From: Steve Edwards <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 18, 2017 10:30 PM
Subject: Thursday, May 18
To: Steve Edwards <email@example.com>
THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2017
"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 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. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 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." (John 10:14–18)
In this passage, we see the close connection between Jesus's identity and His mission. Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus offers seven key "I am" statements: "the bread of life"; "the light of the world"; "the gate"; "the good shepherd"; "the resurrection and the life" "the way, the truth, and the life"; and "the true vine." In addition, in John 8:58, He declares His pre-existence of Abraham: "Before Abraham was, I am!" These powerful images highlight both Jesus's mission and identity and point to the fullness of His deity, echoing God's address to Moses as "I am who I am."
Each of Jesus's "I am" statements tie to His relationship with His followers. Several refer to our coming to know Him initially, while others speak about the perseverance of those who have trusted in Him. Throughout these statements, we recognize that we experience the fullness of our personhood and joy in Christ: "that your joy may be complete." (John 15:11)
In light of our knowledge of the Great "I am," how shall we respond? How may we properly understand our identity and mission? As Pastor Scott has shared from The Red Sea Rules, God has placed us where we are "(1) by God's appointment (2) in His keeping (3) under His training (4) for His time." God's sovereignty extends to every aspect of our lives and in the sometimes chaotic circumstances in which we find ourselves. In this picture of sovereignty, God superintends that we may experience His love and presence, even in the midst of struggles and woe.
Ultimately, the Bible testifies that our identity and mission both arise from our Creator. Fashioned into His image, we are blessedly His. We may be secure in His love and kindness for us. Called as His own, we may now find our fulfillment in loving, knowing, honoring, and serving Him. Praise be to God that, through the atoning sacrifice of His Son, we may become partakers in this mission.
Do you feel confident in your identity and mission today? If not, how could you receive encouragement from Jesus's example here or Paul's (Philippians 1:21; Philippians 3:1–14)?
Lord God, thank You for giving us the opportunity to know You and to serve You. Thank You for making us in Your image and calling us Your own. Give us wisdom so that we may follow You wholeheartedly and bring You glory. In Jesus's Name, amen.
1) Blog: http://bit.ly/rV1Cw1
2) Facebook: http://on.fb.me/tc6jkS