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September 28, 2014 A.D. by Pastor Ben Willis

The Gospel According To John 12:1-11 [NLTse]

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5 “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

9 When all the people heard of Jesus’ arrival, they flocked to see him and also to see Lazarus, the man Jesus had raised from the dead. 10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, 11 for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them and believed in Jesus.

Sermon

[Move Collection plates from the Table to the Pulpit shelf, if needed.]

Judas complains that the perfume was worth a year’s wages. Who’s year’s wages? How much was the perfume worth?

Most literally, Judas says that the perfume was worth 300 denarii. A denarius was a day’s wage for a common laborer. So to translate such things for us today, let’s say $10/hour for 8 hours, and you get $80/day. Multiply that by 300 – because he said it was worth 300 denarii – and that gives you $24,000.00.

Can you imagine giving $24,000 to the Lord? Maybe over several years some of us have, so maybe we can. Except that when we give we’re giving toward a stained glass window or a new roof or to fund a missionary or a Pastor or to buy supplies for this or that work or to help feed, clothe, or house those in need, all that our tithes and offerings go towards. But can you imagine giving $24,000.00 and having the pastor shred it?

[Shred part of the Collection.]

That’s the context here. [Keep shredding.] That’s the source of Judas’ grumbling. [More.] “Is that what I think it is, Mary? Is that nard? You’re pouring nard on His feet? [More shredding.] Do you know what that’s worth? Do you know how many mouths you can feed with 24 grand, Jesus? [More, but not all of it.] She’s pouring it down the drain!”

Jesus knows that Judas didn’t care about the poor, so let’s not give Judas’ concern too much sympathy or credit. But think on Jesus’ response: “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for My burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.” Jesus – Who does care about the poor – He says that her wastefulness was a good thing. In the Gospel of Mark’s account, Mark adds that Jesus also said, “I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (14:9) It was a good thing. It was a great thing. It was a lavish thing. It anointed Him for burial…

Let’s put this into the context of the rest of John’s Gospel. Jesus has just brought Lazarus back from the dead. Lazarus was dead for four days, and Jesus brought him to life again. As a result, many put their trust in Jesus and became His followers, His disciples. But others who had been offended by some of Jesus’ teachings and miracles sought to kill Him instead.

So Jesus and his followers went into hiding for a few months, to a wilderness area named after Joseph’s son, Ephraim.

But Passover is beginning – one of the required feasts of the Jews, and so Jesus, despite the threats and warrants out for His arrest, is back in Bethany, a suburb on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

This was likely a “thank You” banquet given in Jesus’ honor after raising Lazarus from the dead. We know that Lazarus was at the table with Jesus. Martha is saying “thank You” in her own way by offering her gift of hospitality. And here is Mary, lavishly wasting the rarest of perfumes to anoint His feet.

For the super-wealthy they say that it’s not the gifts that cost a lot of money that are truly valued, but the gifts that are one of a kind and irreplaceable. Lazarus, Martha, and Mary may have been in that class of folks, and anointing Jesus’ feet – which would have already been washed by a slave or servant upon His arrival and needing no further care – anointing His feet with oil may have been that kind of a gift of gratitude – a precious, priceless, excessive thanks offering – from Mary to the Man Who brought her brother and provider and guardian back to her from the dead.

I think about such lavish wastefulness from this grateful woman and it makes me wonder, “How grateful am I? How thankful are we?”

Jesus may not have brought our brother or provider or guardian back from the dead. But He’s brought us back from the dead. Once we’ve trusted in Christ we are born again! New creations! Everything that we’ve ever done, dead and gone. Everything that’s ever been done to us, dead and gone. “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) And so believers in Christ are children of God and children of Light! “For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5) Yes, “I will be your Father, and you will be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.” (2 Samuel 7:14 and 2 Corinthians 6:18) And our sins have been absolutely forgiven, when we belong to Jesus. He sees us as absolutely holy and righteous when He looks at and thinks of us. For, “You were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:11) And it is all God’s work from start to finish. Yes, “God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.” (Ephesians 2:8)

This is what faith and trust in Christ has done in our lives: Everything’s new! In addition I know He’s brought some of us through cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. He’s brought different ones of us through hard times with our parents or our kids, through challenging trials with our husbands or our wives. He’s carried us through job losses and the deaths of loved ones and our own addictions and the addictions of those close to us… And so much more!

Has it been adequate to leave it all at, “Thank You, Lord”? Has that been enough?

Maybe you never thought about it before. Think about it now. Is that a good enough “thank you” for all the Lord has done for us in this life? Is it a good enough “thank you” for all the Lord has done for us and promised us in the life to come? No. I don’t think so. We ought to be more lavish. Truth be told, we need to be excessive! [Shred some more of the offering.]

Here are some lavish ways we can thank God day by day by day:

1) We can repent of our sins and put our trust in Jesus Christ. As Doug and Sue Ann Jacobs and Neil and Heidi Frazer and I were reminded again and again across the presbytery meeting we attended together, the Lord Jesus’ Great Commission to us has not been to “Go and make disciples… baptizing them… and teaching [them] all Jesus’ commands,” but to “Go and make disciples… baptizing them… and teaching [them] to obey all Jesus’ commands.” (See Matthew 28:19-20) The Bible tells us that the message of the gospel is “repent and believe”, not just “believe”. And Jesus tells His disciples that it is “Those who accept My commandments and obey them are the ones who love Me.” (John 14:21)

So if you’re doing something or involved in anything that God has said hurts Him or hurts others or hurts yourself – anything the Bible calls sin, thank Him lavishly for His great salvation and repent! Leave such dark and death-bringing behaviors behind you and exercise the grace God has shown us in Christ.

2) Spend time reading the Bible every day and praying. Reading the Bible is God talking to you. Praying is you talking to God. If you are truly grateful, show it by spending time with Him!

Worship is a part of that, too. That’s 3) Don’t miss Worship. Protestantism knows Worship to be the gift and blessing from God that the Bible says it is. And yet that has led many in our day to then see Worship as optional. Now, maybe I’m preaching to the choir, so to speak, because we’re all here together in Worship, but I know that many modern Christians make it to Worship when they can, as long as they don’t have something more important. But what could be more important than worshiping God? Did we make ourselves, or did something “more important” make us? Have we created our own food, or did something “more important” make our food for us? That we are have the parents we do helping make us who we are, or if we’ve been able to have kids, or are able to walk and talk when so many others cannot, did we do these things for ourselves, or did something “more important” do these things for us? No. God alone did all these wonders and more! Wherever you are, thank Him by never missing Worship, and spend time talking to Him and hearing from Him in the Word and prayer every day.

4) Tithe. It may not be $24,000.00. (Of course, if God’s been generous to you it may be much, much more!) The tithe is a practice God instituted in the Old Testament and that continued in the New, so that His people could openly declare their recognition that everything they were and everything they had came from God and would be used for His purposes. The first 10% of their income – whether that was grain or wine or goat milk or meat-from-their-slaughtered-animals or money given for rents or purchases or other payments – the first 10% of their income – not the last 10% (if there was enough left over) or even some 10% given after the big bills had been paid – no, 10% off the top of their income was to be given to the Sanctuary, whether the Tabernacle or the Temple or the synagogue or the apostles or the church as evidence that they recognized it all comes from Him, and as a commitment that they would spend the remaining 90% as He would have them spend it, as well. Let’s us thank Him that way, as well.

5) Of course, we can thank God Who has given and given and given so lavishly to us by serving and sharing with those in need around us. That may be buying food and dropping it off to neighbors in need or into the Food Pantry barrel outside of Fellowship Hall; that may be offering rides to those who can’t drive themselves to the store or to the doctors or to Bible studies or to Worship; that may be offering to babysit for a young couple who can’t afford it; it can include serving God and our community through ministries here: There are so many needs around the church just waiting for you to offer yourselves, whatever your gifts, abilities, availability, and callings!

6) Raise your hands when you praise Him at home or in Worship. Or you can get down on your knees. (Don’t do this alone if you need someone’s help to get you back up. J) Have you ever laid down flat on your face in honor of our Father’s greatness? This isn’t a Traditional-thing or a Contemporary-thing. These are thanksgiving things! Do it at home if you don’t want to do it here. But thank the Lord by praising Him with your whole body! And one more, (though there are many, many, many)

7) Don’t keep your stories of God’s goodness to yourself. Make your love and thanks more public by telling everyone about Him at church, and to your neighbors and friends at school, and with your co-workers… See it as introducing Jesus around to those you know, the same way you would introduce your earthly parents or earthly family members or friends. If you are living out your gratitude to God lavishly and excessively people around you will notice. Telling them about the Lord just makes clear to them why you do what you do.

Teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, and author H. A. Ironside is said to have had this experience in a crowded restaurant. There were few tables open and just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, “Do you have a headache?” Ironside replied, “No, I don’t.” The other man asked, “Well, is there something wrong with your food?” Ironside replied, “No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat.”

The man said, “Oh, you’re one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!” Ironside said, “Yes, you’re just like my dog. That’s what he does, too!”



September 21st, 2014 A.D. by Pastor Ben Willis

ELDER: According to John 11:1-6 [NLTse]

A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. 2 This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. 3 So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.”

4 But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” 5 So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, 6 he stayed where he was for the next two days.

Sermon, Part 1

How would you feel if your best friend didn’t come when you needed him or her most? I can imagine that’s how Lazarus, Martha, and Mary must have felt when Jesus delayed after they sent word to Him.

Notice the details that set up the dynamics of the passage: That is, verse 6 says that Jesus delayed two days before leaving for Mary and Martha’s home in Bethany; and verse 17 – that we’ll get to in a moment – makes clear that by the time Jesus arrived that Lazarus had already been dead for four days. So, even if Jesus had left immediately Lazarus would have been dead by the time He got there. Now, Jesus did delay. But even if He hadn’t there was no way Jesus could have prevented Lazarus from dying.

So what Martha and Mary and the mourners are upset with Him about is not that His delay kept Him from saving Lazarus, but the fact that He delayed! “Why didn’t You come right away, Lord? Don’t you love me? Don’t You love us? If you truly loved us and Lazarus, Lord, wouldn’t you have come right away?”

But let’s hear Martha and Mary’s actual questions, and from them themselves. Our reading continues from verses 17-32…

ELDER: 17 When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. 18 Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, 19 and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. 20 When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house 21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 “Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”

25 Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. 26 Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” 28 Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” 29 So Mary immediately went to him.

30 Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. 31 When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. 32 When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

Sermon, Part 2

Let’s begin with Martha’s confession of faith in verse 27: “Yes, Lord,” she told Him, “I have always believed You are the Messiah, the Son of God, the One Who has come into the world from God.” Martha knows Who Jesus is. So her questions for Jesus are not just for Jesus, are they? Since there’s no way He could have made it to Bethany in time to save Lazarus Martha’s questions are clearly for God, too. “God, if Jesus had been able to be here in time, my brother would not have died. He did delay, Father. Yet even if He’d left right away He wouldn’t have been able to make it. Why? Why did Jesus have to be so far away? Why did Lazarus have to die so quickly? Don’t You love me, Lord? Don’t You love us, Lord? Why?”

Sound familiar? Has God ever been too late, as far as you’re concerned? You or your loved one has already received the bad news, or the situation’s already dead and in the grave? Or maybe it seems that our Father’s dragging His feet right now with something you or a loved one is waiting for?

Why the delay, Lord? Why are you making us wait?

Sometimes God makes us wait to increase our faith. Turn with me to Matthew 8:26-27…

A heavy storm has come up as the disciples’ are crossing the Sea of Galilee. Their boat is being swamped and they are sure they are done for, but Jesus is asleep in the back. The cry out, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” And He replies, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” And then He gets up and rebukes the winds and the waves. And it is completely calm…

The disciples were amazed and they asked each other, “Who is this man? Even the winds and waves obey Him!”

This happened immediately after they’ve seen Jesus heal leprosy, heal Peter’s mother-in-law, cast out demons, and now quiet a violent storm! Let’s face it, big, razzle-dazzle miracles don’t build our faith. No, it tends to be that time in-between – when we’ve sent word to Jesus but He hasn’t arrived yet – when our faith grows.

A couple chapters later in Matthew 14 we see this played out. The disciples are in a boat again. And there’s another storm. But this time Jesus is not with them, but is walking towards them over top of the storm-swells and crashing waves!

At Jesus’ invitation, Peter has climbed over the side and walked a bit on the waves himself! But he’s only been able to do so by keeping his focus on Jesus, and suddenly he loses his focus. Perhaps it was a big wave or some other reason. But now Peter’s gone under and trying to catch a breath and keep afloat in the midst of the crashing sea. And he cries out, “Save me, Lord!” And, of course, Jesus does, and gets Peter back into the boat. And once Jesus has gotten into the boat Himself, Matthew tells us that all of the disciples worshiped Him, saying, “You are the Son of God!”

Notice the difference! No longer are they asking, “Who is this man?” No. As they’ve watched Him and lived with Him and waited and waited and waited for Him, their faith has grown. Now they know, “You are the Son of God!”

The blind see; the dead are brought to life again; what couldn’t or shouldn’t be able to happen happens! Sometimes God delays and makes us wait in order to increase our faith… He also will sometimes delay and make us wait in order to develop our relationship with Him.

Across the revelation of the Bible, but especially in the Gospels and the New Testament, God is described as a heavenly father, not a vending machine into which we put a prayer and our answer or whatever we wanted comes out. And like every good parent, He doesn’t give His children everything we want when we want it.

It’s helped my relationship with God to refer to Him as Father rather than Lord because the title “Lord” nurtures in me the sense that He is in control (which, of course, He is) and, can and should do anything I ask. But calling Him “Father” reminds me that although He can do anything I ask, that He also knows best what I and His other children need…

So, God sometimes uses our times of waiting to grow our relationship with Him. He also sometimes makes us wait to give us more stories to tell.

The story of Daniel’s three friends in the fiery furnace probably wouldn’t have made it into the Scriptures if Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego simply overpowered the guards and high-jacked a chariot. And somehow, “Daniel and the Long, Drawn-Out Court Battle” or “Daniel In the City Jail” just doesn’t have the same impact as “Daniel in the Lions’ Den”!

I don’t know about you but I’m not impressed with the TV evangelists and their guests who talk about their health and wealth: “God loves you and has a wonderful Porsche for your life.” I’m impressed with testimonies of believers going through absolute defeat and yet coming out with victory! (Maybe not with health and wealth, but coming out with the assurance of Jesus’ presence every step of the way. To me, that’s a testimony of resurrection power!)

Sometimes God ignores our human deadlines to give us opportunities to experience Him in ways we never would otherwise, and so that we can have stories of His faithfulness to share with others in their times of waiting, as well…

Psalm 27 ends singing, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” And Psalm 37:7 calls us to, “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.” James 5:7-8 say, “Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage, for the coming of the Lord is near.” Micah 7:7 says, “As for me, I look to the Lord for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.” And Lamentations 3:25-26, which says, “The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”

Let your waiting increase your faith. Let your waiting grow your relationship with our Father. Let your waiting provide opportunities to experience the Lord in unique ways that you can in turn share with others. Wait, and don’t give up waiting, upon the LORD…



September 14, 2014 A.D., by Pastor Ben Willis

According to John 10:1-16 [NLTse]

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

6 Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me[a] were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved.[b] They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a 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. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

Sermon

Amy and I will have been married 24 years this October. Like all good friends and married couples, we’ve grown close and gotten to know each other by spending time together, sharing our lives together, and finding out about one another, like what hurts the other and what each other likes, and committing to do the likes and trying to avoid that which hurts. We try to do what each other asks us to do, responding to one another’s calls for help and calls telling us we love each other, calls sharing fears and upsets… We’ve grown close by sharing our strengths and our weaknesses with one another, and by partnering in each others’ callings and causes.

The same is true with us and God.

The Lord Jesus says, “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me… So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.” The word to know in Greek is ginosko. Ginosko is a verb that speaks of the action – the activity – of observing or listening to or touching, smelling, tasting: It describes the actions involved in knowing someone or something. So the knowledge Jesus seems to be enjoying with His followers – His sheep – seems to be the active action of getting to know and continuing to get to grow closer and becoming more and more intimate. Hear in this “knowing” the idea of ongoing relationship while seeking to deepen that relationship. It’s not a growing in the possession of intellectual facts. I know Amy’s birthday and her favorite color and who her parents are and all manner of other details about her. But that is only knowing about Amy. No. Ginosko is the word that gets used to speak of being sexual with one’s wife or one’s husband. It is that type of knowledge Jesus is speaking of: Intimate, personal, and relational. Ginosko includes the motivation behind the activities of getting to know – the desire for relationship that lead us to observing, listening to, touching, smelling, tasting –all focused upon growing closer, growing to be better friends, more intimate, increasingly one…

Sir G. A. Smith in his Historical Geography of Palestine gives this illustration of shepherding-life in Israel: “Sometimes we enjoyed our noonday rest beside one of these Judean wells, to which three or four shepherds come down with their flocks. The flocks mixed with each other, and we wondered how each shepherd would get his own again. But after the watering and playing were over, the shepherds one by one went up different sides of the valley, and each called out his peculiar call, and the sheep of each drew out of the crowd to their own shepherd, and the flocks passed away as orderly as they came.”

There’s another story of a Scottish traveler who changed clothes with a Jerusalem shepherd and tried to lead the sheep; but the sheep didn’t follow him. They didn’t follow the shepherd’s clothes, they followed their shepherd’s voice.

With the repeated mention and focus that Jesus makes of the sheep knowing their shepherd’s voice, His point is that people come to God and come to know God because He calls them, and because they respond and follow. People grow close to God when we respond to His call; getting to know Him as we find out what He likes and acting on it. Making ourselves available so that when He needs us we’re ready. It’s a covenant life God calls us to, like that of husband and wife.

And like that first husband and wife – Adam and Eve – God has work for us. Our Father is not passive here in the world. He’s on the move winning a people back to Himself. I love the way Mark portrays Jesus in his Gospel. It’s always, “And immediately Jesus did this,” “and immediately Jesus did that.” Jesus is on the move. There’s no time to waste. He’s advancing God’s Kingdom. He’s taking enemy territory one disciple at a time. And our good shepherd is calling us to follow and join with Him in it! To be about advancing the Kingdom of Heaven until all the world knows.

Many people want to know God, but don’t want to exercise the work and the obedience of getting to know Him. We will never get to know God living in a one-sided relationship with Him. We can’t always be looking for God to care for us, provide for us, always looking to Him to make things work together for our good, without offering ourselves to Him for His work, for His desires, for His heart. No. Covenants go both ways.

Jesus is calling us to join Him in God’s work. He’s called us out of our old sheep pens of pride and anger and lust. He’s called and calling us out of excess and envy. Out of greed and lazy living and all our related busy-ness. And as we make ourselves available, and as we do as He calls, and as we follow where He leads, we experience His care for us. We experience His provision. We see our needs met. We see guidance given. We see enemies dealt with. We see ourselves growing in grace. We see ourselves growing in intimate knowledge and relationship with Him as we trust and follow and obey. We see ourselves getting to truly know Him (in the full, biblical sense of the word). We see ourselves as we were made to be. We see ourselves doing what we were made to do. And it’s a full and satisfying life! Not the sheep being used by and providing for the shepherd, but the good shepherd laying His life down for the sheep. And our living in trust and security, our lives to His hands, as we join Him in spreading such good news…

Are you growing to know Jesus better and better? Are you following Him – making yourself available to Him and responding when He calls? They are the same question.

Jesus’ sheep hear His voice and they follow Him, and as they do so they know Him and continue seeking to get to know Him better and better. And in that way, with that focus, and through that relationship, there will be one flock, and there will be one shepherd, and there will be one table…