Monday Morning Reflections Pastor CJ Johnson
Series: Also Known As
Message: The Good Shepherd
Hey church, happy Monday! Wasn’t yesterday was such a great day to be at Southland?!
We are starting a Monday Morning Reflections that will be posted each week on Monday mornings. This will give us as a church a chance to reengage with the Word given to us Sunday, and help us apply it throughout the week. You can also go back and listen to the podcast, which we encourage you to do as well!
This week in the series, Also Known As, we are taking a look at the various nicknames of Jesus. By doing so, we gain a broader and more accurate picture of who Jesus really is and who he wants to be to each and every one of us.
Pastor CJ gave an incredible word about Jesus being the Good Shepherd. Taking a look at John 10:1-21 we learn of four characteristics that make Jesus the Good Shepherd.
1. His Proper Approach
The way you approach a relationship will often determine the outcome or trajectory of that relationship. Jesus doesn’t force his way into our lives. He doesn’t force his values, his perspective, and his presence on us if we don’t want him to. He’s a gentleman. He allows us to choose how much of him we want and then he proceeds to give us as much of him as we want or don’t want (for better or for worse). Jesus isn’t a ninja dressed in black trying to break into your house. He simply stands at the door and knocks, and from there it’s up to you and I to allow Him into our lives.
2. His personal Touch
We all crave a personal touch. Like a child with his or her parents, or a dating couple, or a married couple; at any stage in life we all crave a personal touch. We want to know and be known in a personal way no matter our age, ethnicity, background, etc. Jesus is the ultimate example of providing a personal touch. Scripture says that as the good shepherd, he takes the time and effort to know his sheep. Historically, shepherds have never been known to care for their sheep. At most, giving them a number or stamping a brand on them. Jesus goes above and beyond to prove how much he knows and cares by taking the time to name his sheep, going so far as to count the hairs on our heads (Matt 10:30)
3. His Distinct Voice
I’m not sure what it was like to live in biblical times, but I know what its like to live in today’s society. There are so many things pulling us this way and that way. So many voices telling me what to buy, how to live, what to believe, who to be, what to dress like, what to eat, and the list could go on and on. What’s on your list?
There are so many voices influencing our lives for better or worse. Jesus’ voice however is trustworthy and beneficial to listen to. His voice can be so hard to know sometimes that it can get frustrating at times. So how can we know and hear his soft voice? We can know by reading scripture. Jesus is the Word (John 1) so we can be confident that more we dig into scripture the more clearly we will know and hear His voice. The awesome thing is that when we know his voice, we can navigate our lives. His distinct voice will bring us a distinct clarity.
4. His Precise Agenda
Read: Ezekiel 34:12, 15-16
The Good Shepherd’s agenda is my favorite, and I believe the most profound aspect of the Good Shepherd. Look at how good Jesus really is!? He searches out lost sheep, delivers the captive sheep, gathers the dispersed sheep, feeds the hungry sheep, rests the weary sheep, binds up the hurt sheep, and strengthens the week sheep. Wow! If that doesn’t encourage you I don’t know what will. What a promise from God that we can take to the bank. No matter where you are, what you’ve done, how bad you’ve been hurt or hurt others, there’s hope for each and every one of us!
As the Church, we have a part to play as well. If Jesus’ agenda is to search for the lost, rescue, gather, feed, heal, strengthen, etc, etc. then it is our role as his sheep to move in that direction as well and participate in this great agenda!
Considering the characteristics of the Good Shepherd, there’s no question that He really is good! The question then isn’t so much is He really the Good Shepherd, but rather are we living as good sheep?
So, as His church, let’s look for ways in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and our community where we can spread the love of a good God and participate in His good work.
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