By Arla, Nov 26 2020 02:00AM
Did you know God doesn't motivate through fear? Not even fear of hell or punishment! They don't force. It's not Their way. And fear would be force.
And if you make God sound harsh and severe, demanding submission, you're "a thief coming to kill and destroy." That's what Jesus tells the people!
Satan was the first thief, stealing God's good name. And anyone who turns people away from him is robbing them of their true self and the true abundance in this life.
Jesus contrasts himself with restrictive Pharisees, calling himself "the shepherd and the door." Jesus' character attracts us, drawing us to choose the safety of acceptance and relationship with God, to believe that God is gracious like Jesus. Contemplating the love of God shown in Jesus will strengthen your mind and heart as nothing else can.
He teaches, "My sheep won't follow a stranger, they know my voice. I AM come here to give them abundant life. The good shepherd risks his life for the sheep. I'm giving my life. No one takes it from me. I have power to lay it down and take it up again."
(You didn't cause Jesus' death. He chose the rescue--Ruach and Abba painfully agreeing. Don't go to unworthiness. He loves you! God's love stirs your heart; you awaken and respond. Their love calls to relationship, makes you truly you.)
So the teachers discount him, "He has a devil, why listen to him?"
The people become divided, some disagreeing, "These are not the words of a mad man!"
Again the rulers try to take him, but he walks away, leaving Jerusalem.