To appreciate the good news of God’s Gospel we need to understand man’s need. The apostle Paul writes, “You were (spiritually) dead in your trespasses and sins” (Eph 2:1). He goes on to say, “remember that you were at that time separated from Christ … having no hope and without God in the world” (v 12). Those are powerful words: dead … separated … no hope … without God. There was nothing we could do to remedy our situation. Man’s need is total, not partial.
Jesus was constantly looking for opportunities to care for the deep needs of others. He wasn’t looking for perfect people. He came to meet the needs of the broken, the lost, the immoral, and the desperate. As a result of Jesus’ single encounter with a spiritually thirsty woman at a well, many came to know him as the source of life and personal transformation.
“Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Engaging in Spiritual Warfare means standing against the lies and deception of the enemy.
The importance of prayer is seen on an occasion when Jesus’ disciples were unable to cast out a demon. Jesus told them “This kind cannot come out by anything but prayer” (Mark 9:29). There are some things that can only be accomplished through prayer.
Spiritual Warfare requires that we trust God regarding the truth of realities we cannot see. Perceiving the unseen demands that we believe what God has revealed in His word. Faith is the response of a heart that has heard God’s truth, believes God’s message, and then acts on what God has revealed.
The key idea of Jesus being the Good Shepherd is that Jesus is not simply a “hired hand” who doesn’t have a personal investment in his sheep and abandons them at the first sign of danger. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep and lays down his life for them. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. 13 He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep” (John 10:11-15).
Jesus communicates that He is the exclusive means of access to a personal relationship with God. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:7-9).
Jesus identified himself as being the source of light and life. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Join with me as we pray for Jesus’ light and life giving ministry to impact our families, our churches, and our communities.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst (John 6:35). The “bread of life” is a person and his name is Jesus. He is the source of eternal life. Jesus uses the metaphor of eating his flesh and drinking his blood for a faith that is relying on him alone for LIFE !