Wants & Needs

What we want is not always what we need.

We need The Good Shepherd…

Jesus Christ say’s…“I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep . . . and my sheep know me.”  (John 10:14-15)

Have you seen the commercials that promise the latest greatest gadgets and gizmos?  One product promises to take out any stain with just one wash.  Another item offers to make the difficult task of painting your house easy with just a push of a button.  You can grow tomatoes upside down without even planting them in the ground.

My children saw a commercial about a toothpaste dispenser that uses gravity to empty the entire tube of toothpaste without any waste.  After watching the commercial, they worked hard to convince my wife and me how much our family needed it.

It’s amazing!  All these gadgets and gizmos we cannot live without.  We get drawn into this thought that we need the latest and greatest.  I am there!  I have been stuck with this need for an iPad.  It will change my life!  Well, until they come out with the next iPad generation or the battery dies.

But do we really need these things? Do we need all these gadgets and gizmos?  They’re beginning to sound like wants, then needs.

These commercials are designed to create this sense of need for their particular product.  The longer we sit and listen to these commercials the more we believe we need what they have to offer.

But I believe there is something we truly need more than our wants.  It is not the voice of the commercials, but the voice of our creator.

GOD Promises:

  • Psalm 23: 1The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
  • John 10:9I am the gate.  Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture…”
  • John 10:10I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”
  • Psalm 23He guides me in right paths…”

God promises to give us more than what we want.  He promises to give us what we need.  We need a personal relationship with our Heavenly Father.  We need a good shepherd, who will lay down his life for us and give us a hope and future.

Jesus is The Good Shepherd.

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:12-13).

“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 10:11-18).

He knows his sheep and his sheep know him.

In the Bible in John 10:11, Jesus points out who he is and his purpose.  He is the good shepherd, “who lays down his life for the sheep.”  He gives us life!    

Then, He states who he is not.  He is not like the hired man who does not care for the sheep.  It was not uncommon for shepherds, to employ helpers to tend the sheep.  The hired hands would earn wages, not from the sheep but from the owners of the sheep.  They did not have too much of a vested interest in the company.

When danger comes in the form of a lion or a wolf the hired hand would be less likely to risk his own life to protect the sheep from attack.

Not Jesus!  He lays down His life for His sheep.  He lay’s down His life for us.  “I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me” (John 10:14, NIV).

Does this sound familiar?  Have you ever wondered why parents repeat themselves when it comes to giving their children instructions?  As a parent,  I know my children.  If I want my children to “get it,” I need to “repeat it.”  I wonder if Jesus is repeating Himself, so we will not “miss it.”  In John 10 Jesus repeats His purpose four times, saying He will give His life for the sheep.

So, Jesus is saying listen!  Don’t miss my point here.

I hear you.  I know your needs.  I care.  I am the good shepherd….

Just in case you missed it or you’re still not hearing me.  “The Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep” (John 10:15).

Jesus is stating who he is and we can trust His word.

Then in verse 17, He continues by telling us that he chooses to lay down his life for us..

What a reason to be thankful.

What is stopping you from listening and following the good shepherd, Jesus?

I love how author and pastor Max Lucado poetically writes about these verses.  “You have a God who hears you, the power of love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. If you have the Shepherd, you have grace for every sin, direction for every turn, a candle for every corner, and an anchor for every storm…You have everything you need.” (quote by Max Lucado)

You have everything you need!

What is keeping you from following The Good Shepherd today?

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