The Purpose Driven Shepherd

Bible Book: John  10 : 1-14
Subject: Jesus, Blessings of; Guidance, God's

Almost everyone in America has an abundant life. We have far more things than most people in the world. But, what do you count as your greatest abundance? It is in money, things, accomplishments, or is your greatest abundance in the things of God?

Let's look today at the purpose of The Good Shepherd? Today we are going to look at the purpose that drove Jesus in His life and ministry. This will help us see just where we should look for abundance in life!

I. Jesus Sought to Give Godly Assurance to the Believer

Every Christian has been assured by our Lord that he or she will face opposition in life. Jesus faced opposition and He clearly stated the servant is not greater than the Master. Thus, since He suffered opposition, so will you! You see, there is thief who desires to steal from you. The thief of this world (Satan) wants to steal things from you.

A. Position in life

He wants to take from you the sense of peace you have in the position that you possess in Christ. Jesus has given you a position that Satan cannot steal; however, the devil can seek to take your peace from you. When things happen to us in life that create frustration and hardship, we can be tempted to doubt God's love. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and remember that no matter how difficult things in this life become we have a position in Christ that cannot be taken from us.

B. Possession in life

Satan wants to discourage your faith. But, your faith came from God. Of course, if the thief can get you to doubt, he can steal your joy, and your ability to please God. After all, without faith it is impossible to please Him. So, Satan is seeking to tempt you to doubt God - not just God's love but God's ability to meet your needs!

What is that the devil tempts us to do about our doubt? He wants to change your mind about the value of living for Christ. The thief of this world wants you to believe that sin brings satisfaction. As Satan prods you to doubt the power and blessings of faith, he tempts you to believe that sin will make you happy! What a liar he is!!! God has given you the possession of eternal life. He has placed the Holy Spirit in you. Don't let Satan lie to you and tempt you away from the place of true joy that God has provided! Always remember, God is at work in all your circumstances to bring about glory to Himself and meaning to your life. Just read Romans 8:28!

C. Opportunity in your life

Satan will tempt you to look at circumstances and miss your opportunities. When something appears to be negative or bad in your experience, he will tempt you to believe that it is actually bad. However, God works in every situation, regardless of how it may appear for the moment.

1. Events Are Not Always What They Seem

You cannot judge events by the immediate look of things. God has a plan and opportunity in each situation. The opportunity may be for you to grow in your faith, or it may be for you to share Christ with someone else. It may that God is working in your circumstances for you to see something in your life that needs to be changed. Just be assured that God is working in every circumstance for your good and His glory. Don't allow the enemy to take your eyes off of the Lord.

2. Struggles Can Always Lead To Victory

The great thing is, God can bring victory out of everything that happens. Someone was the first to say, "No pain, no gain!" That is really true in our Christian life. I work out at the YMCA. When I am on one of the exercise machines, I know that it is not going to be easy. I don't expect it to be easy. I strain, groan and sweat. I know what you ladies say, "Ladies don't sweat, we glisten." But, when I am working out, it is just pure, old-fashioned sweat. Now, why do I do that kind of exercise? I do it because it is good for me. I will grow stronger and more fit as I exercise. Faith is the same way. If you become a spiritual coach potato, and are unwilling to 'groan' and 'sweat' for the Lord, you will not grow. The Lord told us in His Word that the present sufferings are not to be compared with the glory we will experience one day when He comes. Don't fret, when you sweat, and you will never regret! Keeping your eyes on the Lord during hard times leads to victory!

3. Your Attitude And Actions Are Important

Your attitude and actions in the midst of life's circumstances are critically important. Satan is seeking to get you to look at life from the world's point of view. God is calling on you to follow the Scripture and act accordingly. How often we fail, not because God is absent, but because we are failing to act on faith.

II. Jesus Sought To Give Godly Abundance to the Believer

Jesus gives the qualities of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, character, wisdom and other good qualities to us through His presence in lives. Think of it like this.

A. The Abundant Life Is Full Of Things Money Cannot Buy

Money can't buy salvation. Money can't get your prayers answered. Money can't give you peace when you are dying. Only the Lord can provide the abundance you need in life. In this generation, a generation mad about materialism, keep you focus on the things of God. In fact, even those Christians with wealth will tell you that their true joy comes from the Lord.

B. The Abundant Life Is Not Always Full Of Comfort And Ease

If you ask the average person what they want, they will say that they would like to live a comfortable and easy life. Really? That is not true! When you are young you wanted to tie your own shoes or learn to walk like your mom and dad. You love the struggle of learning new things. A child will fall off a bicycle several times, nearly breaking his neck, and get right back on it again. The child is determined to learn how to ride a bicycle. A young athlete will risk life and limb to play a sport, including hours and years of practice. Many of you listening to me decided to go on to college after high school, even though you said you were sick of school. You wanted to do something with your lives. Why is it that when we get to a certain point we think life is about taking it easy. There is no such thing in life. Life is about struggle. Think of the pain and struggle a mom goes through when giving birth. Why go through that at all? She will endure it to hold that little baby in her arms and feel its tiny hand wrapped around her finger.

To live the abundant life for Christ means to stretch yourselves. You must struggle and grow by developing an obedience to The Good Shepherd who is always leading you toward victory.

C. The Abundant Life Is Not Determined By Everyday Circumstances

Circumstances don't make or break one's life. Many people with hardships in life go on to accomplish great things. Many of you will not remember the name, Bob Carlisle. But, I bet your remember the song, "Butterfly Kisses." Bob was a down and out singer and songwriter when he penned what has become one of the great songs of all time. In fact, Bob said he was living in his van when his first royalty check came for that song. He has had a lot of such checks since then. Fathers and daughters have loved that song since they first heard it. Bob Carlisle was down, and almost out, but circumstances did not stop him from writing songs. And, one of those songs made all of the difference. What if he had given up and decided his circumstances would never change? You and I have to do what God has called us to do and to be faithful regardless of what is going on at any given moment or any given day or any given year or any given decade. Just keep serving God. Abundance is not determined by circumstances.

D. The Abundant Life Is Never Obtained Overnight

God gives us abundant life the day we are saved, however learning how to live in that abundance takes a lot of living, praying and trusting. We must be like a little child. We need to be always willing to struggle and to learn. Abundance will come to us as we do so!

III. Jesus Sought To Give a Godly Attitude to the Believer

How does a Christian receive this gift from the Good Shepherd?

A. You Will Know the Voice of Jesus Because you heard it Many Times Before

As you follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd, you will learn His voice because you have heard it so many times before. Listen to Him in every situation, and you will know how to follow Him in the moment of temptation or trial. If you listen to the world, you will be led astray. You must listen to the Shepherd because He is leading you beside the still waters and into green pastures!

B. You will Trust His Leadership Because He has led you so Faithfully

As you follow the Good Shepherd, you discover how absolutely true He is. You know that the closer you are to Him, the happier and more fulfilling life is. You discover that abundance is found in Him and not in the things of this world. That is what I mean when I tell you that abundance doesn't happen overnight. You just keep following His leadership and you will learn that you can always follow Him into victory.

C. You Will Show Other the way of Christ Because it is so Wonderful

The purpose of the Good Shepherd is to guide you through life along the path that brings the greatest good to Him and to you. Then, He wants to use you to help others discover Him as their Savior and Guide! People everywhere are hurting and most of them don't know the Shepherd. They are like sheep without a Shepherd. They need to know Jesus! If you are not following Him, you can't lead anyone else to follow Him.


What is your purpose today? You will discover it in what you cherish most. Jesus brings abundance to the heart of all who know Him and follow Him with all their hearts. The Good Shepherd never leads you to a place that is not best for you. He will not do that to anyone who trusts Him. Take the abundance you have in Christ and share it with someone else. Help them to know Him and how wonderful it is to follow Him.

If abundance is in your health, you can lose it!

If abundance is in your job, you can lose it!

If abundance is in your money, you can lose it!

If abundance is in your youth or good looks, you WILL lose it!

But, if your abundance is in Christ, The Good Shepherd, no one can ever take it from you.

Come to Him today!