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Jesus In Joshua … Our Perfect Leader … John 10: 3-4 … March 19, 2017

     To him the gate keeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10: 3-4 ESV
 
     Joshua was leading God’s chosen people out of the wilderness and into the promised land. God opened the Jordan River for them to cross into the land that he had promised. It was a rich land flowing with milk and honey; in other words, it was a very rich land with all the provision one would ever need. The wilderness wanderings were finished, and now the people were going to take possession of the land. In possessing the land many battles were to be fought, but God had already orchestrated the outcome by fighting for his people. The people acted in obedience, and God gave them victory over enemies that were bigger and stronger. Jesus, as did Joshua, leads his sheep out of the bondage of the wilderness of sin and into a life of promise. Life that will have battles but also the promise of citizenship in heaven, and dwelling in the presence of God for eternity will be the ultimate gift. Christians, the victory was won on the cross, and we are called to follow wherever he leads us. In battles we face every day, the victory is sure because we have the presence of the Holy Spirit living in us. He who is in you is greater the he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4 ESV As we journey to all that God has promised, for those who believe in His Son Jesus and confess their sin unto repentance, let us follow as we hear his voice.
 
IT IS A PERSONAL CALL : He calls his own sheep by name. Becoming a sheep that has a name is the result of the sacrificial work of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the grave. It is not a universal call in that everyone in the world is saved because of the cross, but a personal call to repentance for the forgiveness of sin. The promise of Heaven is for all who go by the name Christian as a result of repenting and believing. Heaven is a place flowing with the presence of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. All that we will ever need in Heaven is to be in His presence.
 
HE, JESUS, WILL LEAD US : He leads them out ….. he goes before them. Jesus will never lead you to a place that he has not already been. Joshua had never lived in the promise land, but Jesus came from the heaven promised, and returned there to prepare a place for us. When he left Heaven to become flesh, he also took on all the flesh experiences except sin. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, so he was totally God, and born of a woman, being totally man. Flesh that had emotions, pain, and physical boundaries. He needed sleep, felt hungry, and every other experience that came with being flesh. We can be encouraged because he overcame the world in the flesh. (John 16:33) Tempted in every fashion as we are tempted, yet without sin.(Hebrews 4:15) He calls us, as he did those whom he did not condemn in the Bible, to go and sin no more. ( John 8: 10-11) The closer we follow Jesus the more repulsive sin will become to us, and he will never lead us in a way that will cause us to sin. Sin can only be attractive to those who have not experienced the saving grace of Christ. To those who are in Christ, you are in constant remembrance that your sin was the cause for which Jesus died in your place. The closer you follow to Jesus the more keenly aware you are of this fact and desire to sin no more.
 
HIS SHEEP WILL FOLLOW : The sheep follow him for they know his voice. In Bible times shepherds would bring their sheep together to graze in the fields. At the end of the day when it was time to depart, the shepherds would begin to call out and the sheep would follow the voice of their particular shepherd. So it is with every person… we follow a voice from within. Whoever or whatever controls our life will be the voice we follow. The Bible is clear that you cannot serve two masters. (Matthew 6:24) There is only one voice that we should listen for and that is the voice of Jesus. If you are not listening, then your heart is in danger of becoming hardened, and we are warned by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in rebellion. Hebrews 3:7 ESV  Today, Jesus speaks to us from the Bible, giving us clear direction as to how we should live. I believe there are times the Holy Spirit speaks to us and impresses us to do or take action concerning a matter, but it will always be in agreement with biblical principles. Jesus calls us to follow Him in the Bible when he said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 ESV We follow him not on a literal cross but by putting to death every day the sins of the flesh for which he died upon the cross. In doing so we become living sacrifices as described in chapter twelve verse one of Romans. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as LIVING SACRIFICES, HOLY AND ACCEPTABLE TO GOD, which is your spiritual worship.”
 
     In closing I pose the question, to what flock do you belong? Is your shepherd’s voice the one who died upon the cross for your sin, or is he the shepherd which will ultimately destroy you? We all will serve one or the other. We consciously serve Jesus or in some cases consciously or unconsciously serve the way of the Satan. The reason I say this is because at the end of life there will be a judgement and everyone will reap what they have sown. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:8 ESV So let me ask again, “What shepherd voice are you following?”
 
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

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