“A Guide To Being A Modern Day Shepard”

Verily,verily,I say unto you,He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold,but climbeth up some other way,the same is a thief and a robber.

2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name,and leadeth them out.

4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep,he goeth before them,and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5 And a stranger will they not follow,but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again,Verily, verily,I say unto you,I am the door of the sheep.

8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in,he shall be saved,and shall go in and out,and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not,but for to steal, and to kill,and to destroy: I am come that they might have life,and that they might have it more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling,and not the shepherd,whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming,and leaveth the sheep,and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them,and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth,because he is an hireling,and careth not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd,and know my sheep,and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me,even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have,which are not of this fold: them also I must bring,and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold,and one shepherd.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life,that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me,but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down,and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

20 And many of them said,He hath a devil,and is mad; why hear ye him?

21 Others said,These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication,and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him,How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them,I told you,and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name,they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not,because ye are not of my sheep,as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice,and I know them,and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father,which gave them me,is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

30 I and my Father are one.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them,Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33 The Jews answered him,saying,For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou,being a man,makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them,Is it not written in your law,I said,Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods,unto whom the word of God came,and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him,whom the Father hath sanctified,and sent into the world,Thou blasphemest; because I said,I am the Son of God?

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do,though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know,and believe,that the Father is in me,and I in him.

39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

41 And many resorted unto him,and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

42 And many believed on him there.

John 10  (KJV)

“Have a blessed day, I am.”
A. T. S .

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“Let Us Keep Our Focus On HIS Will!”

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,that ye may prove what is that good,and acceptable,and perfect,will of God.

Romans 12:2 (KJV)

“Have a blessed day, I am.”
A. T. S .

Having and Raising Good Kids

The Second World War was thundering to a close when the young soldier stepped onto the troop carrier that would carry him from the United States to Europe. Halfway across the Atlantic, word arrived that an armistice had been signed. The war with Germany was over.

Of course, the ship could not turn around; there were clean-up operations to be done in Europe. So the ship kept going, and the young man did his duty.

After his tour was over, the soldier married his sweetheart back home. It took some time to find work, but they finally found employment at a farm. Growing a family was more important to them, though, than raising crops. Unfortunately, after years of trying, they learned they were not likely to have children.

They prayed that God would trump the doctors word. Against human odds, a healthy baby girl was born in the fifth year of their marriage. A baby boy followed, then three more girls and another boy.

The couple had a good life on the farm, but none of their six children followed them into the family business. Instead, the four daughters became teachers in Christian schools. One son wed a doctor, and together they have been active in cross-cultural mission efforts; the other son became a pastor and Bible teacher.

To this day the postwar couple shrugs when asked how it all came about. We just begged God to give us kids, they say. Then we learned to pray for our children every day.

I know. Im their eldest son. And I&#’;m only now beginning to realize how much my parents were like the infertile couple Elizabeth and Zechariah, who one day felt ecstasy as well as fear when God actually answered their prayers for a child. They could only vow to do their best and ask for Gods help.

There is no magic formula for having kids, let alone having them turn out well. Many couples remain childless after years of agonizing prayer. And even miracle children, bathed in spiritual significance, carry with them no guarantees of piety. The old priest Zechariah and his wife celebrated the day of Johns birth. But what did they think when their son lived like a wild man in the desert, provoking the wrath of Jewish leaders and priests with his scathing sermons and unorthodox baptisms? Were they alive when their son was imprisoned, then beheaded?

Should we stop asking for children because they bring pain into our lives? No. This story and others remind us that we live in a broken world in which we depend on one another for encouragement when the waiting is long or when children don’t turn out the way we had hoped. With the help of others, and with God&’s encouragement and strength, we can have hope. Wayne Brouwer Lets Talk – How do Christian couples spiritually prepare to have children? What are some requests we make of God? What happens when the waiting is long; where do we go for help? – In what formal way do we declare that our children belong to God? How will these ceremonies be carried out? What part will our parents and friends play in them? – What plans are we making to educate our children in the ways of the Lord? Who, besides us, is responsible for their ongoing instruction?

Luke 1:5-25 (KJV)

5 There was in the days of Herod,the king of Judaea,a certain priest named Zacharias,of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron,and her name was Elisabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God,walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 And they had no child,because that Elisabeth was barren,and they both were now well stricken in years.

8 And it came to pass,that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,

9 According to the custom of the priest’s office,his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw him,he was troubled,and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said unto him,Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son,and thou shalt call his name John.

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord,and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost,even from his mother’s womb.

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias,to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man,and my wife well stricken in years.

19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel,that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee,and to shew thee these glad tidings.

20 And,behold,thou shalt be dumb,and not able to speak,until the day that these things shall be performed,because thou believest not my words,which shall be fulfilled in their season.

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

22 And when he came out,he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them,and remained speechless.

23 And it came to pass,that,as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished,he departed to his own house.

24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived,and hid herself five months, saying,

25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me,to take away my reproach among men.
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Luke 1:57-80 (KJV)

57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

59 And it came to pass,that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias,after the name of his father.

60 And his mother answered and said,Not so; but he shall be called John.

61 And they said unto her,There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.

62 And they made signs to his father,how he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing table,and wrote,saying,His name is John. And they marvelled all.

64 And his mouth was opened immediately,and his tongue loosed,and he spake,and praised God.

65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.

66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts,saying,What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost,and prophesied,saying,

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets,which have been since the world began:

71 That we should be saved from our enemies,and from the hand of all that hate us;

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers,and to remember his holy covenant;

73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

74 That he would grant unto us,that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before him,all the days of our life.

76 And thou,child,shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,to guide our feet into the way of peace.

80 And the child grew,and waxed strong in spirit,and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

Christ’s agony in the garden.

Christ’s sufferings began with the sorest of all,those in his soul. He began to be sorely amazed; words not used in St. Matthew,but very full of meaning. The terrors of God set themselves in array against him, and he allowed him to contemplate them. Never was sorrow like unto his at this time. Now he was made a curse for us; the curses of the law were laid upon him as our Surety. He now tasted death, in all the bitterness of it. This was that fear of which the apostle speaks,the

natural fear of pain and death,at which human nature startles. Can we ever entertain favourable, or even slight thoughts of sin,when we see the painful sufferings which sin, though but reckoned to him,brought on the Lord Jesus? Shall that sit light upon our souls,which sat so heavy upon his? Was Christ in such agony for our sins, and shall we never be in agony about them? How should we look upon Him whom we have pierced,and mourn! It becomes us to be exceedingly sorrowful for sin,because

He was so, and never to mock at it. Christ,as Man, pleaded,that, if it were possible,his sufferings might pass from him. As Mediator,he submitted to the will of God,saying, Nevertheless, not what I will,but what thou wilt; I bid it welcome. See how the sinful weakness of Christ’s disciples returns,and overpowers them. What heavy clogs these bodies of ours are to our souls! But when we see trouble at the door,we should get ready for it. Alas,even believers often look at the Redeemer’s

sufferings in a drowsy manner,and instead of being ready to die with Christ,they are not even prepared to watch with him one hour.
Mark 14:43-52 KJV

Watch ye and pray,lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready,but the flesh is weak.
Mark 14:38 KJV

About this commentary: Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

“We would see Jesus.”

“We would see Jesus.”
John 12:21

Evermore the worldling’s cry is, “Who will show us any good?” He seeks satisfaction in earthly comforts, enjoyments, and riches. But the quickened sinner knows of only one good. “O that I knew where I might find Him !” When he is truly awakened to feel his guilt, if you could pour the gold of India at his feet, he would say, “Take it away: I want to find Him.” It is a blessed thing for a man, when he has brought his desires into a focus, so that they all centre in one object. When he has fifty different desires, his heart resembles a mire of stagnant water, spread out into a marsh, breeding miasma and pestilence; but when all his desires are brought into one channel, his heart becomes like a river of pure water, running swiftly to fertilize the fields. Happy is he who hath one desire, if that one desire be set on Christ, though it may not yet have been realized. If Jesus be a soul’s desire, it is a blessed sign of divine work within. Such a man will never be content with mere ordinances. He will say, “I want Christ; I must have him–mere ordinances are of no use to me; I want himself; do not offer me these; you offer me the empty pitcher, while I am dying of thirst; give me water, or I die. Jesus is my soul’s desire. I would see Jesus!”

Is this thy condition, my reader, at this moment? Hast thou but one desire, and is that after Christ? Then thou art not far from the kingdom of heaven. Hast thou but one wish in thy heart, and that one wish that thou mayst be washed from all thy sins in Jesus’ blood? Canst thou really say, “I would give all I have to be a Christian; I would give up everything I have and hope for, if I might but feel that I have an interest in Christ?” Then, despite all thy fears, be of good cheer, the Lord loveth thee, and thou shalt come out into daylight soon, and rejoice in the liberty wherewith Christ makes men free.

“A Great Number Followed Him To Calvary.”

Happy Easter to all on this the greatest of all days, the day our Redeemer; Jesus Christ arose from the tomb!
ATS

“And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.” Luke 23:27

Amid the rabble rout which hounded the Redeemer to his doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations–fit music to accompany that march of woe. When my soul can, in imagination, see the Saviour bearing his cross to Calvary, she joins the godly women and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief–cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die; but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn. My sins were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorn those bleeding brows: my sins cried “Crucify him! crucify him!” and laid the cross upon his gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity: but my having been his murderer, is more, infinitely more, grief than one poor fountain of tears can express.

Why those women loved and wept it were not hard to guess: but they could not have had greater reasons for love and grief than my heart has. Nain’s widow saw her son restored–but I myself have been raised to newness of life. Peter’s wife’s mother was cured of the fever–but I of the greater plague of sin. Out of Magdalene seven devils were cast–but a whole legion out of me. Mary and Martha were favoured with visits–but he dwells with me. His mother bare his body–but he is formed in me the hope of glory. In nothing behind the holy women in debt, let me not be behind them in gratitude or sorrow.

“Love and grief my heart dividing,

With my tears his feet I’ll lave–

Constant still in heart abiding,

Weep for him who died to save.”

“Have a blessed day, I am.”
A. T. S .

Dr. Greg Smalley, Negative Thinking in Marriage: Its Power and Problem

Dr. Greg Smalley, Negative Thinking in Marriage: Its Power and Problem

This is a wonderful message from Dr. Greg Smalley, son of Dr. Gary Smalley who is one of my favorite pastors!

I hope it brings new meaning and understanding unto your relationship with God the Father, for if we are in proper communication with God, free of sin and hinderance everything else in our lives will fix themself, this He has promised unto us.

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.  And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

~St. Mark 11:24-26~