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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I am the door of the sheep! (Pt.2)

(Part 2 of 2)

“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear 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

Another important function of a door is it’s ability to protect those inside. Jesus makes the case, that before He came, those who proceeded Him proved to be thieves and robbers. With these words, Jesus warns us that there have been and will be people who will attempt to enter the sheepfold, by some other way:

I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber.”-John 10:1

When a thief or robber enters a home they typically do not enter through the front door; most will attempt to enter the house by using another access point so as to go undetected. Why? Because they are not there to do good, but to do harm:

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”-John 10:10

When a thief enters a home, they are looking to steal, kill, and destroy. They have no concern for those inside, only to satisfy their own desires. Some will even masquerade as sheep in order to position themselves closer to what they are hoping to acquire:

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.-Matthew 7:15

What do they want? Sheep! They are after the fold! They want to steal people away from Jesus, kill their faith, and destroy the Body of Christ! Satan isn’t just after those souls that are lost and wandering; he desires to destroy those who belong to Jesus. He is looking to infiltrate the fold!

So being in the fold, doesn’t necessarily shield us from thieves, robbers, or wolves in sheep’s clothing! What keeps us from becoming devoured or led astray is that we learn to recognize the shepherd’s voice:

“But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”-John 10:2-5

Jesus is the door to the sheepfold, however, we as sheep have a part to play. We must enter by the Door. We must acknowledge that there is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ. We must also learn to recognize that not every voice is the Shepherd’s voice. Too many people today are entertaining the voice of strangers; they are being led astray because they do not know the Shepherd’s voice!

Pastor Scott Burr

Dayspring Community Church

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Am the door of the sheep! (Pt.1)

(Part 1 of 2)

“Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear 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

In Jesus day, sheep were oftentimes corralled into a sheepfold at night. A sheepfold was a roofless, walled enclosure about 4-5 feet high with one opening by which to enter and exit. There was no door on the structure to keep the sheep inside, so the shepherd would sleep in the threshold; becoming the door to the sheepfold. By positioning himself as the door, the shepherd could ensure the sheep would not wander off and could keep any predators from getting inside.

Unlike doors today, that are designed to be as decorative as they are practical; doors in Jesus’ day were built for function. The purpose of a door is primarily two-fold: to provide access and protection. Jesus used this imagery to communicate to us that He, as the door, is our access and protection.

Jesus declared that if anyone enters by Me, he will be saved! As the door to the sheepfold, Jesus provides us access to eternal life:

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”-Acts 4:12.

The Apostle Paul recognized that in Christ we now have access to the Father in heaven:

“For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”-Ephesians 2:18

And the writer of Hebrews declared:

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.- Hebrews 10:19-22

Jesus opened a new and living way for us when He sacrificially offered up His own body on the the cross. We now have access by faith into the Father’s presence.

Once the sheep are positioned inside the fold, the shepherd then has the responsibility of protecting those that belong to him!

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Bread of Life

“Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty again.”-John 6:35

This powerful statement is made just after Jesus performs one of His most well known miracles: the feeding of the five thousand. Using two fish and five loaves of bread, Jesus fed over five thousand hungry followers. The people ate their fill and were satisfied.

Later that evening, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and returned to Capernaum. The next morning, realizing He was gone, the crowds followed Him by boat to the other side. Upon reaching Capernaum, the crowds approach Jesus with a question: “Rabbi, when did You come here?” Jesus responds with these words:

Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perished, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”-John 6:26-27.

Bread is considered a staple food; a basic dietary food item. People can survive a long time on only bread and water. However, bread was also used to signify spiritual truth. In the Old Testament we read how it was used as a daily part of worship in the tabernacle. Fresh bread was placed daily on the Table of Shewbread in the Holy Place to signify the presence of God. Unleavened bread played a large part in the Jewish Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread as the people of Israel celebrated their exodus from Egypt. The spiritual significance continues throughout Israel’s 40 years of wilderness wandering as God caused bread from heaven (Manna) to rain down to sustain the nation. 

Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread and made this powerful statement:

This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”-Luke 22:19

By equating Himself with bread, Jesus was proclaiming that He is essential for life. The life, however, He is referring is not physical, but eternal. Those who followed Jesus to Capernaum saw the physical benefits of following Christ, but the spiritual benefits were lost on them:

They answered, “Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believer You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”-John 6:30

Jesus, however, quickly pointed out that it was not Moses that provided the bread, but the Father in heaven and now He was offering them the true bread. Jesus was trying desperately to get those who followed Him to stop focusing on the natural and start looking at the spiritual. He contrasted the physical bread that perishes with the spiritual bread that is eternal. Jesus emphasized that following Him, simply to have their bellies filled was not enough; they must become partakers of Him to enjoy everlasting life:

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”-John 6:47-51

How do we partake of Christ? 

We partake of Christ every time we forsake sin and worldliness. 
We partake of Christ each time we celebrate our salvation, healing and deliverance.
We partake of Christ each time we worship Him.
We partake of Christ each time we consume the Word of God.
We partake of Christ each time we suffer for righteousness sake.
We partake of Christ each time we forgive those who have hurt us.
We partake of Christ each time we share our faith in Him.

A steady diet of the Bread of Life makes provision for a healthy eternal life!

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Before Abraham was, I Am (Pt. 3)

(Part 3 of 3)

“The Romand officer and the other soldiers at the crucifixion were terrified by the earthquake and all that had happened. They said, “This man truly was the Son of God!”-Matthew 27:54

As Jesus breathed his last breath on the cross, a mighty earthquake caused the hill upon which he was crucified to shake violently. The Roman soldiers suddenly realized that the man they had nailed to the cross was no ordinary man. From His birth to His death, Jesus’ life proclaimed that He was the Son of God:

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.’”-Matthew 1:23

Jesus was recognized as being the very embodiment of God Almighty from the day He was born. His immaculate conception distinguished Him as the Son of God as He was miraculously conceived by the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus then went on to do what no other mortal man had ever been able to accomplish. He lived a sinless life:

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”-2 Corinthians 5:21

Too further confirm His identity as the Son of God, Jesus did many miracles, signs and wonders:

“People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene by doing powerful miracles, wonders and signs though him, as you well know.”-Acts 2:22. 

However, what made Jesus truly unique is that He fulfilled Scripture by becoming the ransom for our sin and defied nature by being raised from the dead:

I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day.”-1 Corinthians 15:3-4

Scripture tells us that He was seen by over 500 of His followers after He rose from the grave. After triumphing over death, hell, and the grave, Jesus was taken into heaven (Acts 1:9) and was seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 1:3). 

The Apostle Paul describes it this way:

“Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and give him the name above all other names.”-Philippians 2:9

These passages, coupled with all the other evidences, confirm that Jesus truly is the Son of God. He is the I Am. He is everything that He claimed to be. May we too exalt Him and give Him the highest place of honor in our lives!

Pastor Scott Burr
Dayspring Community Church