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JimB

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The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« on: March 10, 2016, 06:41:01 PM »
Chap. 52 - The Divine Shepherd

Listen to The Divine Shepherd

 





     "I am the Good Shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." "I am the Good Shepherd, and know My sheep, and am known of Mine. As the Father knoweth Me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down My life for the sheep."   
     Again Jesus found access to the minds of His hearers by the pathway of their familiar associations. He had likened the Spirit's influence to the cool, refreshing water. He had represented Himself as the light, the source of life and gladness to nature and to man. Now in a beautiful pastoral picture He represents His relation to those that believe on Him. No picture was more familiar to His hearers than this, and Christ's words linked it forever with Himself. Never could the disciples look on the shepherds tending their flocks without recalling the Saviour's lesson. They would see Christ in each faithful shepherd. They would see themselves in each helpless and dependent flock.   
     This figure the prophet Isaiah had applied to the Messiah's mission, in the comforting words, "O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! . . . He shall feed His flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom." Isaiah 40:9-11. David had sung, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Psalm 23:1. And the Holy Spirit through Ezekiel had declared: "I will set up one Shepherd over them, and He shall feed them." "I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick." "And I will make with them a covenant of peace." "And they shall no more be a prey to the heathen; . . . but they shall dwell safely, and none shall make them afraid." Ezekiel 34:23, 16, 25, 28. 
     Christ applied these prophecies to Himself, and He showed the contrast between His own character and that of the leaders in Israel. The Pharisees had just driven one from the fold, because he dared to bear witness to the power of Christ. They had cut off a soul whom the True Shepherd was drawing to Himself. In this they had shown themselves ignorant of the work committed to them, and unworthy of their trust as shepherds of the flock. Jesus now set before them the contrast between them and the Good Shepherd, and He pointed to Himself as the real keeper of the Lord's flock. Before doing this, however, He speaks of Himself under another figure.   
     He said, "He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep." The Pharisees did not discern that these words were spoken against them. When they reasoned in their hearts as to the meaning, Jesus told them plainly, "I am the door: by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."   
     Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children, from the earliest times, have found entrance. In Jesus, as shown in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelation of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples, and in the miracles wrought for the sons of men, they have beheld "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), and through Him they are brought within the fold of His grace. Many have come presenting other objects for the faith of the world; ceremonies and systems have been devised by which men hope to receive justification and peace with God, and thus find entrance to His fold. But the only door is Christ, and all who have interposed something to take the place of Christ, all who have tried to enter the fold in some other way, are thieves and robbers.   
     The Pharisees had not entered by the door. They had climbed into the fold by another way than Christ, and they were not fulfilling the work of the true shepherd. The priests and rulers, the scribes and Pharisees, destroyed the living pastures, and defiled the wellsprings of the water of life. Faithfully do the words of inspiration describe those false shepherds: "The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away; . . . but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them." Ezekiel 34:4.   
     In all ages, philosophers and teachers have been presenting to the world theories by which to satisfy the soul's need. Every heathen nation has had its great teachers and religious systems offering some other means of redemption than Christ, turning the eyes of men away from the Father's face, and filling their hearts with fear of Him who has given them only blessing. The trend of their work is to rob God of that which is His own, both by creation and by redemption. And these false teachers rob man as well. Millions of human beings are bound down under false religions, in the bondage of slavish fear, of stolid indifference, toiling like beasts of burden, bereft of hope or joy or aspiration here, and with only a dull fear of the hereafter. It is the gospel of the grace of God alone that can uplift the soul. The contemplation of the love of God manifested in His Son will stir the heart and arouse the powers of the soul as nothing else can. Christ came that He might re-create the image of God in man; and whoever turns men away from Christ is turning them away from the source of true development; he is defrauding them of the hope and purpose and glory of life. He is a thief and a robber.   
     "He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep." Christ is both the door and the shepherd. He enters in by Himself. It is through His own sacrifice that He becomes the shepherd of the sheep. "To Him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear His voice: and He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice."   
     Of all creatures the sheep is one of the most timid and helpless, and in the East the shepherd's care for his flock is untiring and incessant. Anciently as now there was little security outside of the walled towns. Marauders from the roving border tribes, or beasts of prey from their hiding places in the rocks, lay in wait to plunder the flocks. The shepherd watched his charge, knowing that it was at the peril of his own life. Jacob, who kept the flocks of Laban in the pasture grounds of Haran, describing his own unwearied labor, said, "In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes." Genesis 31:40. And it was while guarding his father's sheep that the boy David, single-handed, encountered the lion and the bear, and rescued from their teeth the stolen lamb.   
     As the shepherd leads his flock over the rocky hills, through forest and wild ravines, to grassy nooks by the riverside; as he watches them on the mountains through the lonely night, shielding from robbers, caring tenderly for the sickly and feeble, his life comes to be one with theirs. A strong and tender attachment unites him to the objects of his care. However large the flock, the shepherd knows every sheep. Every one has its name, and responds to the name at the shepherd's call.   
     As an earthly shepherd knows his sheep, so does the divine Shepherd know His flock that are scattered throughout the world. "Ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God." Jesus says, "I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine." "I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." Ezekiel 34:31; Isaiah 43:1; 49:16.   
     Jesus knows us individually, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows us all by name. He knows the very house in which we live, the name of each occupant. He has at times given directions to His servants to go to a certain street in a certain city, to such a house, to find one of His sheep.   
     Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died. The distress of every one touches His heart. The cry for aid reaches His ear. He came to draw all men unto Himself. He bids them, "Follow Me," and His Spirit moves upon their hearts to draw them to come to Him. Many refuse to be drawn. Jesus knows who they are. He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care. He says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.   
     "He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. . . . And the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice." The Eastern shepherd does not drive his sheep. He depends not upon force or fear; but going before, he calls them. They know his voice, and obey the call. So does the Saviour-Shepherd with His sheep. The Scripture says, "Thou leddest Thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron." Through the prophet, Jesus declares, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee." He compels none to follow Him. "I drew them," He says, "with cords of a man, with bands of love." Psalm 77:20; Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 11:4.   
     It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.   
     As the shepherd goes before his sheep, himself first encountering the perils of the way, so does Jesus with His people. "When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them." The way to heaven is consecrated by the Saviour's footprints. The path may be steep and rugged, but Jesus has traveled that way; His feet have pressed down the cruel thorns, to make the pathway easier for us. Every burden that we are called to bear He Himself has borne.   
     Though now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. "And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast.   
     Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore." Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Isaiah 54:10.   
     However much a shepherd may love his sheep, he loves his sons and daughters more. Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our "everlasting Father." And He says, "I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father." John 10:14, 15, R. V. What a statement is this!--the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be "the Man that is My fellow" (Zechariah 13:7),--the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!   
     Because we are the gift of His Father, and the reward of His work, Jesus loves us. He loves us as His children. Reader, He loves you. Heaven itself can bestow nothing greater, nothing better. Therefore trust.   
     Jesus thought upon the souls all over the earth who were misled by false shepherds. Those whom He longed to gather as the sheep of His pasture were scattered among wolves, and He said, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd." John 10:16, R. V.   
     "Therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again." That is, My Father has so loved you, that He even loves Me more for giving My life to redeem you. In becoming your substitute and surety, by surrendering My life, by taking your liabilities, your transgressions, I am endeared to My Father.   
     "I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." While as a member of the human family He was mortal, as God He was the fountain of life for the world. He could have withstood the advances of death, and refused to come under its dominion; but voluntarily He laid down His life, that He might bring life and immortality to light. He bore the sin of the world, endured its curse, yielded up His life as a sacrifice, that men might not eternally die. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah 53:4-6.   
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2016, 05:27:42 AM »
It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.   
     As the shepherd goes before his sheep, himself first encountering the perils of the way, so does Jesus with His people. "When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them." The way to heaven is consecrated by the Saviour's footprints. The path may be steep and rugged, but Jesus has traveled that way; His feet have pressed down the cruel thorns, to make the pathway easier for us. Every burden that we are called to bear He Himself has borne.   
     Though now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. "And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast.   
     Through all our trials we have a never-failing Helper. He does not leave us alone to struggle with temptation, to battle with evil, and be finally crushed with burdens and sorrow. Though now He is hidden from mortal sight, the ear of faith can hear His voice saying, Fear not; I am with you. "I am He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive forevermore." Revelation 1:18. I have endured your sorrows, experienced your struggles, encountered your temptations. I know your tears; I also have wept. The griefs that lie too deep to be breathed into any human ear, I know. Think not that you are desolate and forsaken. Though your pain touch no responsive chord in any heart on earth, look unto Me, and live. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Isaiah 54:10.   [/font][/size]

Here are a couple of paragraphs I couldn't help but point out. I started to bold some of the text but it would have ended up all bolded (sp?) so I've left it. To think that he loves me and YOU this much is just simply incredible.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2016, 08:07:47 AM »
Amen!  My whole book is underlined.    :)

But, it is one thing to wake up and realize one is not converted, it is another to not know how to be saved. When Nicodemus met with Jesus that first time (John 3), Jesus told him he was not converted, even though he was a leader in Israel. It was rare to find one who had experienced the new birth. It would not be right for Jesus to tell him he needed to be born again without telling him what he must do in order to be converted. Jesus did tell him. And, it supports just what we are told in this statement you have quoted, Jim. Let's look at it since we remain in a Laodicean church where many are awakening to their condition, but do not understand what they must do. And, Jesus tells us in the third chapter of Revelation what to do also. All three are basically saying the same thing.

Nowhere is it more beautifully presented than in the first paragraph Jim has quoted for us today. "It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.   

In John 3 we read what Jesus told Nicodemus "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life." This requires an understanding of what happened in the wilderness before one can understand what they must do in order to be saved.

And in Revelation 3 we read "Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  This also requires some understanding from Bible study to know what the Laodicean must do in order to be justified by faith. What is "gold tried in the fire", "white raiment", and "eyesalve"?

All three reveal the same thing, but here in the Desire of Ages it is made so plain a child can understand that it is just what 2 Corinthians 3:18 says. "We all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." It is both an intellectual and a spiritual truth that by beholding we become changed. The mind gradually adapts itself to what it is accustomed to behold. It is as plastic being changed by what it sees over and over. If we want to live with the saved, then we must be changed into the character of those who love God and keep His commandments. And here we are told how we may be transformed in character. It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. I know I am preaching to the choir, for they are the ones spending that time reading this most beautiful revelation of Christ. God will bless you dear friends. As you have opportunity share the secret of 2 Corinthians 3:18 with others who are seeking to overcome the sin that so easily besets us when we are not walking with Jesus. Then they too will behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him will attract, soften and subdue the soul. Love will awaken in the heart, they will hear His voice, and they too will join with us and follow Him.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2016, 07:21:04 AM »
I love this chapter! I love how close our relationship may be with Jesus--as close as was that of the Father with the Son! Hallelujah!!!!

However much a shepherd may love his sheep, he loves his sons and daughters more. Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our "everlasting Father." And He says, "I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father." John 10:14, 15, R. V. What a statement is this!--the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be "the Man that is My fellow" (Zechariah 13:7),--the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!   

Isn't that phenomenal!! I pray that Jesus will ever be my first love, and that each of us may deeply drink more fully of this communion that is never to be broken--except by our own choice to sin against God. May His love so full our hearts that we will hate sin because of His love softening and subduing our hearts as we behold the Saviour's matchless love!!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2016, 07:42:15 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!! What a God!!! And, we may know Him as our Friend and Savior!!!! And, we finally understand how it is that we develop this saving relationship.....no matter how hard Satan tries to intervene between Christ and us.

   In all ages, philosophers and teachers have been presenting to the world theories by which to satisfy the soul's need. Every heathen nation has had its great teachers and religious systems offering some other means of redemption than Christ, turning the eyes of men away from the Father's face, and filling their hearts with fear of Him who has given them only blessing. The trend of their work is to rob God of that which is His own, both by creation and by redemption. And these false teachers rob man as well. Millions of human beings are bound down under false religions, in the bondage of slavish fear, of stolid indifference, toiling like beasts of burden, bereft of hope or joy or aspiration here, and with only a dull fear of the hereafter. It is the gospel of the grace of God alone that can uplift the soul. The contemplation of the love of God manifested in His Son will stir the heart and arouse the powers of the soul as nothing else can. Christ came that He might re-create the image of God in man; and whoever turns men away from Christ is turning them away from the source of true development; he is defrauding them of the hope and purpose and glory of life. He is a thief and a robber.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2016, 09:33:20 AM »
Listen to today's reading:   The Divine Shepherd
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2016, 07:04:25 AM »
     It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.   


What a simple but powerful truth!  This is conversion!  Love begets love. And by beholding we become transformed.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2016, 02:51:32 PM »
Amen, Richard! I was so blessed by this chapter again and found that many of the salient paragraphs in today's reading flowed into new "Spirit of Prophecy" songs for me. I look forward to sharing them as they become part of my spiritual experience. I have found the idea of Jesus shepherding me to be such a comfort--an assurance of divine love that makes such a huge difference!

I love how HE LEADS the way--and calls us only to follow where His loving feet have already borne the hardest part of the path. The cross He calls us to bear is but the expression of His love for us, and He calls us not just His sheep, but loves us as His SONS AND DAUGHTERS! Amazing love! My heart is melted anew today in beholding the loveliness of Jesus!!

As the shepherd goes before his sheep, himself first encountering the perils of the way, so does Jesus with His people. "When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them." The way to heaven is consecrated by the Saviour's footprints. The path may be steep and rugged, but Jesus has traveled that way; His feet have pressed down the cruel thorns, to make the pathway easier for us. Every burden that we are called to bear He Himself has borne.    

This thought means we need never become fearful of the future as long as we have Christ abiding in our hearts by living faith! Hallelujah!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2016, 05:47:49 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean!   The road is steep and rugged, but when we have Christ within the heart, we can do all things!  The great mystery is, what does it mean to have Christ, and how can we have Him? Our reading today answers the question. And, the answer from the Old Testament, also reveals to Israel their Messiah. Today, they have been blinded to this truth:

     He bore the sin of the world, endured its curse, yielded up His life as a sacrifice, that men might not eternally die. "Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . . He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.


The Jews were not looking for this kind of a Messiah. They had no idea the Lamb being sacrificed represented the Son of God whose grace was needed for them to have eternal life. So, when they slaughtered the sheep, they did not see the love of God in giving His Son for their sins. They did not behold grace when because of their desire to have Christ crucified, Pilot order Him flogged. Yet, it was by those "stripes" he willingly accepted we behold the grace that heals, that transforms the character.

It would be well to spend a thoughtful hour each day contemplating these "stripes". For, it is by beholding His glory that we are changed into His image from glory unto glory by His Spirit (2 Cor. 3:18).
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2016, 08:21:31 AM »
Amen, Richard! We can praise the Lord that in beholding Christ's sufferings for us we are able to have His love awakened in our hearts, and from a heart and mind renewed by divine grace, we can go forth to share that love with others! The new birth is a reality when we behold the loveliness of Jesus and realize our continual need of Him as our Savior-Shepherd!

It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.   

I love how this above statement reveals how we are to experience the love of Christ and be transformed in character--it is by beholding His life that we are drawn to Him. We are not motivated by hope or fear, but by enduring love. How we need to behold that love continually! And by beholding we are changed to reflect more fully Christ and His character to the world around us. Such a revelation will reveal to the universe the power of God's grace to transform sinners into saints, and to keep them from falling back into sin because His grace is sufficient for us in our weakness.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2017, 05:27:47 AM »
May we today remember how fully known we are to Jesus, and realize His tender love and compassion in our own experience that others, beholding Christ at work in our lives by revealing the fruits of His Spirit without one missing, will desire what Jesus can do for them, too!

Jesus knows us individually, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows us all by name. He knows the very house in which we live, the name of each occupant. He has at times given directions to His servants to go to a certain street in a certain city, to such a house, to find one of His sheep.   

He says, "YOUR NAME" I love you! Do we really believe this? Then we will not live in a state of fear and worry, we will trust all to our merciful Shepherd, our Great High Priest, Jesus Christ! Hallelujah!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2017, 06:54:35 AM »
Amen, Pastor Sean. The question is, do we know His name? Do we know Him as it is our privilege to know Him? Have we been drinking His blood and eating His flesh? He is the Manna which came down from heaven, that we might have spiritual food. For it is by beholding Him that we are changed into His image (character). "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." 2 Cor. 3:18.

It is His character, His grace, His unmerited love that causes us to follow Him.

     Through the prophet, Jesus declares, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee." He compels none to follow Him. "I drew them," He says, "with cords of a man, with bands of love." Psalm 77:20; Jeremiah 31:3; Hosea 11:4.   
     It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.   


Saving faith is an intelligent faith based on our knowing the character of our God.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2017, 04:16:03 AM »
Jesus is everything to us. But, as it was in Israel of Old, today Satan has been very successful in diverting professing Christians from this truth. Instead of looking unto Jesus, they eyes are directed elsewhere for salvation. Many fear God because of false teachers. They believe God is going to burn unrepentant sinners for eternity. Others believe they will inherit heaven by their own works. Others believe God has done it all for them and they need to make a full heart surrender to Jesus in order to be transformed in character that he might be fit for heaven.

It was by His own sacrifice that Christ has become our Savior. There is no other way that we may obtain eternal life except through the grace of God in offering His innocent Son.

   Christ is the door to the fold of God. Through this door all His children, from the earliest times, have found entrance. In Jesus, as shown in types, as shadowed in symbols, as manifested in the revelation of the prophets, as unveiled in the lessons given to His disciples, and in the miracles wrought for the sons of men, they have beheld "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), and through Him they are brought within the fold of His grace. Many have come presenting other objects for the faith of the world; ceremonies and systems have been devised by which men hope to receive justification and peace with God, and thus find entrance to His fold. But the only door is Christ, and all who have interposed something to take the place of Christ, all who have tried to enter the fold in some other way, are thieves and robbers.   


How is it that Jesus can know who it is that are His own?

    Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died. The distress of every one touches His heart. The cry for aid reaches His ear. He came to draw all men unto Himself. He bids them, "Follow Me," and His Spirit moves upon their hearts to draw them to come to Him. Many refuse to be drawn. Jesus knows who they are. He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care. He says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.   

Amen! Jesus is drawing all to Himself. If we would take time to know Him, we would love Him who first loved us. It is not the promise of heaven that transforms sinners into saint, but it is the love of God revealed in the life, suffering, and death of Jesus.

    It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him.   





Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2017, 05:46:11 AM »
Amen! Amen! I love this chapter and the beautiful revelation of Jesus as our Shepherd-Friend who leads us heavenward in His footsteps!

  Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died. The distress of every one touches His heart. The cry for aid reaches His ear. He came to draw all men unto Himself. He bids them, "Follow Me," and His Spirit moves upon their hearts to draw them to come to Him. Many refuse to be drawn. Jesus knows who they are. He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care. He says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.   

I choose to respond to Him! His love is so irresistible when I behold Him--while I can resist, why, seeing all He has suffered and endured to save me, would I want to deny Him His reward? He bought me at infinite cost, and I praise God for His infinite love, and desire to never separate from Him by a single sin. Oh Lord, keep us is our great need--may we respond to Your keeping and be your sheep in life and character at all times and in all places!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2017, 05:05:36 AM »
Amen! Amen! I love this chapter and the beautiful revelation of Jesus as our Shepherd-Friend who leads us heavenward in His footsteps!


It's one of my favorite chapters also. Speaking of Christ's love for us I found this also that reveals His love for everyone.

Jesus thought upon the souls all over the earth who were misled by false shepherds. Those whom He longed to gather as the sheep of His pasture were scattered among wolves, and He said, "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock, one shepherd." John 10:16, R. V.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2017, 05:44:11 AM »
What a beautiful revelation of the loveliness of Jesus we are privileged to behold today when we see Him as the Good Shepherd of John 10:1-30!

     Though now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. "And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast. {The Desire of Ages, page 480, paragraph 4}

I love how tender Jesus is with us, and how He values us personally, individually--what a blessing to have Jesus on the throne of the universe as our Elder Brother, as our Savior-Shepherd, who will hold us fast as long as we choose to be fully surrendered to Him. Such an experience is what we all need today!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2017, 07:45:49 PM »
Amen!  And, as powerful as is Christ, so we are weak as lambs. We need His protection from the world, Satan, and self. Jesus knows you and He knows me. He would have suffered and died just to save you if you were the only one to be saved.

     As an earthly shepherd knows his sheep, so does the divine Shepherd know His flock that are scattered throughout the world. "Ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God." Jesus says, "I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine." "I have graven thee upon the palms of My hands." Ezekiel 34:31; Isaiah 43:1; 49:16.   
     Jesus knows us individually, and is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. He knows us all by name. He knows the very house in which we live, the name of each occupant. He has at times given directions to His servants to go to a certain street in a certain city, to such a house, to find one of His sheep.   
     Every soul is as fully known to Jesus as if he were the only one for whom the Saviour died. The distress of every one touches His heart. The cry for aid reaches His ear. He came to draw all men unto Himself. He bids them, "Follow Me," and His Spirit moves upon their hearts to draw them to come to Him. Many refuse to be drawn. Jesus knows who they are. He also knows who gladly hear His call, and are ready to come under His pastoral care. He says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." He cares for each one as if there were not another on the face of the earth.   
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

JimB

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2017, 05:15:52 AM »
We've been talking about Christ as a gentle shepherd but in this chapter towards the end she shifts His role from shepherd to father and calls us His children and therefore we can trust Him. What an encouraging thought!

However much a shepherd may love his sheep, he loves his sons and daughters more. Jesus is not only our shepherd; He is our "everlasting Father." And He says, "I know Mine own, and Mine own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me, and I know the Father." John 10:14, 15, R. V. What a statement is this!--the only-begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He whom God has declared to be "the Man that is My fellow" (Zechariah 13:7),--the communion between Him and the eternal God is taken to represent the communion between Christ and His children on the earth!   
     Because we are the gift of His Father, and the reward of His work, Jesus loves us. He loves us as His children. Reader, He loves you. Heaven itself can bestow nothing greater, nothing better. Therefore trust.
By communion with God in nature, the mind is uplifted, and the heart finds rest.  {DA 291.1}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2017, 08:13:57 AM »
Amen, Jim! What a Savior we have in Jesus! We are drawn to follow Him not through fear or reward motivations as a sustaining strength in our walk with Him, but because of His loveliness. By beholding His love we are changed. Let us receive Him into the heart today so He can impart to us His divine nature, a nature that is revealed in all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing!

"It is not the fear of punishment, or the hope of everlasting reward, that leads the disciples of Christ to follow Him. They behold the Saviour's matchless love, revealed throughout His pilgrimage on earth, from the manger of Bethlehem to Calvary's cross, and the sight of Him attracts, it softens and subdues the soul. Love awakens in the heart of the beholders. They hear His voice, and they follow Him." {The Desire of Ages, page 480, paragraph 3}
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Dorine

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Re: The Desire of Ages--52--The Divine Shepherd
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2018, 04:40:09 AM »
I am inspired as I read this chapter this morning. I love to read about His personal interests in each of us. What tender compassion is illustrated by the good Shepherd.

"As the shepherd goes before his sheep, himself first encountering the perils of the way, so does Jesus with His people. "When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them." The way to heaven is consecrated by the Saviour's footprints. The path may be steep and rugged, but Jesus has traveled that way; His feet have pressed down the cruel thorns, to make the pathway easier for us. Every burden that we are called to bear He Himself has borne.
   Though now He has ascended to the presence of God, and shares the throne of the universe, Jesus has lost none of His compassionate nature. Today the same tender, sympathizing heart is open to all the woes of humanity. Today the hand that was pierced is reached forth to bless more abundantly His people that are in the world. "And they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand." The soul that has given himself to Christ is more precious in His sight than the whole world. The Saviour would have passed through the agony of Calvary that one might be saved in His kingdom. He will never abandon one for whom He has died. Unless His followers choose to leave Him, He will hold them fast."
 

Doesn't that bring hope and comfort to your heart this morning? And to think He would have done the same for just one soul to be saved. I am so weak and needy but each day He provides for each and every need just as He promised.
But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press  toward the mark. Phil. 3:13,14