Lessons Of A Lifetime

BELIEVING MAKES US HIS SHEEP
OR
BELIEVING IS ETERNALLY REWARDING
SUNDAY JUNE 6, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple. In Solomon’s porch. Then the Jews [Jewish religious leaders] surrounded Him and said to Him, ‘How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ [Messiah], tell us plainly.’”

“Jesus answered them, ‘I told you, and you did not believe. The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.’ John 10.22-30

Something To Consider:
The Feast of Dedication, or the Feast of Lights, was established in approx. 164 B.C., after Judas Maccabaeus, his brothers, and an army of Jewish followers took back Jerusalem from Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus Epiphanes was a Syrian king who attempted to wipe out the Jewish religion.

Therefore, Greek false gods were set up in the temple at Jerusalem until Judas Maccabaeus and his followers drove out the invading army and retook the city. It was a time of sorrow and rejoicing. It was also a time of cleansing and the rededication of the temple and altar of God.

And on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Chisleu, about December on the Julian calendar, the Jewish nation commemorates the dedication of the temple. It has since been named Hanukkah and celebrated by the lighting of eight lights, one for each day of the eight-day celebration.

Something Else To Consider:
As Jesus walked in the very temple, He was asked, “How long do You keep us in doubt? If You are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus responded, by saying, “I told you, and you do not believe.” As mentioned in another lesson, believing in Jesus is an essential element that makes us His sheep.

Many of the Jewish population remained skeptical of Jesus. He did not meet their expectations as a conquering military messiah, unlike Judas Maccabaeus, even though his revolt was eventually put down. Unlike any other revolt in the history of the world, the rule and reign of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords, once established, will be forever without end!

The writer of Psalm 37.18 proclaimed; “The LORD knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever.” And in verse 29 we read, “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell in it forever.” When Christ Jesus returns, will we be considered upright and or righteous?

Something More To Consider:
Believing in Jesus and in the Word of God is eternally rewarding! Therefore, our believing makes us the sheep of God’s pasture. But what rewards await the righteous? Paul reported in 1 Corinthians 2.9, and quoting the prophet Isaiah; “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man [woman or young person] the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

John quoted Jesus in John 14.1-2 as promising; “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions [dwelling places]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” We can trust Jesus, believing is eternally rewarding!

Jesus completes His thought concerning eternal rewards by also declaring in verses 3-4 of John chapter 14; “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.” And we know that Jesus affirmed that He is the way, the truth, and the life!

A Few Final Words:
According to Jesus and the Word of God, not believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior disqualifies a person from becoming a sheep and hearing His voice. Some might ask, “But how do I know if I am a sheep of Christ, safely tucked away in the protective hand of God?” Again, according to Jesus and the Word of God, any doubt can be immediately dismissed simply by believing in Him.

For believing in Jesus is the only way anyone can reap the eternal rewards that are stored away in heaven for its future occupants. The question should be, have you and I, have our family members, have those God has placed in our lives, have we made our reservations for a prepared in advance dwelling place secure through our believing in Jesus? If not, there is still much to pray for!

Now that we understand that Jesus is preparing an eternal place with eternal rewards for those who have become His sheep through their believing in Him, are we being prepared for that eternal place and reward? This earthly life is our proving ground for all of eternity. Would we be given a passing grade if today was our last earthly day? Will we be counted by Christ as His sheep, or as rebellious unbelievers?

Leaders of rebellions and revolutions come and go with the wave of men and women upon the shores of time. But it is the true believers in Jesus Christ who leave an eternal impression upon the world! The truth is according to Jesus, as stated by Jesus in our Scripture to consider. “But you do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”

Are we truly following Jesus, His commands, and His eternal instructions? Or are we following after those who neglect the teachings, commands, and eternal warnings of Jesus? There is all of eternity hanging in the balance. Believing makes us His sheep, and believing is eternally rewarding!

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, teach us to hear the voice of Jesus calling us to follow Him today. And remind us to pray for those not yet ready to believe. In Him Always, Amen!

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