October 24, 2022
Many things about Christianity are not true of any other religion. But one of the most amazing is the personableness of our relationship with Christ.
Any Muslim or Buddhist or _________ (name any religion other than Christianity) may read the teachings of their supposed master. But there is no mention of intimacy, for their leaders are all dead and gone. The relationship they carry with the founder of their beliefs is simply head knowledge. But not so with Jesus, our resurrected Savior and the Shepherd of His sheep. His promise is continual that He will be “with us.”
I know this because I have become one of Christ’s sheep. He is real to me. I talk with Him each day and know His voice, and have received care that no one else could give.
Gaze at Him with me, and you will be overwhelmed at what He has done for His sheep.
HE CALLED ME OUT
He calls His own sheep by name (John 10:3)
Jesus did what was necessary to call me unto Himself. I did not initiate this calling; He did. By His grace, He came to this world—and to my life—and called me in a way I could hear Him and invited me to follow Him.
HE LEADS ME
He calls His own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3)
I had no idea how to come and follow Him. So, my Shepherd led me out. He led me into His sheepfold, His family, and now He leads me every day.
I KNOW HIS VOICE
“When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers … My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:4-5, 27)
He speaks to me and has enabled me to hear and recognize His voice. There is no other voice so wonderful, so reassuring. When it is dark, I hear His voice. When there is a storm, His voice pierces the thunder. In the quiet, I hear His still, small voice. And when I listen to Him, I am at rest.
HE GAVE ME LIFE AND LIFE ABUNDANTLY
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
It is not enough for my Shepherd to lead His sheep. He brought me out to bring me in. Into salvation, into life. But this is no ordinary existence He prepared for me; it is life abundantly. Life overflowing. All the riches of His life are mine. I am an heir and joint-heir with Him. All of heaven is open to me for all of eternity!
HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE FOR ME
I lay down my life for the sheep (John 10:11, 15, 17)
It was the ultimate sacrifice and the proof of His perfect love for me. He died for me to pay the penalty for my sin so that I would not have to pay it. He did not run like a hireling when He saw the enemy approaching. He lay down and gave His life so that I could be saved.
HE KNOWS ME, AND I KNOW HIM
I am the good shepherd, and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father. (John 10:13-14)
Many people may have no desire to know me and give me no opportunity to know them. But not my Shepherd. He delights to be known. He knows me intimately, deeply. He wants me to know Him through His Word and Spirit (now placed within me). And the more I know Him, the more I love Him.
I AM ETERNALLY SECURE IN HIM
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29)
Many things in life are gained but then lost. But not with my Shepherd. He has taken me and placed me in His hands, and no one can take me away. Not life nor death. Not my sin and failings or trials and difficulties. And underneath His hands are the mighty hands of the Father. I have Christ, and He has me eternally!
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