DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
The Good Shepherd
The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. – JOHN 10:11, NIV
One of the figures of speech Jesus applied to Himself was that of a shepherd. He said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep…. I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:11-14, NIV).
Note four things about Jesus, the Good Shepherd. He owns the sheep; they belong to Him. Next, He guards the sheep; He never abandons them when danger approaches. Also, He knows the sheep; He calls them by name and they follow Him. Finally, He lays down His life for the sheep; their salvation is His primary concern.
The Bible says, “We are His people and the sheep of His pasture” (Ps. 100:3). Because we belong to Christ, we can be secure and at rest.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
No Wonder They Call Him Savior
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. – Philippians 2:8
Of all forms of execution devised by man through the millennia, crucifixion ranks among the cruelest and most abhorrent. Although crucifixion was first practiced by the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, the Roman Empire adopted the notorious practice as a universal form of death among its enslaved states. Even secular writers of the time shrank from giving detailed accounts of the cruel and degrading punishment.
Jesus, our Savior, died in such a manner, impaled on crude timber, in full view of a mostly hate-satiated crowd. It was an excruciatingly painful way to die. Yet Christ’s physical agony on the cross, as horrid as it was, should never obscure the reason Jesus hung on display. He died for our sins so that we could receive His gift of eternal life.
There God the Son experienced spiritual death—separation from God the Father. Christ’s forlorn cry, “My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46 NASB), was the most dreadful utterance of history. For an awful moment in time, God the Father forsook His Only begotten Son.
Jesus “humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:8 NASB) so that we could enjoy the splendor of resurrection life and everlasting communion with God the Father. Author Max Lucado writes, “No wonder they call Him Savior.”
DEVOTIONAL FROM JESUS CALLING – SARAH YOUNG
Learn To Enjoy Life More
Learn To Enjoy Life More. Relax, remembering that I am God with you. I crafted you with enormous capacity to know Me and enjoy My Presence. When My people wear sour faces and walk through their lives with resigned rigidity, I am displeased. When you walk through a day with childlike delight, savoring every blessing, you proclaim your trust in Me, your ever-present Shepherd. The more you focus on My Presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life. Glorify Me through your pleasure in Me. Thus you proclaim My Presence to the watching world.
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a]; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
His Resurrection Destiny
Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? —Luke 24:26
Our Lord’s Cross is the gateway into His life. His resurrection means that He has the power to convey His life to me. When I was born again, I received the very life of the risen Lord from Jesus Himself.
Christ’s resurrection destiny— His foreordained purpose— was to bring “many sons to glory” (Hebrews 2:10). The fulfilling of His destiny gives Him the right to make us sons and daughters of God. We never have exactly the same relationship to God that the Son of God has, but we are brought by the Son into the relation of sonship. When our Lord rose from the dead, He rose to an absolutely new life— a life He had never lived before He was God Incarnate. He rose to a life that had never been before. And what His resurrection means for us is that we are raised to His risen life, not to our old life. One day we will have a body like His glorious body, but we can know here and now the power and effectiveness of His resurrection and can “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). Paul’s determined purpose was to “know Him and the power of His resurrection” (Philippians 3:10).
Jesus prayed, “. . . as You have given Him authority over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him” (John 17:2). The term Holy Spirit is actually another name for the experience of eternal life working in human beings here and now. The Holy Spirit is the deity of God who continues to apply the power of the atonement by the Cross of Christ to our lives. Thank God for the glorious and majestic truth that His Spirit can work the very nature of Jesus into us, if we will only obey Him.