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Imitate Him by laying down our lives

By Dale Stonecipher in Redeemer Church 9 months ago | 691 views Link: https://goo.gl/6X3Rkk

Dear brothers and sisters in the Lord,

John 10 is the wonderful chapter in which Jesus calls Himself the Good Shepherd and also the door for the sheep.  He assures us that the only way into God’s fold is through Him and that He is the perfect Shepherd Who gives His life for His sheep.  He knows His sheep and cares for His sheep.  He also willingly lays down His life for His sheep.

In perfect obedience to His Father, He lays down His life that He might take it again.  The laying down of His life was in subjection to the Father’s plan.  Peter tells us in Acts 2 that Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God.  The Father chose to crush His son to accomplish our salvation.  But Jesus was the willing participant.  His goal was to glorify His Father by doing His Father’s will.  He laid aside His own wish to avoid going to the cross and becoming sin in order to be in subjection to the Father.

He said that no one took His life from Him, but He laid it down of Himself.  He had the power to lay it down and had the power to take it up again, proving that He was God in the flesh.  Only God has the power to take up life from the dead. But first He had to lay it down.

As we look at Jesus’ words, our hearts are filled with gratitude that we are sheep instead of goats.  As sheep, we are grateful that He is our shepherd.  We are grateful that He is a “good” shepherd.  We rejoice in the ways He cares for us, leads us, provides for us, keeps us and intercedes for us when we wander.

The laying down of His life brought us life.  But the laying down of His life is also an example for us, isn’t it?  More than once we are commanded to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him.  How easy it is to demand our own way and live out our agenda rather than subjecting it to Him.  How often we want to protect our lives rather than laying them down.

Paul reminds us that whether we eat or drink or whatever we do, we are to do all to the glory of God.  He goes on to say that he does not seek his own advantage but that of many.  Then he commands us to imitate him as he imitates Christ. 

May we thank our Good Shepherd for laying down His life for us.  May we count His agenda better than our own.  May we not seek our own advantage but that of many.  May we imitate Him by laying down our lives.

Dale

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Mary Leadbetter

Thank you Lord.

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Redeemer Church

We exist to equip God’s people to delight in His glory and declare that glory to our neighbors and the nations.

For more information, please visit our main site at www.RedeemerFortWorth.org.

Meeting location: 126 N. Judd St.
Fort Worth, TX 76133

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