"Passionate Faith" is one of the four strategic themes Orchard Hill Church has chosen to emphasize over the next 5 years. Of the many ways we can partner with God to enhance, strengthen, and enliven our faith, we'll explore four of them on Sunday mornings and here in Daily Scriptures: making Christ's priorities ours, nourishing our souls, living lives of gratitude, and running a life-long journey.
Read John 10:7-18
Therefore Jesus said again, "Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
Many passages in the Bible compare God's relationship with us to that of a shepherd and his sheep. One thing shepherds did was to lie down at night in the opening of the sheep fold to become the flock's gate of protection. A good shepherd valued his sheep so much that there was nothing he wouldn't do to provide for and protect them.
Jesus says his mission is to give us not just life, but life "to the full." What do you think that means? What difference does it make in your life to have Jesus as your shepherd?