Monday, April 18, 2016

THE GOOD SHEPHERD

John 10:11-15King James Version (KJV)

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
~*~
This passage is a wonderful lesson, albeit a hard one.  As we go though our lives, we meet many, many people, and some become friends. Some of those even become "best" friends and they know that in a lurch, they can always call this "best friend." Or can you?
Just as the above scripture says, in life, when things get tough, the tough get going, and the weak run away. You know you can always tell how solid your relationships are when you get into dire circumstances. I would rather have one solitary friend in whom I could place my complete trust, and know that this person will never forsake me for any reason whatsoever, than to have fifty friends, none of which will be around when you really need them.
I have such a friend, that one friend I speak of, his name is JESUS! Jesus will never forsake you. He's already died for you, but he would die again if he had to save you again.
Do people really not think of Jesus' Passion as being for them? Do people not realize the gravity of His suffering? Come on over, we'll build a cross and I'll nail your hands and feet to it and bury it in my front yard. Oh, and I will pierce your side with a sword to make sure that you are dead. But I almost forgot, I have to scourge you at the pillar first. That alone was the cause of many deaths in the time of Jesus. It was for criminals, not for the Son of God. But don't worry, I'll take you down as soon as you die and bury you.
This is what I think it would take some people to experience to realize the gravity of Christ's sacrifice, the ultimate sacrifice, that occurred that day in history. It has never been forgotten, and it never will. Although, it most surely will be denied, but God will see to it that those people do not share in the beauty of Paradise.
Brothers and Sisters, if you have any thoughts about "what was it like", I highly recommend you watch "The Passion of Jesus Christ" by Mel Gibson. This man spared nothing to make this movie as realistic as possible.
Now when I enter God's house and I gaze upon the giant crucifix above the altar, my heart hurts and my eyes tear, for it is my savior and yours who bore all of this for us. For all sin, for all time. Don't you think that it is time you realized how brutal a death was suffered by Jesus for all of mankind for as long as the earth is here? Jesus, God, The Holy Spirit, the Saints, the Angels - they will always be beside you if you call for them. You have to have faith - believing in something you have not seen nor heard - to give your heart to them fully. 
It's a beautiful thing, giving ones heart to The Holy Trinity, and then reading your Bible and praying for everyone who needs prayer. It would be a sin if someone asked you to pray for them because they needed it and you did not pray for them! Beware of false prophets. There are those on this earth who will withdraw, physically, when you mention anything about Jesus. Like the subject of our Lord is taboo or something.
But Jesus is alive and he is waiting for YOU! Yes, I'm looking at YOU! Stop that menial task and pray right now to Jesus. Ask him to forgive your sins, tell him you are sorry and you will try your best to sin no more, tell him how much you love him, and finally, tell him that you are going to tell everyone you know about him. He's that GREAT! He's that GOOD! He has that much LOVE and MERCY! And a whole host of other things that are good.
Take it from me, life with Christ in it is so much better and happier than a life without him.
Lovingly in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

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