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SermonGood Shepherd of Godís Creation
An all-creatures Bible Message

Good Shepherd of Godís Creation
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
26 April 2015
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

John 10:11-18
Acts 4:5-12
1 John 3:13-24

Good shepherd of Godís creation should be a description of each and every one of us.
 
As we have discussed many times, the term ďdominionĒ or ďruleĒ referred to in Genesis 1:26 and 28 is to properly be understood as telling each of us to be a good steward or a good shepherd of Godís creation.
 
It does not tell us to dominate creation in the cruel manner of most of the people in the world, which is really serving the devil and not God.
 
As we look at John 10:11-18, letís not consider only Jesus as being a good shepherd, but consider each and every one of us, as a disciple or follower of Jesus, as being a good shepherd of Godís creation.

11. "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

Jesus laid down His life for us, but are we willing to lay down our lives for Him and the creation He gave us to protect and care for, in the same manner as the sheep of the pasture, as this verse uses for a comparison, are to be protected by the good shepherd?
 
Are we willing to be this kind of good shepherd?
 
We hope and pray that each and every one of us is willing to be such a good shepherd, who will do everything in his or her power to protect and care for the whole of Godís creation (all humans, all animals, and the environment in which we all live).

12. "He who is a hireling, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, beholds the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees, and the wolf snatches them, and scatters them.

The wolf is being used as an example of the devil who seeks to kill and destroy, and the hireling or employee is really working for the devil and not the owner (God).

13. "He flees because he is a hireling, and is not concerned about the sheep.

The hireling of this verse is not a good shepherd, but he or she should be.
 
Jesus saysÖ

14. "I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me,
 
15. even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Each and every one of us should have this kind of relationship with Jesus and God our Father, and take the responsibility of being a good shepherd.

16. "And I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd.

Think about all the other people in the world, and all the animals trapped and abused on factory farms, in laboratories, and in other exploitive situations; are we willing to peacefully and legally help free them and lead them back to Godís eternal flock?

17. "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.
 
18. "No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father."
NASB

Are we also willing to lay down our lives in the same manner if God calls upon us to do so?
 
Because, this is what a good shepherd does for the glory of God.
 
And remember that no one has to lay down their own life to stop eating and wearing animals; itís just being willing to be a loving, compassionate, and peacemaking child of God, which we all can do if we really want to.
 
Letís now take a look at Acts 4:5-12, where we see Peter, who was accused by men for speaking out as a good shepherd, and healing a sick manÖ

5. And it came about on the next day, that their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem;
 
6. and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent.
 
7. And when they had placed them [the disciples] in the center, they began to inquire, "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?"

How would we feel and act in such a situation?
 
Would we be like Peter?

8. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers and elders of the people,
 
9. if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well,
 
10. let it be known to all of you, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead ó  by this name this man stands here before you in good health.
 
11. "He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very corner stone.
 
12. "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
NASB

As with all Bible passages, we need to put ourselves into the context of the message and ask ourselves, ďWhat would I do in this situation?Ē and ďWhat should I be doing in my life to be a good shepherd of Godís creation?Ē
 
If we find ourselves being afraid to be such a good shepherd, then we need to lay our heart and soul bare before God, and ask Him to forgive us and strengthen us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
 
Remember that fear is really having a lack of heavenly love, for perfect love casts out all kinds of fear (1 John 4:18).
 
Itís being filled with this perfect love that turns each of us into a good shepherd.
 
In 1 John 3:13-24, we see what a good shepherd faces in the world around us.

13. Do not marvel, brethren, if the world hates you.

The people who follow the corrupt and evil ways of this world, with all of its pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death, donít want to hear what a good shepherd is telling them about living in the heavenly will of God.
 
In actuality, these worldly people fear the word of God, and manifest their fear in the form of hatred toward His messengers.

14. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death.
 
15. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.

If we think like Francis of Assisi thought, which we believe we should, then we must consider the animals to be our brothers and sisters in the same way we think of our siblings and fellow believers.

16. We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

As we discussed previously, this is the way that a good shepherd should be.

17. But whoever has the world's goods, and beholds his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
 
18. Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.
 
19. We shall know by this that we are of the truth, and shall assure our heart before Him,
 
20. in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

We cannot fake being a child of God or a good shepherd, for it only truly manifests itself in the heart and soul of a true believer who lives in the heavenly will of God, where there is no pain, suffering, or human caused death.
 
Are we this kind of Godly person?
 
We should be.

21. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
 
22. and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

This is also the way we can discern the presence of a good shepherd, and how the world should perceive us.

23. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us.
 
24. And the one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And we know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
NASB

And remember that itís not enough to just believe, we have to act upon our belief in faith, which is another way of saying that we keep the Lordís commandments in everything we do and say.
 
This is the way of a good shepherd of Godís creation.
 
Amen.

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