Waynedale United Methodist Church
Monday, March 30, 2020
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!

March 19, 2017 Sermon

“A Trusted Mentor”
John 10:1 – 7, Psalm 139:1 – 10
Ted Jansen March 19, 2017  Waynedale UMC
            When we know we are loved… We listen intently
1.)        Jesus spoke one day using an illustration about sheep and Shepherds.  When he spoke to them about sheep Jesus wanted them to understand that we need to be like sheep who listen to the Shepherd. 
            Listen to Jesus’ words from John 10:1 – 5 from the New Living Translation.
“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!   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.”   
2.)        The shepherd loves the sheep and when the sheep are convinced that their lives will know love as expressed in safety, food, water, they will look to and listen to the Shepherd.   That voice will be a wonderful thing to listen to and they will look forward to that voice being spoken.  The sheep identify the voice of the Shepherd with love and nurture.    
When we know we are loved… We listen intently
3.)        Jesus told the people this illustration but they didn’t make the connection to their own lives.  So Jesus shared that “He is the Gate” and that “He is the Good Shepherd.”  (John 10:7, 11) 
The Shepherd would sit down and lay in front of the gate to protect the sheep.  His presence and voice would reassure them of love in the wilderness.  The wilderness represented the vulnerable places for the sheep.  The Shepherd was good and would lead them in good places.  They trusted Him with their lives.   
When we know we are loved… We listen intently
4.)        As we look at Psalm 139:1 – 10 David expresses his thoughts.  David was a Shepherd and watched sheep.  In these words, like the 23rd Psalm David is imagining God as the Good Shepherd of his life.  Listen to a few of the words from the New Living Translation. 
“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.  You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do.  You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.  You go before me and follow me.  You place your hand of blessing on my head.  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!”
5.)        I really like verse 17 and 1.  We hear David sharing his heart about a loving God, a good Shepherd.  How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.  They cannot be numbered!   I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!  And when I wake up, you are still with me!
When we know we are loved… We listen intently
6.)        How do you know you are loved?  Dr. Gary Chapman has written a book called, “The 5 Love Languages.”  The premise of his teaching is that we communicate love in 5 different ways.   We all have a language that we hear better and we tend to communicate primarily in that expression.  The five different love languages are: Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service.  As you think about these five which are the ways that most effectively communicate love to you in human relationships?  Which love language is the one that you use?    
7.)        How much love in your heart do you have?  Is it full, kind of empty, about half way?  The measure of the love you have might be the measure of the ability you have to listen. 
It could be that you have not been communicated to in loving ways.  You might not have had very much quality time with others, you might not have been touched in appropriate ways, you might have not been given many gifts, you might not have received any service to help you, or you might not have had anyone affirm you with words.    
When love has been withheld we are not sure we are loved.  If you are not sure you have been loved you are not always able to listen.     
There are times when our lack of love from others has blocked us from hearing and receiving the love that God has for us.    
8.)        An older man had serious hearing problems for many years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the man to hear 100%.
The old man went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said, “Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.”
The man replied, “Oh, I haven’t told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to their conversations. I’ve changed my will three times!”
9.)        Love changes our hearts and it changes our ears.    
When we know we are loved… We listen intently
10.)      God is crazy in love with you.  God has your picture in the prominent place in the hallway of heaven.  God looks at that picture and thinks about you and loves you.  God spends each day thinking about how He can send love to you. God sends words to you, gifts to you, touch to you, time to you, service to you.  Each and every day God wants you to know that you are loved, you are special, you are beautiful. 
The wonderful thing is that it doesn’t matter what we have done or what we will do or if we want Him to love us.  God loves us without any conditions. 
11.)      One of the best ways we know that we have been loved is that God sent to this earth, His one and only Son, Jesus, to walk and live in a body, and face the struggles and challenges that we all face. 
Jesus lived on this earth to teach and touch us.  Jesus died for our sins so that we might be forgiven.  Jesus came to let us know that no matter how bad things get in life we are not alone.  Even death is not the final word to this life.  It wasn’t for Jesus.  Even though we will celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus in a month I want you to know that Jesus was raised to life by the power and love of God.  This gift of love was given so that we might have abundant life. 
When we know we are loved… We listen intently
12.)      Have you ever read a book to a child, your child, your grandchild?  If you had children and read to them that was important.  In that time a child is sitting with you, perhaps near or next to you.  They are listening to your voice and enjoying the story.  They also enjoy you and this time together, listening.  Listening and loving are connected in this time with you.  
            What does a child often do after you have read them a story?  If you are reading before bedtime, they might not want to go to bed and want to delay this.   But they might say to you, as I would hear them say, “Daddy, read it to us again.” 
            I have to be honest that at times I was tired and wanted to get them to bed and didn’t want to read it to them again.  I think a part of their spirit liked listening to my voice because in my voice they heard love. 
13.)      Imagine that you are a child and God is reading a story to you.  Enjoy being with God and snuggling close to Him and hearing His voice.  We might say to Him, “read it again, read it again.”   That is what we do when we take the time to listen. 
When we know we are loved… We listen intently