Sunday Devotional

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Shepherd and His Flock
John 10:1-30

I played a game with the students in my youth group recently. Before they arrived, I arranged for four ladies from our church to help. As students began filtering into the classroom, I introduced the helpers, had them share a little bit of their testimony, and then they and I stepped outside the room into the hall and closed the door.

One by one, each of us recited a brief sentence, just loud enough for the students inside the classroom to hear. The students' job was to pick out my voice from the others. Now, having been their youth minister for several years, I figured this would be easy, so I varied the game by not speaking at all sometimes, or by saying the line all four times and disguising my voice to try and fool the students.

Though this game was simple, the point of the lesson was not. Some of the students present had known me for a long time. They were able to pick my voice out immediately. Others had only have known me a short while, yet they didn't have much trouble picking out my voice, especially if their friends helped them. Isn't this how our Lord said it should be?

Jesus said his sheep would know his voice, yet how often do people say they don’t know if God is speaking to them, or what his will for them is? Could it be the reason we don’t know God’s voice is that we haven’t spent time getting to know HIM?

Satan will try and disguise his voice to sound like God. Because of this, it is so important that we all get to know our Savior’s voice intimately. I challenged my students to think about why they listen to me, to write down how they know they can trust my words. Each person said it was because they knew I cared about them, and over time, I had proven myself to them. Now if you and I truly understand what we believe, shouldn't we be able to pick our Savior’s voice out of the crowd? Are we listening to His voice, or are we simply following along with what our friends say?

1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice." 6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.

7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns 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. 13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:1-30, NIV

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