Waynedale United Methodist Church
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

September 24, 2017 Sermon

“Hearing the Shepherd’s Voice” 
John 10:1 – 11 
Ted Jansen  September 24, 2017  Waynedale UMC 
 
1.)Do you want life or “LIFE?”   Jesus was speaking one day using an image of a Shepherd to teach the people.  They all knew about sheep.  He directed those listening to Him to desire “LIFE!”      
Listen to what John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”   We are given LIFE from Jesus.    
Here are a few other versions as they describe that verse.  “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.   (NLT) “LIFE!” 
“A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy.  I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (Message) “LIFE!” 
 
2.)We all desire an abundant life.  This is what Jesus is referring to in John 10:1 – 10.  Sheep can have a great and full life in the presence of the Shepherd.  Sheep don’t want a thief to rule their lives, because a thief is not going to give life.  No, a thief will take life.     
  
3.)I want us to understand the Shepherd and why we are like sheep.  I want us to realize that when we listen and trust the Shepherd we can have “LIFE!”  As we look at our scripture there are three things that can give us “LIFE!”     
a.)The Shepherd knows our name.  We read in verse three these words, “He calls his own sheep by name.”  The sheep are known personally.  You are known personally.  You are not a number, or a participant in a group.  No, you are a unique person with a name.  The Shepherd knows you and loves you and cares about you and all that is going on in your life.  The Shepherd knows your name.   The Shepherds love comes to you when you hear your name being spoken.  This gives “LIFE!”     
b.) The Shepherds leads us.  Listen to verse 3, “and leads them out.”  The Shepherd does not drive the sheep from behind, no he leads them out.  The Shepherd is in front of the sheep leading them out from where they are.  We are being led by the Lord.  We are not being asked to go somewhere the Shepherd has not gone, or to follow his voice from behind.  Our loving Lord and Savior is in front of us.  This gives us “LIFE!”   
c.)The Shepherd keeps communicating.  Verse 4 says, “When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”  I understand this verse to be saying that the Shepherd continues to call out to the sheep.  It is not a one-time calling, but a continuous call.  The Lord wants us to know that we are not alone, that other sheep are with us, and that together the Lord speaks to us.  Our Lord, the Shepherd, is in front of us and as we continue to trust, listen and follow we will have “LIFE!”    
 
4.)Have you heard of the name of Florence Nightingale?  She was someone that listen and trusted in the voice of the Shepherd in her life.  She had “LIFE” and was able to give physical life to many people.  She changed nursing in many ways and people have benefited because of her.   Here is a brief overview of her story.   
Florence was born in 1820 and grew up in a rich, upper class British family and had a younger sister.  It was expected that she and her sister would socialize with the wealthy so they could meet husbands and continue to live a life of privilege.  When Florence was 17 she experience a “call” from God to serve.  She wasn’t sure what that meant and though her family resisted they allowed Florence to go into nursing.  Her family believed that a “nice and respectful” young woman should not be involved in nursing because it involved people with wounds, sickness and terrible conditions.      
Yet, Florence was drawn to the needs of people she served in hospitals, battlefields and places where care could be offered.  The conditions were not sanitary and as she cared for people she observed what could be done to improve health and the conditions of care.    
Florence serveand used her abilities, knowledge and skill and transformed nursing as she began to teach and train nurses as she developed systems of care and cleanliness.  Florence is known as a modern pioneer of nursing.    
Your care has been influence because of a woman who listened to the voice of the Shepherd to serve and followed a path that her family, and others, would not have chosen for her.   
 
5.)When we listen to the Lord we can have “LIFE!”  Each of us are being asked to listen to the voice of the Lord in regards to our Capital Campaign goal Our goal is $265,000.  The Lord needs each of us to respond to this goal and our part of it.  It will take all of us.   
I believe that the Lord wants to grow your faith through this need.   I believe that faith grows when we choose to give and trust.  This is one of the ways we can grow our faith, as we respond to this need.  As we respond to this need the Lord will continue to call our name and lead us in new paths of faith.            
Here is a dollar.  This is a symbol of our resources.  What could I do with it?  I might spend it on something I need or want.  I can save it for a want or need in my future.  I can give it away to someone else’s need or want.  Those are the three things I can do with this dollar.   Our faith, values and trust in God need to guide each dollar that we have as a witness of our faith.     
  
6.)I thought of a time when I had to make a decision, not about money, but about my time.  I needed to decide what to do regarding a summer job at a camp.  I knew that God had called me to ministry and was trying to understand what I needed to do.  I had spent several summers in different roles at a Christian camp in Pennsylvania and wasn’t sure what my next step was.   
It was during this period of time when I had to make a decision that I heard God speaking to me through scripture.  In Mark 6:30 – 44 it describes Jesus and the disciples who were headed in a certain direction.  There were so many people that they got into a boat to travel.  Jesus and the disciples were tired and needed some rest.      
The people went ahead of Jesus and met Him when they landed.  Jesus, though not intending to meet with the people, decided to stop and taught them.  They were so intent on listening that they were hungry and Jesus fed them with a few loaves and fish.   
I heard the voice of the Lord speak to my heart when I read Mark 6:34.  “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd.  So he began teaching them many things.”  (Mark 6:34) 
Jesus, like a shepherd, cared for the people in front Him.  So, as I was wondering what to do about my “call” to ministry I saw an offer to serve as a camp counselor as what I needed to do.  The children and youth and people were right in front of me and so that is what I needed to do.     
I heard the voice of the Shepherd saying to me to follow me and serve as a counselor.  As I think about summer and other moments I seek to continue to listen to the Lord.      
A few things happened to me after that summer of being a counselor.  I decided to switch my minor from Psychology to Business and the following summer I was asked to serve as a Program Director.  Both of those decisions have guided me in ministry to this day, understanding some business principles and preaching.     
 
7.)The Lord loves us and wants to give “LIFE!”   
We need to hear His voice and not worry or be concerned about other voices    
We need to trust His leading even though we might not be sure how this will end up or what direction this will take us.   
We need to take a risk and be willing to get out of our comfort zone and move into a future unknown to us, but known by the Shepherd.     
 
8.)Where is the Savior, the Shepherd leading us?  Can you hear the call?  Can you recognize that the Shepherd knows your name, and wants you to come out from where you are, even though it might seem scary?  The Lord is wanting you to hear, to listen, to be at peace with the message that will grow your faith.