight is to walk in the physical realm. It is to focus on the circumstances surrounding and interacting with us. To walk by faith is to walk with God in the spiritual realm. It is to focus on God, trusting in His good will, mercy, grace and power.
In Matthew 14:23-32 we see that as Peter focused on Jesus and his invitation to come to him on the water Peter walked on the water. But when he took his focus off Jesus and focused on the circumstances around him, the boisterous wind and the waves, he began to sink. Walking by faith helps us overcome the circumstances we find ourselves in.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is spiritual substance, the real or essential part of things hoped for. Faith is spiritual evidence or proof of things unseen. “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). “He that comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). When we come to God in faith and diligently seek him, he rewards us with an awareness of His presence, an uplifting of our spirit, a renewing of our mind, and a transforming of our lives.

God be with us in the circumstance of this life and help us to walk by faith and be over comers; in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Live Your Life In Christ

Colossians 2:6-7 “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him: rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”
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1. As You Have Received Him.
a. We have received Christ. “Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His” (Romans 8:9).
2. So Walk in Him.
a. Live in connection with the Spirit of Christ.
b. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).
3. Rooted and Built Up in Him.
a. To be rooted means we are to be anchored in Him.
1. This keeps us from drifting from God.
2. This gives us stability and security–helps us to stand firm in the storms of life.
b. To be rooted means to receive from Him that which we need to be healthy spiritually.
1. This provides what we need to grow spiritually.
2. This helps us to be strong spiritually and to be spiritually productive.
4. Established in The Faith.
a. The result of receiving Christ, walking in Him and being rooted and built up in Him.
b. We will be “able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11) and to resist him.
5. Abounding in The Faith with Thanksgiving.
a. Overflowing with thanksgiving because of our new life in Christ and all that is ours because of this.

If you would like to listen to a sermon on this Bible Study click here:
http://brotherjimministries.com/media/sermons/walk-ye-in-christ/

All Things Working Together For Good

Romans 8:28 “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
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All things work together. This is one of my favorite scriptures, especially when things are going wrong. If we have been called according to His purpose and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength we will find Him to be there for us. We all have both good and bad things that happen in our lives. God oversees our lives and intervenes to work all things for our good, both the good and the bad.
His purpose for us. This is found in Romans 8:29. It says that He foreknew us and predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. How does this happen? 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”. The Spirit of God changes us into the image of the Lord from glory to glory. In other words, step by step; little by little. Romans 12:2 tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Philippians 1:6 tells us that, “He begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ”. In other words, He will not give up on us. He is the potter and we are the clay. So, when things are going bad we can depend on God, in the fullness of time, to work it together for our good.

God, we thank you for your promises you have given us in your word, for we know that you are faithful to perform it. We praise your Holy Name. Amen.

The Abundant Life

John 10:10 “The thief comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.”
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The thief is the devil and he comes to steal our happiness, peace and everything else. He is come to kill our relationships and bring separation from our friends and families. He is come to destroy our lives and opportunities.
Jesus is come that we might have eternal, everlasting life. Jesus is come that we might experience this eternal, everlasting life to its fullest. I am sorry to say this, but I am afraid that most Christians don’t experience this life in its abundance. It has been made available for all, but it is up to each Christian to receive it for himself / herself. Many don’t have the joy of their salvation or the peace of God that passes all understanding. The abundant life is found in the fullness of the Spirit. If we seek, ask, and knock we will find it, receive it, and it will be opened to us (Matthew 5:7-8).

God bless you in your spiritual journey is my prayer in Jesus’ name.

Spiritual Nourishment

1 Peter 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby.”
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Newborn babes. As Christians we have been born of the Spirit and have become spiritual beings with a spiritual life. We have become newborn babes in Christ. Just as we are physical beings and need physical nourishment, as spiritual beings we need spiritual nourishment. We must feed on the word of God to receive the spiritual nourishment that we need to be spiritually strong and healthy.
As we grow. “Every one that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:13-14). As we see here the word of God is referred to as milk and meat. Milk is a reference to the basics or A, B, C’s. Meat is a reference to the deep things of God. We move from the milk of the word to the meat of the word by using it in our life. Let us not neglect getting into the word of God and using it in our life.

God, open the eyes of our understanding to your word and help us to use it in our lives that we might grow and become mature, spiritual and not be carnal and walk as men of the world. Amen.

The Joy Of The Lord

John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
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The joy of the Lord.  The words Jesus spoke to us make it possible for us to have His joy remain in us and for our joy to be full. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). It is the strength to help us through the day. Joy is a part of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It comes into our lives as we are filled with the Spirit, “speaking to ourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in our heart to the Lord”. It is “joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8). It exceeds the joy of the natural man. It comes from the spiritual realm, not from the physical realm and is not dependent on what is taking place in the physical realm. As we abide in Him and His word abides in us we can experience this joy.
1. Abide in Him.  To abide in Him we must live and walk in the Spirit. “That the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2 Corinthians 4:11). His life flows through us as the life of the vine flows through the branches to produce fruit.
2. Have His word abiding in us.  As His word abides in us we will become the embodiment of the word. His word will take on a bodily and visible form. Our light will shine, and others will see Jesus in us.

Lord, let your joy be our joy and strength today. Amen.

Let Your Light Shine

Matthew 5:14-16–Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick: and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

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You are the light of the world–Jesus is the light of the world and as He dwells within us and shines through us, we become the light of the world. “In him was life; and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). When we receive Him, we receive the life and our new life in Christ becomes the light of men.

Let your light shine–We are not to hide our light but to let it shine through the Christian life we live and through our Christian works we do. As a light we are to make it possible for others to see what God can do for them, how people are to live, and we will show them the way. Our light will shine as we walk in the Spirit and in faith. When we walk in the flesh and by sight our light is hide.

Let it “so” shine–We are to let our light shine purely, clearly, and brilliantly. The goal is for others to see our Christian life and our Christian works and to be led to glorify our heavenly Father. Let us bring glory to our heavenly Father by letting our light shine. Let us not hide it but let it shine.

Lord, help us to shine for you today and be a blessing to others. Amen.

Shine Christians Shine.