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The Good Shepherd

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John chapter 10 John chapter 10 if you have a Bible we can go there also the Bibles in the seat back in front of you and we're gonna have it on the screen as well John chapter 10 we've been in this series the last six weeks talking about who Jesus is through the lens of what he said about himself in the book of John where seven different times he uses this phrase I am and then he goes through and talks about the different things that he is to us and he's not only talking about his own character but he's using this phrase I am which is actually a throwback to the divine name of God that God revealed to Moses way back at the burning bush when Moses asked what is your name and he said I am that's his name and so Jesus is throughout the book of John using this phrase to not only talk about his own character but to tie himself to God to put himself on equal footing when it comes to his identity and his character as the father and so John 10:10 we start there and it says the thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy my purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life don't you want a rich and satisfying life I am The Good Shepherd the Good Shepherd says his life for the Sheep it's almost hard to believe it's been almost 18 years since 9/11 can you believe that 18 years so September 11 2001 I remember I was in high school when 9/11 happened and along with the rest of the world went to school that day well the rest of world didn't go to school necessarily but along with them we were watching the TV constantly the other day as we were just trying to process like many of us what was going on in our country as the we watched the footage of the buildings burning and then coming down actually all of my classes they just let us watch the TV throughout all of our classes except I had one class and this teacher was such a stickler for the rules that he turned the TV off and he made a study our pre planned curriculum instead of watching the news coverage do you know what class that was US history not a joke even then I was like I think I think this is a miss I think this is one of the most important events we'll probably ever witness but I was reading about 9/11 because as we're gonna look at today Jesus is claiming to be the Good Shepherd the the person who knows what he's doing when it comes to caring and so I was looking at old stories of people who make great sacrifice on 9/11 to save other people and I came across this story of this gentleman in Wells Crowther and he was an investment banker around the hundred floor level of one of the towers I think the tower those hit first and he was up there and once the tower was hit he immediately jumped into action and began helping people get organized to get down the stairs to get towards safety and it was during this effort that he came across a group of people that he would eventually lead down 17 flights of stairs but with them was a woman Lynn young who was badly burned from when the airplane hit and so here she was unable to move unable to walk and so Wells took her and he grabbed her and he put her on his back and he carried her 17 flights of stairs down to safety but he didn't just stop there he continued to go back in the building and save more and more and he's credited with them at least 18 people lives were saved because he continued to go back into that building and they they found his body at several weeks later still in the buildings surrounded by some other police officers and and gentlemen that were planning and trying to get more people out he just an investment banker and I thought you know there is probably I can't think of a worse scenario I can't think of a worse circumstance than being in the World Trade Center on 9/11 I know what what possible situation could be worse than that and yet in that situation if your name was Lynn young and you were lying on the ground badly burnt unable to move can I tell you that the fact that Wells Crowther would be the one that would happen to come upon you and be available to carry you out would be life to you you see David wrote this in Psalms 23 the King David he wrote the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want and what that initially sounds like and the translations say I don't want a thing the Lord is my shepherd I don't want a thing and we we think well okay that's great so we would assume that if David really lived that and believed that that you would look at his life and you would find that David had it pretty good that all his his wants and desires and wishes were fulfilled because of what the Lord was to him and then you read his story and you find tragedy and you find he's a fugitive for for a lot of his younger years he's on the run he loses children he loses the ones he loves people died around him he's under attack and the siege he is he does not live by any stretch of the imagination a comfortable or easy life and yet he he writes this the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want because I think this that there is a place where it's not based on our circumstances that we can look at what is happening to us and say there is no better person that I would rather be with than him just like Lynn going down those stairs this situation is hell and yet there is no one I would rather be with than Wells right now because why because he has the ability to care for me well hey Kerry decision I think about my wife was sick a couple years ago and and going through all these different appointments and meetings and meeting different doctors and having to choose and and put together a team of doctors and and really coming to the place by the the time that the treatment started for my wife feeling like this is like the best team of doctors and care professionals that we could get there is nobody outside of this that we would rather have when it comes to dealing with this diagnosis there was a confidence and a contentment in the care we were getting even when the circumstance was terrible now you contrast that with a friend of mine who needed an outpatient procedure done and found out that it was not going to be covered by his insurance and so he went online and found the cheapest surgeon he could possibly find within a day's drive he told me that as he was getting ready I think it was in the guy's basement that he was at when the procedure was having bet as he's getting ready for this procedure he's thinking is the cheapest option really the best when it comes to a surgeon I think I might have made a terrible mistake Craigslist is maybe not the option you want to go for to find someone who's gonna cut you just kind of throw it out there we need confidence and those that care for us Jesus says I'm the Good Shepherd I've always read that and thought he's good isn't he loving and he's kind he's fair he's just he's good and while that is is true that's kind of like saying that Muhammad Ali was a good boxer because he was kind and he was know because he was awesome at boxing Michael Phelps is a good swimmer not because he's he's kind to children and he gives you know people rides in his car he might do that that's great why do we know about the goodness of Michael Phelps because he's really good when he gets in a swimming pool can I tell you Jesus is the Good Shepherd not only because he's kind and loving because when it comes to caring for his sheep us he's really good at this he is the greatest at it he is the best there is no other pasture that is more cared for there's no other flock that is better tended to there's no place you can go outside of the care of Christ to find what he offers why because he is the Good Shepherd there is no one greater and many of us maybe you're in this boat like I am we have tried to find greener pastures outside of his care and we will find over and over again that we never had it as good as when we were with him never he is the Good Shepherd and he's talking to people in this crowd as Jesus is teaching who at that very moment are plotting to kill him and they are not some villains or criminals from the outside outlaws that are and the people that are in the crowd that Jesus is talking to that are trying to kill him are the leaders of the community the religious leaders they're the the political center of their community and they all want Jesus dead and he's speaking to them and he's saying I am The Good Shepherd read between the lines he's saying you have some bad shepherds among you and don't think that what they are doing is how you were designed to be led we are too easily led by bad Shepherds and Jesus comes he says I'm gonna give you a new model I am the greatest at this there's no one better as my first point today he's good at this he's good at caring for us he is good at providing our needs you know in Israel great pastures for sheep don't just happen kind of like in Central Oregon you don't just come upon soft rich ground filled with naturally-occurring delicious grass for she it takes work I mean I my neighbor tried to dig a swimming pool in his yard it quickly turned into a wading pool why because we got rocks everywhere right and this is the nature of if you're a Good Shepherd in first century where Jesus is talking it means that you do a lot of work long before the Sheep ever arrived to prepare for their needs and I believe this about Jesus is that when you come into a place where you are under his care it isn't like you just started thinking of you the day you showed up all your life he has been planning and preparing and tilling the soil and getting the environment correct so that when you are under his care he's already ready for you he's a good shepherd he's a good shepherd let's continue in John chapter 10 verse 12 a hired hand will run when he sees the wolf coming he will abandon the sheep because they don't belong to him and he isn't their Shepherd and so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock the hired hand runs away because he's working only for the money and doesn't really care about the sheep I am The Good Shepherd I know my own sheep and they know me just as my father knows me and I know the so I sacrifice my life for the Sheep it is a marked difference in how people behave whether they are doing something for the money or just because it's their job or whether they are doing something because they have ownership and a stake you know what is happening and you can see this you know you go out and eat today after lunch after service and have lunch there you go you'll find it there's people that treat it like a job and there's people that are in it as a career they're invested if you go to a you know an owner run establishment there's a different kind of care that happens when the person that is interacting with you is the owner have you ever tried to sneak in snacks or candy or sodas into a movie theater that you brought from the outside oh of course not we're Christians pastor Evan we would never we pay full price at the concession stand good people ya know me too and we used to do this my friends and I and very bad we would we would try to see who could sneak in the largest amount of snacks Angie and I won I won this competition once I don't remember the movie was there's a lot of years ago but I snuck in a 32-ounce Jamba Juice without spilling a drop in my pants it was 15 years ago the pants were bigger at that time cargo pants were maybe they were in they probably weren't in I just was wearing them but what you realize is a lot of the people that are taking your tickets they don't they don't really care to enforce every single rule they're not there to ensure the overall success of Regal Cinemas International they're there because it's their job to take your take it's different when it's the owner it's different when there's somebody who's whose whole life is wrapped up in the transaction it's different I grew up here in town on the east side and there used to be a golf course called Orion greens anybody ever golf - no Ryan Green's alright there you guys are good for you I don't know what to say but we were we live near Orion greens and some of you could picture right now cuz you golf there and we would me and my friends we'd ride our bikes to Ryan greens and then we would walk around the edges of the golf course and we would steal golf balls from the driving range and then sometimes we would steal golf balls from people who were currently playing golf on the course we didn't understand that just because it's out of balance doesn't mean they don't want it anymore and so we would we would literally steal these balls and one time I remember it very clearly because we laid our bikes down and then we were walking around finding golf balls and this group of golfers found our bikes and they knew what was going on they knew we were probably within earshot so they loudly started talking about all the horrible things they were gonna do to our bikes and to the children who were riding those bikes if they ever found them and they went on and on and even at the time as a little kid I was like man these golfers are bad people they were just so mean to children but it scared us I mean it really scared us and so we as soon as the golfers went on by we quickly crowd our bikes and we stopped doing that but here's what happened one of my good friends in the neighborhood is name is Austin and his grandpa I found out later was actually the owner of Orion great who's the family business and so we would go visit grandpa Orion I forget his name grandpa Ryan and we weren't hiding in the bushes anymore we were guests of the owner thank you very much and we would stroll right into that Clubhouse and we would have as much root beer as we could handle you know because why because we were guests of the one who controlled the access last week faster Steve talked about how Jesus is the gate he controls the access and too often times I find myself out of insecurity and out of doubt and out of a place where I'm not quite sure if I deserve what kind of arrangement Jesus has prepared for me that I want to I want to be kind of hiding in the bushes scraping off what I can and living around the edges of the life Jesus has prepared for me and he says hey hello I know you I recognized you I call you by name you don't belong in the bushes come on walk through the front door and hold your head up high because why because you're so great no you're just a kid but because I know you and I'm gonna allow you access because of the relationship that we now share my second point he knows us he knows us David also wrote this he didn't just write the 23rd song of course he wrote Psalm 139 and maybe you've heard this before as well but he wrote this and I want you to think of it as I read it from the perspective of a shepherd and a sheep okay Psalms 139 you have searched me Lord and you know me you know when I sit and when I rise you perceive my thoughts from afar you discern my going out and my lying down you are familiar with all of my ways I've read that so many times but when you think about it a shepherd saying saying I know my sheep any dog owners here any dog owners its Central Oregon all if you have dogs my parents have these dogs and they love these dogs they love these dogs my parents watched last service so I think I can talk about them freely and they'll never know but when we go over and we house it for my parents sometimes the the list of instructions to take care of these dogs is like three pages long front and back 10-point single spaced you know like there is instructions because to try to communicate all of the knowledge of this relationship that my dad has with these animals on paper it takes a lot why because there's the relationship is actually pretty close I read those pages all three and I'm like I wish we were this close dad you know I wish you gave me heartworm medicine morning and night there's there's a knowledge that God wants to express to you that you could be fully known by him and accepted just the way you are that when a sheep comes through the gate rejection doesn't come if they're limping rejection doesn't come if they're hurting rejection doesn't come if they're hungry but it's in this close relationship that the Shepherd's so lovingly and expertly can know exactly what's going on in your heart and your life maybe that no one else knows and still say I accept you and there's great Liberty and there's a great sense of freedom in my heart when I think that that everything in in in the depths of my soul the good the bad and the ugly could come before God be laid out playing his day and he would look at that and he would look me in the eye and say Evan I accept you in fact the Apostle Paul would write this about heaven he would say that heaven in 1st Corinthians chapter 13 is not just the place where we would know many things and know all things but it would be the place where we would be fully known that paradise have an eternity it looks like us being able to be fully us fully transparent and fully loved by God he knows me this past Wednesday evening my wife was getting dinner ready and my daughter asked if she could go play outside because the weather is finally good enough to play outside and all the parents were like amen kids can go outside now again and so she was gonna go outside she asked if she could go across the street to her friend's house and dinner was almost ready so Alyssa said no when she's just stay in our yard but you can go outside and play so she goes outside about 15-20 minutes go by and dinner's ready so Alissa goes out and calls her name and no response so she walks out of the yard calls again no response and we don't have a large yard if she was there would be obvious so she goes into the that was the side yard she goes to the back yard no Clara so she comes in to me and she says have you seen Clara did she come back in and I looked at her and I was like it was your job to watch her so I turned so quickly on you I'm so sorry like what she what what do you mean like I thought she was the outside she was outside so we have this conversation parents maybe you've had this conversation before and and so I think well maybe she's upstairs and we didn't see her come in so I run upstairs a caller named out here I go next door to her friend's house she has one little girlfriend in the in the neighborhood so I go to their house her ringing door well not they're not home look in the street no Clara so I had been pretty calm up to that point but then a switch is flipped and you go into full freakout mode do you know what this feels like so I rushed into the house throw my throw from the door running at the house go upstairs and I'm thinking maybe she's playing hide-and-seek and thinks this is a hilarious joke so I'm yelling I say if you could hear me you gotta let me know I'm pulling blankets up and and full freakout mode go downstairs Alyssa's out in the middle of the street no shoes she's holding our one-year-old he's got no pants on looking for Clara asking the other neighbor boys have you seen our daughter full freakout mode and so we we walk up and down the street and we go down the street and around the corner and not far from our house but completely out of sight there she is she'd met two new friends and had just wandered far enough to where we couldn't find her she wasn't even in trouble like we're you know it wasn't that she didn't actually walk that far but it was just far enough and she had no idea but we were freaking out looking for her Jesus tells the story in Luke chapter 15 about how when a shepherd who has a hundred sheep loses one what that Shepherd does he says suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it and I've always heard the story and I thought you know in my mind the Shepherd got all the Sheep home all the 99 safe at home in the pen locked the gate for the key in the pocket and then went to look for the one but actually what says in Jesus parable he says the Shepherd abandons the 99 in open country where they're vulnerable and left to their own to go find the one what he's saying he's saying the the shepherd goes into full freakout mode because when it's your kid when it's your thing when it's it's it's the one that you love listen there is nothing nothing that will take your attention away from the task and finding that which is wandered there's just nothing you you could have told me any shocking news you could have you could have tried to distract me in any way and tell I had found my daughter listen nothing would have distracted me the shepherd abandons the ninety-nine why because there is one who has wandered and I I you know maybe you don't feel lost I don't necessarily feel lost very often you know I'm not in some ditch somewhere hi out of my mind committing crying I'm not you know we have these categories of what we consider being so far away from God but there's seasons in our lives where it's not that we've gotten so lost we feel like we know where we are but we've wandered just far enough and just turned enough corners to where we're out of his sight and we stay there long enough and we begin to have these thoughts that maybe it doesn't even matter I mean I go to Westside and look around there's so many people what what do I matter what is it what does it matter at all if I just kind of let myself drift off and we don't understand that in those moments that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and that means that he's in full freakout mode for you that every step outside of his view is a moment where he is completely consumed his attention is fully upon finding you and we have this this sense I think so many times that it's out of sight out of mind that if we walk away from God he'll be just fine and that we will drift from his attention and the opposite is so true is that when we wander when we're lost or hurt when we're afraid we have all of his attention the parable continues when the Shepherd finds the sheep he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and he goes home then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says rejoice for me I've found my lost sheep you notice he doesn't go back for the ninety-nine he says they're just out in open country forever I guess because the shepherdess is just so delighted in finding that which was lost he's just so overwhelmed he's like I don't shepherding aside let's just party I've got my lamb I've got my sheep and the image here is that he grabs a sheep and he puts it on his shoulders and what that means is that he's holding the sheeps legs as he he makes the journey home another passage in Scripture in the Old Testament talks about how God is our Shepherd and it talks about him picking up the lost sheep of Israel and tucking them into the folds of his cloak to carry them and I thought about my son my one-year-old he's so full of energy and he's he's he's like strong he's a goal and so he's hard to hold and if we're out and about we were in Portland just a few days ago and trying to carry him in the city and walk any distance is so hard and so we have one of those baby front packs you know it's really it looks really cool that's mainly why I wear the guys come up to me like that looks so cool man it's not true but we have this baby front pack and we will take my son and we'll put him in this pack and then we'll cinch it down really tight like he can breathe but it's pretty tight and and and when he's restricted when he's in this place of restriction where he's so close to me that he can't wiggle free and he realizes that you know what'll happen is he'll sleep and it could be an hour past his nap time normally and he will stay awake through anything but when he's restricted and pulled closed he falls asleep and I I think picture that we can find in this story that Jesus and the nature of him is a good shepherd is that he comes and he finds us wandering and lost and and left to our own devices and he comes and he brings some restriction into our lives that gives us rest he pulls some straps tight and we say oh that's that's too tight it's too tight but that's where we find our rest that's where we find freedom from anxiety that's where we find that we don't have to be watching our over our shoulder and watching our back and looking out for number one and if I don't take care of my own way and we allow Jesus to hold us in his cloak and pull this tight we find rest for our souls and if if you've ever been made to feel inadequate or disqualified because of your wandering what I reach today is that we have a shepherd who would go to the ends of the earth and back to death itself and not fledge to get sheep who wander to get sheep who have lost their way they say well my religious neighbor wrote me off some pastor told me I wasn't good listen the Shepherd says you're enough you're worth it you're worth it and he comes in full freakout mode to find us I want to close our time together today we're gonna we're gonna read the 23rd psalm together such a beautiful picture of what Jesus offers to us is there are days in green pastures as we'll read in a second there are there are plenty of times that I love those times when he leads me by still waters and restores my soul he makes me lie down in green pastures I read this week that that sheep won't lie down in the presence of things that make them nervous whether it be the potential of a threat or whether it be pests insects in their ears they won't lie down and tell the environment has been set there are times when when Jesus will come in in miraculous ways and he'll set the environment for you to have rest there's also times when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death but he's there too he comforts us there too and we find a picture all through the book of John all through the story of Jesus and all through today's text of someone who really doesn't promise great circumstances except that they'll come yeah and the officer will come to you but I will be with you always and when you get too far away I will find you always so I want to rest in this let me pray for you then we're gonna read this together Jesus would you just come to be the Good Shepherd today the kind Shepherd the loving Shepherd the just Shepherd but also the Shepherd who is is better than any other Shepherd it better than any other leader better than any other caretaker for our souls that you would come and you would be our Shepherd father for those that are in green pasture days we thank you we love it when you guide us into those places of peace and calm and rest but Lord for those that are in in the valley of the shadow of death would you pull them even closer to you that in those moments today that would find rest for their souls and father for those that maybe have wandered or are wandering if you lost today Jesus would you go in full freakout mode would you run up and down the street would you shout from the rooftops until you find the one who is missing now with your eyes closed in this moment if that's you and either you feel lost or you feel like you've wandered and today you want to be found by the Good Shepherd you want Jesus to wrap you up and pull you close and give you rest would you just raise your hand real quick just between me and you and God yeah it's all over oh Jesus would you come and bring rest confidence in your care contentment by your side and strapped to your chest that they would find rest for their souls Oh a grateful for what you do we're grateful that we aren't in this alone it's your clothes and you love us would you stand with me just in honor of this passage and we will close and dismiss the service by reading this together let's begin the Lord is my shepherd I shall not want he makes me lie down in green pastures he leads me beside still waters he restores my soul he leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for you are with me your rod and your staff they come from me you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies you anoint my head with oil my cup overflows surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever god bless you guys you're dismissed

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