A Caring Hand
Eternal life is not simply a duration of life that lasts forever — it is that, but it is also a quality of life, the very slice of deity implanted in your own personality.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, aren’t you glad you can be in the world but not of it? That’s the background of the little greeting I use. You can be in the world but you could be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. “He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day,” said Paul. “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation.” Bible is full of promises that says you can be in a dirty world but you don’t have to be smeared with it. Hallelujah. May God keep you and me clean today.
You and I were looking at John chapter 10 that said, “This parable spoke Jesus unto them but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.” How many times the disciples failed to get the point! Unless we’d be too hard on them, look back in your own life and see how God was trying to teach you something that you never really understood until time had passed. You and I are just as dull as the disciples were, we better not look down on them. But one thing is true, if you walk with Jesus long enough, you’re gonna understand. He said one day to a disciple, “What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” And it seems to me that as the years have gone by, God has given me insight into things about which I complained at the time or at least was thoroughly mystified as to why they should happen.
But looking back, I can see the evidences of a divine pattern in what was going on in my life. So let’s not be too critical of the disciples and let’s remember for ourselves that there’s a blessed process of understanding that God wants to carry on in your life. “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” said Peter. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that you may grow thereby.” The fullness of understanding Paul talks about, “Let the Lord teach you something today concerning His working in your life.”
Well, then our Lord continues His teaching and He says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” Those who’ve travelled in Bible-lands have told me that in those days, the shepherd himself would lie down in the doorway of the sheepfold. He was, in a very real sense, the door. And nothing could enter or leave without his knowing about it and permitting it. He was there for protection from any marauder, human or animal from outside and he was also protection against wandering by those who were inside. “I am the door of the sheep. All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers and the sheep did not hear them. I am the door,” said he, “by me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.”
Verses nine and 10 are two verses I learned when I was not quite seven years old. They stick in my memory blessedly across these many years. “I am the door,” said he, “by me if any man enter in, into the sheepfold, he shall be saved.” Now, he’s changing the figure of speech from literal sheepfold to spiritual sheepfold. He shall be saved and shall go in and out the freedom that Christ gives. “Stand fast therefore,” said Paul in Galatians five. “Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free.” John 8 says, “If the Son therefore sets you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Go in and out, freedom and then sustenance and find pasture. God takes care of you after He saves you, have you found that out? Have you found out that God is concerned with you after you have made your commitment to Christ? It’s not a matter of being born again and then laid on somebody’s spiritual table to see whether you breathe? No, God is concerned about you and all you need to do is to turn to Him, day by day and many times during the day, and ask for the blessing and guidance and care of your loving Heavenly Father. Go in, out, freedom, and find pasture, sustenance and care. Pasture is a very important thing, especially in a land where it may be quite scarce. To find pasture means that somebody cares whether or not you eat. Somebody cares whether or not you go on living. Somebody cares about the circumstances in which you live. That’s why Peter could say, “Casting all your care upon Him. For He careth for you.”
Have you learned to depend on that? Now you see, the key to all of that is the little phrase “by me”, “by me”. If you commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ in saving faith, you’re lining up with that phrase “by me”. If any man enter in, there’s the commitment of entering into the relationship of a believer with your Savior the Lord Jesus. He should be saved. That relates to the phrase “by me”. There’s one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. By Him, therefore all the believer justified from all things which he could not be justified by the law of Moses.
The Word of God says, “By Him.” “By Me,” Jesus says. He is the divine fulcrum upon which all the leverage of salvation rests. He said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” There’s your phrase again. What do you make of that in your own life? Number one, make sure that you have really, really that is, trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and committed yourself to Him unreservedly. You may be a professing Christian without truly having committed yourself to Christ as Lord. In other words, you’re still trying to run your life while professing to trust Him. It doesn’t work, no man can serve two masters, the Bible says. So that’s the first step, make sure… Make sure that you have truly committed yourself without any mental reservation whatsoever, committed yourself to Jesus Christ as your Lord and as your Savior, “by Me”.
Second, make sure that you are now trusting Him this minute to sustain that life in you. Eternal life is not something that you generate, it’s something that God gives you by His grace and that He sustains within you. Eternal life is not simply a duration of life that lasts forever, it is that but it is also a quality of life, the very slice of deity implanted in your own personality. So when you think of that phrase “by me”, it reminds you to keep on trusting your Lord and depending upon Him to maintain the spark of divine life given you by His matchless grace and through His shed blood, “by me”.
And then, of course, it means depending on your Savior to do His will through you. “It is God that worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Two things wrong with the average person, one, he doesn’t want to do the right thing and two when occasionally, he wants to do the right thing, he finds that he cannot. Jesus, our blessed Lord takes care of both of these problems. “It is God that worketh in you both to will,” that takes care of the want to. “And to do,” that takes care of the performance of that which is right. “Of His good pleasure.” God working in you.
“The secret,” Paul says, “The open secret that we preach among the nations is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” “Concerning His own life,” he said, “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith,” that means by depending on the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
“By me”, means let Him work His perfect will through you, this is an awesome concept, have you ever thought about the fact that God is willing to invest Himself in human clay? That’s all you and I are when the spark of life dies out and our bodies are buried, they go back to dust. “Dust thou art to dust returnest.” All right. God takes human clay and invests Himself in it to do the things He wants to do through human individuals.
It says the disciples went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them! God working. Jesus said to His disciples, “It is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” The continuing miracle of God’s willingness to use a human being to do His will, think about that when you meditate on these two words, “by me,” for salvation, for a maintaining of eternal life and power, for the procedure of doing what God wants done through your human life.
Jesus offers it all as your good shepherd, “By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved and shall go in and out and find pasture.” In for comfort, in for rest, in for safety, out for service, out for growth. Out, yes, for danger, but out with His protection always. It’s good stuff, isn’t it? We’ll continue in John 10, the next time we get together.
Dear Father, today, help us to follow the shepherd, to love Him, and to obey Him. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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