THE GOOD SHEPHERD JOHN 10:1-18
In John 10, Jesus describes himself as the Door through which the Sheep go through. He also defines Himself as the true Shepherd, who genuinely comes through the door, unlike the false one, who seeks entrance through the window.
A “thief” and a “robber” knows he will never be allowed into a person’s home to carry an evil intentions. The false Shepherd knows if he makes his intentions known he will be rejected. The false Shepherd comes into the Sheepfold with only one intention, and that is to rob and deceive you (John 10:10).
Meat, Flax and Wool
There are two sorts of people who work on a Sheep farm. There are those who nurture, lead, guide and feed the Sheep, in other words (they take care of the Sheep). There are also those who only keep Sheep for what they can extract from the Sheep: the Meat, Flax and Wool, in other words (they keep the Sheep for the sole purpose of material gain). This is a picture of the two kinds of Shepherds you will find in the Body of Christ today.
The Emblems of a True Shepherd
The True Shepherd will go after his sheep when they are lost. The True Shepherd often goes into places he would not ordinarily go into, to find lost Sheep. The True Shepherd prevails in extraordinarily prayers for his Sheep, who very often get into very complex and difficult situations. The True Shepherd cares for the Sheep and is concerned about the worries and cares of the Sheep. A real Shepherd will fight off foxes and wolves which try to break through the fence to kill and eat the Sheep. This is the same way the True Shepherd behaves. He is fiercely protective over the flock God has given him. He will not allow them to be exploited. The True Shepherd guides his Sheep, leading them in the paths of righteousness. The True Shepherd is ultimately concerned about the condition of the souls of his Sheep. The True Shepherd feeds his Sheep and loves them, as Christ has commanded him to love them. (John 21:17).
©️ Ruth Dickson
TREASURES IN HEAVEN: Matthew 6:19-20
You could spend your entire life building up treasures here on Earth? This is what the world does, it really seems the right way to go, especially if the lives of those who heap up treasures on earth seem better than yours.
The World’s System:
God is calling our attention to this matter in Matthew 6:19-20. He says clearly, "Do not lay up for yourself Treasures on earth... think about these words. These words are a stumbling block to what is the norm, growing up in modern society. It stands in opposition to the world's systems, strategies and concepts of what life should be.
Where are Your Affections?
Your heart will be where your valuables are. If your treasures are here on earth, your heart will be set on earthy treasures. If your treasures are invested in God’s Kingdom, you will be looking forward to Heaven. Those things which have eternal value area what should interest the person who believes in Christ.
Are you surrounded by people laying up treasures on Earth or Heaven? Are you being taught to lay up treasures on Earth or Heaven?
©️ Ruth Dickson
SAFETY FOR THE DOWN-TRODDEN: Psalm 12
Where evil is celebrated, the wicked will keep on doing what they are doing, with impunity. David experienced this and much more when he wrote Psalm 12. While Saul reigned, there was a breakdown of morality in the society. The problem flowed from the kings palace to the people. The lack of reverence for God resulted in hearts with no grace, and attitudes, with no mercy for others.
David was betrayed by companions he believed were friends. You can sense his pain through his words. David said, “Help, Lord, for the godly man ceases, the faithful disappear from among the children of men. They speak idly everyone with his neighbour, with flattering lips and a double heart they speak” (Psalm 12:1). David comforted himself with his knowledge of God.
There is nothing new under the sun. In every, era ungodly and unfaithful people will exist. The spirit that pitched Cain against Abel has come through the ages. Betrayal is devastating when it comes from those you trust the most (Matthew 10:36). In a world of deception, disorder and disloyalty, the children of God will find hope where David found hope.
Despite his sorrows, David put His trust in “the words of the Lord.” (v.6). In every crooked and perverse generation, Christ is the bright light that shines in the darkness. Every Believer can take solace in the purity of what is tried and tested: God’s Word. There is safety and security in trusting God. He is the Rock where the vulnerable and needy find a place of safety. There is a strong hand, which fights, on behalf of the weak. There is a hiding place, a strong tower and refuge, from the hands of the enemy. There is an eternal home, reserved, for those who put their trust in God.
©️ Ruth Dickson
THE SPIRITUAL HARVEST: John 4:35-38
“Look at the fields, they are already white for the Harvest.
Do you have a burden for lost souls? Are you preoccupied to the point where it hinders you from sharing the gospel. Jesus cautioned the disciples with these words:
“Do you not say, “There are still four months and then comes the harvest.” There were still four months for the seeds to be harvested. Jesus said these words to remind the disciples that though the natural harvest, at that time, would not be ready until four months time, the “spiritual” Harvest was ripe and ready! The Lord used the illustration of a physical harvest to enlighten the minds of the disciples to the spiritual harvest; souls ready to come into God’s Kingdom.
Indeed, the Harvest is truly ripe, the spiritual harvest of the souls of men and women.
©️ Ruth Dickson
HE SETS THE SOLITARY IN FAMILIES: Psalm 68:6
The children of Israel were a displaced people, while they were held in captivity while in Egypt. They were forced into labour by the Egyptians and the very fabric of what brought them together as a community was torn apart. Families were split up and it was a cold existence, with no justice.
Whenever the Israelites rebelled against God, it would result in them getting into adverse situations. As a child of God, when you rebel against God’s ways and try to do things your own way, it can result in you getting into very unfavourable situations and circumstances. These places can be described as -dry lands- places of rebellion, places of disobedience, where you no longer live by God’s grace, but by the work of your own hands.
Wouldn’t you rather live by grace than strive against God’s ordained plan and purpose for your life? Yet, in God’s mercy and grace, when we cry out to Him, He brings us out of these troublesome situations...
©️ Ruth Dickson
JUSTIFIED BY FAITH IN CHRIS: Galatians 5:1
Christ paid such a huge price to disentangle those who believe in Him, from yokes of bondage.
Paul asks those who have come to Faith in Christ, to be on the look out for those doctrines and teachings that cause them to remove their hope in Jesus Christ; giving them a misplaced hope (this is hope placed in the wrong place). Christ justifies all who believe in Him. His righteousness being imputed to all who believe.
“Stand therefore,” be firmly rooted, be faithful to the Gospel Jesus Christ proclaimed. The gospel is free and does not depend on the laws, ideas, concepts or the ideologies of man. Faith in Christ gives His followers the liberty to walk as free people, led by His Spirit.
God’s divine grace enables all who believe in Him to come boldly before His throne of grace. With grace and mercy, you can live everyday, in obedience to God’s will...
©️ Ruth Dickson
“God’s Love is unconditional. His plans and purposes for your life are not dependent on your circumstances or abilities.” - Ruth Dickson.
At a time when all seemed lost, God enabled me, a broken woman, to produce reading books for children who had none.
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WHAT IS EASTER?
Have you ever heard a child say, ” What is Easter?” This is a question that you may never hear outside of Church circles. This is because the commercial companies have taken over the true meaning of Easter, or should we say, Resurrection Sunday, and transformed it into an annual money making machine.
Chocolates, Easter Eggs, Bunny Rabbits and a host of other Items are what represent Easter for some. Many Churches have Easter Egg hunts, the presentation of flowers and other activities for fun during the Easter period. Thankfully most Churches never leave out the true message of the eternal sacrifice of the Son of God, and what it really means to them. It is a terrible shame where this is not the case…Christ’s death and resurrection is the most important event on the Christian calendar.
Today, every one who believes in Christ, has hope because of Christ’s shed blood on the Cross. Their hope and expectation goes beyond a wooden cross or any outward symbols which commemorate Christ’s death.
God has given us an eternal gift in His Son Jesus Christ. A gift is something that is given freely. It no longer becomes a gift if you have to earn or pay for it.
Everyone stands condemned before God without the shed blood of Christ. It is a just condemnation, because of Adam’s sin. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Therefore, no one can approach God with their own merits, good works, good behavior or any form of self- righteousness. The pardon for sin cannot be earned.
It is through the cleansing power of the blood that a person stands justified before God. Christ’s blood is redemptive in that it redeems that which was condemned for death. There is pardon for sin in the blood of Jesus.
Those who have come to the saving knowledge of Christ have been saved by grace. The story of Christ’s death and resurrection is simple, but the work Christ did on the Cross is immensely great.
Salvation is a free gift and it is a gift to be celebrated every day and not just on Resurrection Sunday. Christ’s death means more than a once a year celebration.
As we approach Resurrection Sunday, let us think deeply about the true meaning of what Christ has done. He is the Saviour of the soul, He has cleansed the sin of His people.
“By His sacrifice on the Cross He has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified and those whom the father has given Him.” (Hebrews 10: 10-14).
He became a curse for us.
“But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5).
Share Christ’s story with the young people around you. Tell them about this wonderful gift God has given in His Son (1John 5:11). Let them know that whoever believes in Jesus Christ, will not perish, but have eternal life.
© Ruth DicksonUK
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