Skip to main content

Fourth Sunday of Easter: Acts 2:42-47; Psalm 23 or Ezekiel 34:7-15; Psalm 100; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10

The Day of the Spirit’s Power
In Acts 2, we read about the Day of Pentecost. It was a great day. The Spirit was poured out on God’s people. Christ was proclaimed to the crowds. Many were brought to faith in Christ. What is to be our response to the God who worked so mightily on the Day of Pentecost. Let us pray for the Spirit’s power. Let us preach Christ. Let us look to God for His blessing.

Preach Christ – the Good Shepherd, the Great Shepherd, the Chief Shepherd.
* Jesus Christ has passed ‘through the valley of the shadow of death’ for us (Psalm 23:4).
Now, we rejoice in Him, our Shepherd of love –
(a) the Good Shepherd who died for us (John 10:11);
(b) the Great Shepherd who was raised for us (Hebrews 13:20-21);
(c) the Chief Shepherd who is coming again for us (1 Peter 5:4).
He restores us. He keeps us from ’straying like sheep’. He leads us ‘in paths of righteousness’ (Psalm 23:3; 1 Peter 2:25). He is preparing us for our glorious eternal destiny: ‘I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever’ (Psalm 23:6).
* God speaks to us in love. He says, ‘I Myself will be the Shepherd of My sheep’ (Ezekiel 34:15).
We rejoice in His love. We say, ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’ (Psalm 23:1).
Jesus is our Shepherd.
He is ‘the good Shepherd’. He laid down His life for us that we might receive the forgiveness of our sins. ‘Christ died for our sins’. He - ‘the Righteous’- died for us - ‘the unrighteous’- ‘to bring us to God’ (John 10:11; 1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 3:18). He is ‘the great Shepherd’. He was ‘raised’ from the dead’. Through His resurrection, we receive eternal life. He says to us, ‘Because I live you will live also’ (Hebrews 13:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:4; John 14:19).
He is ‘the chief Shepherd’. He will come again with ‘the unfading crown of glory’ for His ‘good and faithful servants’ (1 Peter 5:4; Matthew 25:21).

Let us look to God for His blessing on our worship.
‘Exalt the Lord our God... Make a joyful noise to the Lord’ (Psalms 99:5, 9; 98:4,6; 100:1).
We are to worship the Lord with joy. We are to glorify God. We are to enjoy Him.
In our worship, we must never forget the holiness of God: ‘He is holy!... The Lord our God is holy!’ (Psalm 99:5, 9).
In our worship, we rejoice in the love of God: ‘His steadfast love endures for ever... He has done marvellous things!’ (Psalms 100:5; 98:1).
The God of ‘awesome purity’ loves us with the most perfect love of all: ‘No earthly father loves like Thee...’
Let us worship Him with holy fear and heartfelt love: ‘O how I fear Thee, living God, with deepest, tenderest fears... with trembling hope and penitential tears! Yet I may love Thee too, O Lord, Almighty as Thou art, for Thou hast stooped to ask of me the love of my poor heart’ (Church Hymnary, 356).

Let us look to God for His blessing on our witness.
Being ‘God’s own people’ is a great privilege - ‘you have received mercy’.
It is also a great responsibility - ‘declare the wonderful deeds of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light’ (1 Peter 2:9-10).
God’s people are described as ‘strangers in the world’ (1 Peter 2:11).
We must not think of ourselves as ‘superior’- ‘a cut above the rest’. We are not! In ourselves, we are ‘strangers’- ‘without God in the world’. There’s nothing ‘special’ about us, There’s something very special about what God has done for us: ‘In Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ’ (Ephesians 2:12-13).
As those who ‘have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls’, let’s point others to Him who ‘bore our sins...that we might die to sin and live to righteousness’ (1 Peter 2:24-25).

Let us look to God for His blessing on our walk with Him.
The Christian life is not easy.
The devil ‘comes only to steal and kill and destroy’ (John 10:10).
Satan was working through the religious leaders. They were trying ‘to stone’ Jesus (John 10:31). ‘Again’, they failed (John 10:39). They could not take Jesus’ life. ‘His hour had not yet come’ (John 10:18; 7:30; 8:20).
When Satan attacks us, we must remember this: God is in control. God has given us great promises (John 10:28-29).
Jesus saves. Jesus keeps. His salvation is eternal: ‘He didn’t bring us this far to leave us. He didn’t teach us to swim to let us drown. He didn’t build His home in us to move away. He didn’t lift us up to let us down.’
Satan will cause us plenty of trouble. Be on the alert (1 Peter 5:8). Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Looking to Jesus, we are assured of this: Satan will be defeated (Revelation 12:9).


Popular posts from this blog

Lord, Your love is the best love.

Psalm 36:1-12 We thank You, Lord, for “Your steadfast love” (Psalm 36:5,7,10). Your love is the best love. It’s the greatest love of all. Your love is very wonderful. We rejoice in Your love. We are amazed at Your love. We look at Jesus, Your Son, crucified for us, and we say, “Amazing love, how can it be that Thou, my God, shouldst die for me?” Jesus died for us. Now, He lives in us. In love, You are leading us on into Your future – on to “fullness of joy in Your presence” (Psalm 16:11).

Paul Tillich's Systematic Theology: "A Help In Answering Questions"?

"My purpose, and I believe it is a justified purpose, has been to present the method and the structure of a theological system written from an apologetic point of view and carried through in a continuous correlation with philosophy ... A help in answering questions: this is exactly the purpose of this theological system." (Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology, three volumes in one, The University of Chicago, 1967, xi-xii). Comment - We live in a world where we will be asked questions. We must "always be ready to give a defence to anyone who asks us for a reason for the hope that is in us" (1 Peter 3:15).
"Theology, as a function of the Christian church, must serve the needs of the church. A theological system is supposed to satisfy two basic needs, the statement of the truth of the Christian message and the interpretation of this truth for every new generation. Theology moves back and forth between two poles, the eternal truth of its foundation and the tem…

Fifth Sunday in Lent: Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45

We need to be changed by the Lord. It was ‘a valley of dry bones’ (Ezekiel 37:1-2). Then, the Lord changed everything - ‘I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live’ (Ezekiel 37:5). What a difference the Lord makes! ‘Breathe on me, Breath of God. Fill me with life anew’ (Church Hymnary, 103). What happens when the Spirit of the Lord breathes new life into the Church of God? - ‘The Church that seemed in slumber has now risen from its knees and dry bones are responding with the fruits of new birth’. ‘Holy Spirit, we welcome You. Let the breeze of Your presence flow that Your children here might truly know how to move in the Spirit’s flow... Holy Spirit, we welcome You. Please accomplish in us today some new work of loving grace, we pray. Unreservedly, have Your way. Holy Spirit, we welcome You’ (Mission Praise, 274,241).
The Lord changes us when He forgives our sin. We are not to pray to God with superficial words that don’t mean very much to us. Our prayer is to be a…