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Jesus Is... - The Good Shepherd, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 21, 2024 6:00 am

Jesus Is... - The Good Shepherd, Part 2

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 21, 2024 6:00 am

We all know the verse “The Lord is my shepherd” from Psalm 23. And those words probably conjure up an image of a mild-mannered Jesus gently holding a little lamb. But is that it? Are those ideas accurate to who Jesus really is? In this program, Chip will clarify this name for us as he picks up his study in the Gospel of John. Discover the ways Jesus cares for, protects, and guides us as our Good Shepherd.

Main Points

Every sheep needs a shepherd

  • Jesus is the good Shepherd. - John 10:1-6
  • The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. - John 10:11-21
  • The good Shepherd reveals His identity as Savior and God. - John 10:28-42

Jesus wants to be your good Shepherd

  1. To meet your deepest needs. - Psalm 23:1
  2. To restore your soul. - Psalm 23:2-3a
  3. To guide and direct your life. - Psalm 23:3b
  4. To protect you from evil. - Psalm 23:4
  5. To fill your life with Joy. - Psalm 23:5-6a
  6. To give you eternal life. - Psalm 23:6b 
Broadcast Resource Additional Resource Mentions About Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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We're all familiar with that phrase, the Lord is my shepherd. And that phrase kind of conjures up an image of a mild mannered Jesus holding a little lamb.

But it misses the point. Do you understand what it means that the Lord is your shepherd? That he wants to restore your soul? He's pursuing you each and every day to give you his goodness and give you his peace.

If you'd like to experience the Lord as your shepherd, stick around. Here's to a familiar passage from the book of Psalms that he alluded to a minute ago. But before he does that, let me encourage you to use Chip's message notes while you listen. They include his brief outline, all the supporting scripture he references, and more.

Download them under the Broadcasts tab at LivingOnTheEdge.org, app listeners tap Fill In Notes. Okay, here now is Chip with the second half of his message. We pick it up in chapter 10. Verily I say to you, Pharisees, anyone who doesn't enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs up by some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he's brought them out to his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger. In fact, they will run away from him because they don't recognize the stranger's voice.

Now get this. Jesus used this figure of speech or this parable, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. And so he's going to explain verses 7 through 10. Therefore, Jesus said to them, verily, verily, I tell you, I am the gate or the door for the sheep.

And then he goes on and talks about the thief comes to kill and to destroy and to rob, but I've come that they might have life and have it to the full. And so he says, I'm a good shepherd. I want to help you. I want to deliver you.

I want you to have someone that you can call on any time. Now notice he's the good shepherd, and the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. And so in your notes, I made three observations out of this passage. The first is he offers his life for us. Jesus would later say in Mark chapter 10, for the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give his life for a ransom of many. Jesus would remind you that he had to be perfectly God and perfect humanity and that he would voluntarily go to the cross and lay down his life and die in your place. The word is atoned to cover your sin. Of all the things I think that may take a lifetime to grasp and understand is just how much God loves us.

I think we get that intellectually, but I think in terms of your soul. I think in terms of actually believing God is for you rather than my neighbor would describe God as God's arms are crossed, his fingers pointing, he's mad at me. I could view God as harsh, judgmental, I never measure up, he's angry with me.

How do I actually see God? What is he like? Is he for me? Is he kind? Is he compassionate? Does he see where I mess up and where I struggle and where I get so frustrated? Is he patient? Is he fair? Is he dependable? Is he holy?

Is he really just? And then notice the Good Shepherd reveals his identity not only as Savior, but as God. The Jews who heard these things were divided.

So it's just like today, right? People hear this story of Jesus and his amazing love, and yet some people think he's a teacher, a liar, a philosopher, and others would believe he's the Savior of the world. And the Jews who were gathered around him were saying, how long are you going to keep us in suspense if you are the Messiah?

Tell us plainly. And notice Jesus' response. He said, I did tell you. But you don't believe me because you're not My sheep. My sheep listen to My voice.

I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and that you'll never perish, and no one can snatch them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than I, and no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand. And then in verse 30, I and the Father are one. He doesn't say we're one person. He's saying we're one essence. He's saying that if you've seen me, you've seen the Father. And then skip down to verse 39.

Again, they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp. And then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days, and there he stayed. Now notice, and many people came to him and they said, though John never performed a sign or a miracle, all that John said about this man was true, and in that place many believed in Jesus. And so you have two very vivid responses.

And what I'd like to do with the rest of our time is ask you a question, and then I want to walk through something really, really practically. Do you believe, have you put your faith in Christ? And if you have put your faith in Christ, do you see Him as your shepherd helping you moment by moment, day by day, where you have this ongoing relationship where when you have a struggle, when you have a problem, rather than making a phone call, you actually have developed the means and the way to connect with Him so He can guide and direct you?

That's a really, really important question. And so let me tell you, when Jesus said this, the Jews were very familiar with the Old Testament, obviously, memorized major portions. I would like to say Jesus wants to be your good shepherd, and out of Psalm 23, which they would have all known on the back of their hand, let me share with you what that would mean. Number one, it means Jesus wants to meet your deepest needs. The Lord is my shepherd.

I shall not want or be in need. Your needs for significance and security and purpose and acceptance, we all have them, right? And so the world around us says your work and what other people think and success and fame and sex and power, we spend so much energy trying to what?

Find significance and security and purpose and peace. And Jesus says, let me be your shepherd. Second, Jesus wants to restore your soul. It says He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul. We get our word psychology, the little word soul is their psyche. It's the deepest part of you. He says to you and to me, He'll make you, He'll actually at times allow consequences and difficulties and struggles when you're complaining against God.

Why did you allow this to happen? He actually will allow certain things at certain times that you think are the worst in the world to get your attention, to make you lie down, to get you to stop long enough. To actually think about what are you doing with your life? Where are you trying to find life?

In whom or what are you trying to find life? And He'll pause and He'll make you lie down and He'll take you to a place where you can hear His voice. And sometimes the way He does that is hard, but He wants to lead you to some quiet waters, to give you peace instead of anxiety and fear and insecurity and uncertainty. We're human, we're going to have those things, but Jesus says, let me guide and be your shepherd. You're being discipled every day, you understand that, right? Every book that I read, every magazine article that I read, every TikTok, every Instagram, every Facebook, every Netflix, it fills my mind and it's discipling me because a disciple is nothing more than a learner.

So learners take in information, learners have relationships, and information plus relationships equals who you become. So you just have to ask, is Jesus discipling you or is social media discipling you? Are your friends discipling you?

Is the culture discipling you? Because Jesus promises that when I disciple you, peace and joy is a result. And when the culture discipled you, anxiety, fear, suicidal thoughts, I don't measure up, I'm not pretty enough, and it's never going to work out, there's no future for me, that's the result. Jesus says, as your shepherd, I want to guide and direct your life. He says, he guides me in paths of righteousness, and notice for his namesake. He wants our lives to be one that as people get to know us, it would honor him, it would reflect him. He wants to help you make the right decision.

He wants you to help to get connected with the right person, and whether that's a roommate or whether that's the right boss or the right friends or perhaps the right mate. He wants to help you to get on the right path, and his paths lead to life. And then notice he wants to protect you from evil. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, he says, I will fear no evil. He says, why? Because you're with me.

You're with me. Some of you are parents, some of us have been parents and now grandparents for a long time, and when little kids are afraid in the middle of the night, what do they do? They climb in bed with you is what they do. And what's amazing is within usually about 60 seconds, they're asleep and then you're not for the next few hours.

But there's just something about snuggling up to someone who's powerful and strong and who promises and you know loves you and will take care of you. Jesus said, would you let me shepherd you like that? You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and we'll continue our series Jesus Is in just a second. But let me ask you, do you feel bombarded by negative, depressing, or even sinful thoughts? If you want some help to overcome them, join us after the teaching as Chip talks about the importance of renewing our minds with God's word and highlights a resource that can help you take every thought captive. So stick around to learn more. But with that, here again is Chip.

Could we build a relationship and get out of this performance stuff? Would you just let me guide and shepherd you? And sometimes he takes this thing out and whacks your enemies. And sometimes when you start drifting a little bit, he'll just give you a little tap on the rear end, and for some of us that are hard-headed, maybe a little tap a little bit higher, you know?

And sometimes he will just intervene in dramatic ways to protect you from evil because he cares for you so much. It says, you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. It's a picture of a banquet. Really, it's a picture of a feast. David is now taking this picture and he goes, even in the midst of conflict and challenges and pain and difficulty in the presence of my enemies, there's going to be moments of feasting, of joy. And he goes, you've anointed my head with oil. Like if you would go to a big party, you would get all cleaned up. Like in our vernacular, you take a shower, you put on some nice clothes, you put on some perfume, a little bit of cologne, you look sharp. And then you're going to sit down to an amazing lavish buffet, and you're going to do it with friends that you want to hang out with, and it's going to be just an amazing time. And he says, and that little phrase, my cup overflows, it's a picture of lavish abundance. And then he says, surely goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life.

I think one of the greatest lives that we believe, at least I've struggled with, and I've been pastoring at this thing now for about four decades, and so it's crazy to think that you've had thousands of counseling sessions. But, you know, there's just a pattern after all these years. That's a bad relationship. This is a good one, but I can't let go of it. This is not a good pattern. This is not helping you.

It's this addiction, but I can't let go of it. Something down deep in our brokenness is so afraid because we don't believe God is good. We don't really believe someone who is all-knowing, all-powerful, who laid down his life for you to demonstrate objectively his love, really has a better plan for you being around the right people and the right job and the right situation.

And when he asks you to make a decision that feels very risky with your future or your relationships or your money, we just sort of slough it off because we fear, right, of missing out. And so we get distracted and we scroll and we stay busy. My favorite verse, if you kind of hear me teach it, just keeps coming back. But the Lord God is a sun and a shield. The Lord gives grace and glory.

And the last line, what a promise. No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly. You don't get God's best by trying hard. You get God's best by trusting him deeply and obeying. And in a world that we live in, obeying Jesus and following him will mean you live an upstream life, even among many Christians.

To be sexually pure in our day, are you kidding? To give the first and best of your time and your talents and your treasure. To give to others through Jesus, really? To give your life away in order to find it? To not think, me, me, me, now, now, now, but have an eternal perspective?

If you don't believe he's good, those are ridiculous things to do. And yet, it's the way to life. It's the way to joy. And finally, he says, I want to meet your deepest needs. I want to restore your soul. I want to guide and direct your life. I want to protect you from evil. I want to fill you with joy. And I want to give you eternal life.

He says, I will dwell in the house of the Lord. You might circle the word forever, forever, forever. I think as a culture, we've never been more close to someone you actually know dying. It's jolting. It's sobering. But we're all going to die. And I've seen the most hardened people that were anti-God in all the world near the very end of their life cry like little babies, is it too late? Is it too late? Is it too late?

I've squandered my life. People in philosophical arguments and intellectual moments can say all they want, get cancer and here you got 30 days to live and you will think very differently about life, about God, about heaven, about hell, about future, about what you believe and why. We've been brought up in a world that we are very pseudo-sophisticated. Most of us have done very little research about truth claims. And we've developed a little salad bar of I believe this and that and this and that and a little bit of that and a little bit of this. And unconsciously, as one author puts it, we've developed the epistemology of what I call the sovereign self. I know what's best for me because obviously I've done all this research about everything in life. And I know all about philosophy and all the religions and all the issues.

And the fact of the matter is we have a pop culture mindset and have thought very shallow thoughts about most deep things. And Jesus would say in the midst of all that, would you let me be your shepherd? If you've never turned from your sin and followed me with all your heart, would you do that today?

That's not me. That's Jesus to you. And if you are a follower of Jesus and just find like every sheep, sheep are stupid, lonely, can't feed themselves. I hate to say this, but God calls the sheep, right? They can't find water on their own. They can't defend themselves. They're in desperate need. And the only sheep that end up in trouble are those that aren't dependent.

The ones that stay close to the shepherd are in great shape. The ones that drift are the ones that find themselves in great danger. And I, at least like many of you, have had many seasons of drifting. And sometimes God brings us together to remind you, you know, get back to some of those basics.

Address some of those things He's been speaking to you about. And so our Father, we are so grateful that you are a good God. And we are stubborn sheep. And Lord, you are well aware of every life, every heart, every issue, every struggle. Our hearts are laid bare before you. And so I pray for those that on this day you brought into this room to let them know that you love them. You've laid down your life for them. You have risen from the dead and you offer them right now eternal life.

That sitting in their chair they might cry out in the depths of their heart, oh God, I need you. I am not perfect. I've done things wrong. I need your forgiveness. Please, right now, forgive me based on Jesus' work on the cross. Today I believe you, Jesus, died in my place. Today I believe you rose from the dead. I receive you.

Thank you. Now help me to walk with you. And Lord, for my fellow sojourners, some of us who have drifted and know that we need to realign our priorities, would you help us to believe that you're good? And whatever it is that you're speaking to us about obedience, would you help us to obey you?

Because you said the Father loved you because you've laid down your life. And you said that we are your friends because we obey, we trust. And that's the conduit to get your best. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. And the message you just heard, The Good Shepherd, is from our series, Jesus Is. Chip will join us in studio to share some insights from today's talk in just a minute. It's been said that one of the wonderful things about knowing God is that there's always more to know. So even though God is infinite, it can still be a joy for us to learn more and more about who He is. And that's what Chip and his son Ryan Ingram are doing in this series based in the Gospel of John.

Join us as they highlight seven phrases Jesus used to describe Himself that gave us a more spectacular glimpse into His character, authority, and love for us. If you missed any part of this series, catch up through the Chip Ingram app or at livingontheedge.org. Well, before we go any further, Chip's here in studio with a quick word.

Thanks so much, Dave. I'll be right back in just a minute to talk about today's teaching. But as we study the Apostle John's teaching here through the Gospel, I can in the back of my mind hear some of you saying, You know, Chip, this all sounds really wonderful, but you don't know me. You don't know what I've done.

You don't know what I've been. Boy, if you ever understood the terrible things. In other words, Jesus could never associate with someone like me.

He could never really love me, never forgive me. And I want you to know, listen carefully, that is a lie from the pit of hell. The fact of the matter is, is no one is beyond the reach of Jesus' love. But if you believe that lie, it'll keep you stuck. If you believe that lie, you'll never come to receive His grace. Or as a follower, if you believe that lie, you'll think you're a second-class citizen the rest of your life and never experience His joy and His power or be used by Him. Here's what I want you to know. The only way to break lies is with truth. And so what we've developed is what we call truth cards.

Let me give you an example. For those who feel like you don't measure up, you're unworthy. The lie is this. God could never accept me or use my life after all the terrible things I've done. It says it right on the card, and right below the card is a little stop sign, stop. And then you turn over the card, and the card says Jesus wants to accept and use me. He forgave a woman who had five husbands and was currently living with a man so He could communicate His love through her to a whole city.

Actually, that passage goes on to say He is seeking or pursuing those who would worship Him in spirit and in truth. If you want to be free of your past, trying hard doesn't work. The truth does. Let me encourage you. Get a copy of these truth cards. We'll give you all the information. In fact, get two or three copies.

They're very inexpensive. And go through it with some friends or family, and here's what you'll experience. You'll experience the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Amen, Chip. Well, to order your set of our Gospel of John truth cards, go to livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003. As you read through and meditate on these 21 cards, you'll expose the lies we've bought or fallen into and replace them with the rock-solid truth of God's Word. To learn more about this helpful tool, visit livingontheedge.org or call 888-333-6003.

Atlas Nurse Taps special offers. Well, Chip, one of the points you made today was about how God fills our lives with joy. But you know, what often keeps us from experiencing that is a fear, consciously or subconsciously, that God won't come through or isn't good.

Explain where that thought comes from and how we can learn to put our complete faith in Jesus. Absolutely, Dave. If you don't believe that God has your best interest in mind, you'll be your own shepherd. Right. And I'm with you.

We get afraid. I mean, I want to shepherd this relationship. Oh, no, you might mess it up. I want to shepherd your money. I want to shepherd your career choices.

I want to give you the very best. Been there, done that, still struggle with it. But what I want to ask you today is, do you believe he's the good shepherd? And are you willing to listen to his voice? And what I love about this section of Psalm 23 is that it's not when the battles are all won. It's not when your life gets it all together. He says, in the presence of your enemies, when you are facing the darts, the difficulties, the storms, the pain, the problems in your marriage, the anxiety, the depression, the discouragement with singleness, you name it.

It's in the midst of that. The promise is, I have joy for you. And he wants to come, but you have to come into his presence.

Could I encourage you to open Psalm 23 today before you go to bed and read it slowly and out loud and just ask Jesus, would you do this in my life? And then sit quietly and say, Lord, if there's any mid-course corrections, anything I need to address in my life, I will. And sit quietly and listen. And what I want you to know, he'll speak. He's pursuing you. He wants to give you the best.

But some of us have so much noise and are so active, we're not listening or hearing. You ready before you go to bed? Psalm 23, read it slowly, then listen, and then do whatever he says. You'll be glad you did. Good action, Step Chip.

Thanks. Well, let me take a second before we go and thank the generous people who support this ministry every month. Your faithful gifts help us inspire Christians to live like Christians. Now, if you haven't partnered with us, would you prayerfully consider joining the Living on the Edge team? Now, you can set up a recurring donation by going to livingontheedge.org or calling us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003, or visit livingontheedge.org. App listeners, tap donate. Well, from all of us here, I'm Dave Druey, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-21 05:18:58 / 2024-03-21 05:28:59 / 10

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