ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS International
Home Page of ACTS InternationalHow to Find and Know God without having to be religiousLife Help Articles dealing with faith, family, and practical helps for purposeful livingDaily and Weekend Encounters with more than a third-of-a-million worldwide subscribersSupport the Work of ACTS International a not-for-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible for U.S. donorsCurrent report on the ministries and services of ACTS InternationalOnline Store of ACTS ... ACTS CommunicationsAbout ACTS International
ACTS International Home Page Click here for the current issue of  Daily Encounter
         
     
   
Tell a Friend Site Map Share and/or Bookmark
   
         
   
Articles > About God: > Memories of a Shepherd

Memories of a Shepherd

The shepherd—the rescuer—is Jesus Christ, who made the claim, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”3 And this is what Jesus did at Easter-time almost two thousand years ago, when he gave up his life for us. For although we are not as familiar with the imagery of sheep and shepherds as those in past eras, the sheep Jesus referred to are the people throughout time ... and that includes us today. But why did Jesus lost his life for our benefit?

First, it is because, as the prophet Isaiah wrote, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity (sin) of us all.”4 In other words, every one of us has sinned. In so doing, we have gone our own way instead of God’s.

In the days before Jesus, God required the ancient Israelites to sacrifice an innocent lamb to make “temporary” atonement for our sins and to bring us back to himself.

The reality is that our sin has disconnected us or separated us from a holy God and caused us to die spiritually. Spiritual death is not the cessation of life, but rather, eternal separation from God. When we die physically, only the body dies. Our spirit lives forever and we will either live with God in what the Bible calls heaven, or we will live apart from God in what the Bible calls hell. Whatever else hell is, one thing is for certain: it is eternal separation, disconnection and isolation from God, the source of all love, joy, peace and life. The consequences of living in such a state for all eternity are unthinkable. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins and to provide the only way for us to come back to God so we could live forever with him.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd
lays down his life for the sheep

Second, the reason Jesus did this was for the simple fact that no matter what we have ever done or have failed to do, God loves us. His Word, the Bible, says, ”I have loved you with an everlasting love.”5 And again, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”6

To receive God’s gift of forgiveness and the gift of eternal life, it isn’t enough to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God who died for the sins of the world. This is necessary, but it is much more than this. It also involves a commitment of your life to God by praying and confessing your sinfulness to him, thanking his Son Jesus for dying on the Cross in your place, and inviting him into your heart and life as personal Lord and Savior.

When you do this and truly mean it, God has promised to forgive you for all your sins and give to you the gift of eternal life. When you come to Christ in this way, Jesus says, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost. Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

1. Country magazine, Feb/Mar. 1994.
2. Luke 15:4-7 (RSV).
3. John 10:11, (RSV).
4. Isaiah 53:6, (RSV).
5. Jeremiah 31:3, (RSV).
6. John 3:16, (RSV).

Back to Page One


All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.



   
    Back to Return to previous page Previous Page    
         
       
   
Site Map   Top
   
     
         
Find Peace With God footer
 
  ARTICLES
About God
About Faith
Relationships
Success/Failure
Solutions
Recovery
Ask the Teacher
Better Living Tips
Friendship
Words of Love
Words of Inspiration
People Power for Jesus
Simple and Effective Witnessing for Christ

SITE TRANSLATIONS
Spanish Espanol
French Francois

  DEVOTIONS
Devotionals
Daily Encounter
Weekend Encounter
Encuentros Diarios
Archives
Subscribe
When God Is Silent
Prayer Partners
  Needed

Special Needs

BIBLE HELPS
Helps and Studies
Today's Reading
Annual Reading

  QUOTES AND TESTS
Today's Quotes
Happiness Test
Stress Test

ACTS IN ACTION

ACTS Websites
ACTS in Action Report

COMMUNICATIONS

Syndicate ACTS Articles
"I Hate Witnessing"
   Audio—No Charge

Opening Closed Minds
Effective Communications
Jesus, the Communicator
Punching Holes in
   the Darkness

  REPORTS
About ACTS
Be an ACTS Friend

MISC.
People Power Invite
Links
Weather
Privacy Policy
Snail-Mail List
Contact Us/Feedback

ACTS BOOKSTORE
Online Bookstore


Site Map
Report problems to ACTS International
All pages in this site © Copyright 2005-2018 by ACTS International
P.O. Box 73545, San Clemente, CA 92673 U.S.A.
 
HOME   Daily Encounter  Find Peace With God