If you love me, keep my commandments.
11I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18No 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. This commandment have I received of my Father.
People of the City of Detroit, we have been addressing the need of each of us having a personal relationship with the Father. Our last lesson discussed this truth. See In the name of Jesus (June 14, 2010.)
The scripture further tells us that God, from the beginning, has a purpose for those who love Him (actually, to love Him, we have to KNOW HIM), this is called predestination:
28And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
What is this scripture telling us?
Here in the City of Detroit, there is much work to be done. Communities are failing. The education system is falling apart at the seams. Families are tearing apart. Government is failing the constituency that elected and formed it. Churches are experiencing difficulties at levels which have not been seen in times past. The economy is completely unstable.
Now if we consider and admit to the fact that we all individually play a part or a role in each of these institutions named above, what is the solution?
If you love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15.
We need to understand what the term “commandments” means; in its proper context for us.
The commandments were specifically sent to guide the recipients into the purpose which God called them to.
We have been taught the 10 commandments. All of the “thou shalt not (s)” . . . refer to the purpose that God had for the Children of Israel. It was God’s purpose for the nation of Israel to show the world (all the surrounding nations) that the invisible Living God of creation was the one only true God. There was none greater. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the same God in the beginning. Therefore, God sent the Children of Israel His commandments which all refer to the children serving the Living God and not the deities formed from the traditions, rituals and pagan worshipping of surrounding nations that did not KNOW the Living God. When the children of Israel disobeyed the commandments, it was failure to follow their purpose. They worshipped other gods. They did not believe nor worship the Living God of Moses. Yet, through all of this, God STILL showed His strength through defending the Children of Israel.
The failure to obey the commandments, or to follow the purpose God called the Children of Israel to, did NOT STOP GOD’S WILL FROM BEING DONE. The Children of Israel simply did not receive the promises that God gave to them that KNOW Him, love Him and work with and for His purpose (heavenly appointment given of God).
The scripture says that Jesus is the Good Sheppard. His commandment from the Father was to lay down His life for the sheep. Jesus obeyed the commandment given to Him of His Father. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was the “purpose” God called Him to.
We individually must obey the commandment(s) of God. The commandment given to US to carry out God’s purpose for the individual or individuals involved. For God’s plan to give us rewards to work, we MUST obey HIS COMMANDMENTS.
In sum, to receive the gifts, rewards or promises of God, we must follow the guide to our purpose. These are our commandments.
Let us love one another. Think on these things.