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Sacrifice for Others

“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. 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." —John 10:11-16

The difference between the good shepherd and hired hand is ownership. The action of the former is selfless and personal, demonstrating both courage and commitment. The latter is flaky, concerned with self-preservation and has no concern for the sheep. And as Jesus is proclaiming this truth, the cross had to be on His mind. How much more meaningful to His disciples, His sheep, was this teaching after they witnessed their Master on the cross.

At the moment of necessary sacrifice, good leadership is revealed. Real ownership is revealed during trials, exposing the care and concern of the owner. When Jesus laid His life down, He set the standard and began a movement. We now have a perfect example of a man whom we are called to emulate. Paul said it perfectly when he said: "In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus." Self-sacrifice out of love for the Father must decorate the landscape of our relationships.

DO THIS: Do something sacrificial for the benefit of another person.

PRAYER: God, may my life resemble your living sacrifice.

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