John 9:35-10:21

John 9:35-10:21

John 10:10Vintage message from November 11, 2001.

I’ve asked the question before, and I’m going to ask it again. Does He have the right? Does God have a right to use you the way He chooses to use you? You know what? I deal with people every day that are bitter because of how God chose to use them, and when God finally comes and speaks to their heart, there’s no glory. There’s no excitement. There’s no praise brought to the throne of God because that person then turns, looks at God in the Face and spits, and says, “I want nothing to do with You,” and I’ve seen it over and over again. God gives us choice. He doesn’t promise us ease in life. He doesn’t promise us wealth in life. He promises us joy, if we walk with Him, even in the hard times. Jesus did promise us, “In this life you will have tribulation.” We don’t like hearing that one! We like hearing the ones that the preachers give us, “He came that you might have life and have it abundantly,” and we’re going read that one in a minute, and they take that verse out of context to say, “That abundance means Cadillacs and mansions and millions of dollars in a bank account, and if you don’t have that, then guess what? You’re living in sin and God isn’t blessing you because you’re a filthy, rotten, stinking sinner, because look at me. I have a Cadillac. Obviously God loves me and He doesn’t love you.” I hear these messages, and the amazing thing is, people buy into them, but it is not God’s Word, it is not what God promised us, and it is not how God uses us oftentimes. He takes those simple things of life that He gave to us at birth — hard, different, challenging, I don’t care what you want to call them — and He uses those things to strengthen us, to build us in a character that He can use, but He says choose. Choose whether or not you will let Me be part of your life…

[Jesus said,] “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full,” or in abundance. Do you hear what Jesus is saying? He didn’t come that people could be wealthy. He came that they would have an abundance of life that was made clean in protection by the Shepherd that loves them; by the gate that protects them. Jesus was the Gate. He was the Shepherd Who would put His body in the gateway to make sure that nothing got in that He did not want in… You can have protection. You can have that place in God’s kingdom, in God’s heart, that shows you His love, that allows you to hear His voice. You know what? It didn’t stop them from being sheep. I don’t know if you’ve ever been around sheep. I have. Sheep are smelly, they’re dirty, they’re disgusting, and Jesus isn’t saying I’ve come that they might be washed and cleaned and made to smell nice. He’s come that they might have life and have it in abundance. He’s come to these smelly, stinky, gross sheep and has loved them. We are those sheep! He didn’t care that we smelled. He didn’t care that our wool may be matted. He came because He loved us, and He could see that we were in need of protection. We were in need of all that He could offer us in His love with His Father…

Jesus gave His life freely for us, Jesus allowed for Himself to be killed for us, and when Jesus died, it wasn’t because of the wounds that He had. It was because He gave up His Spirit, if you remember that part of the story. He said, “It is finished,” and He gave up the Ghost. He gave His Spirit back into His Father’s hands…

Too often we allow our emotions to run our life, and we don’t take time to look at the evidence… If you ever have doubt about whether or not Jesus is Who He says He is, history gives us all the evidence we need, and those who reject or refuse are like these Pharisees. They’re only looking at what Jesus is saying from their lost perspective. They’re not taking time to look at the evidence. The evidence will always say Jesus is Lord, and guess what? One day each and every one of us will say Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. It’s going to happen, whether you believe it or not, whether your friends believe it or not. You have a strong foundation from which to work. You can tell people, “It’s not my opinion”… He came to save life, not to condemn life. He didn’t come to condemn you. He didn’t come to condemn me. He came that we might have life. Life of forgiveness, life of healing, life of being with Him in relationship, and have that life in abundance.

Pastor Dave Elkins

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John 9:24-41