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Knowing the Shepherd’s Voice

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
November 7, 2023 7:00 pm

Knowing the Shepherd’s Voice

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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November 7, 2023 7:00 pm

When I was a boy living on a ranch in Tennessee, I spent glorious afternoons roaming with my best friend. We’d hike into the woods, ride ponies, visit the rodeo arena, and venture into the barn to watch the cowboys work the horses. But whenever I heard my dad’s whistle—that clear sound slicing through the wind and all the other clatter—I’d immediately drop whatever I was doing and head home. The signal was unmistakable, and I knew I was being called by my father. Decades later, I’d still recognize that whistle.

Jesus told His disciples that He was the shepherd, and His followers were the sheep. “The sheep listen to [the shepherd’s] voice,” He said. “He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (John 10:3). In a time when numerous leaders and teachers sought to confuse Christ’s disciples by asserting their authority, He declared that His loving voice could still be heard clearly, more distinct than all the others. “His sheep follow [the shepherd], because they know his voice” (v. 4).

May we be careful as we listen for Jesus’ voice and avoid foolishly dismissing it, for the fundamental truth remains: The Shepherd speaks clearly, and His sheep hear His voice. Perhaps through a verse of Scripture, the words of a believing friend, or the nudge of the Spirit—Jesus speaks, and we do hear.

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Welcome to today's encouragement from Our Daily Bread. I'm Gwen Collier, and I'm reading today a piece that I wrote called Knowing the Shepherd's Voice. When I was a boy living on a ranch in Tennessee, I spent glorious afternoons roaming with my best friend.

We'd hike into the woods, ride ponies, visit the rodeo arena, and venture into the barn to watch the cowboys work the horses. But whenever I heard my dad's whistle, that clear sound slicing through the wind and all the other clatter, I'd immediately drop whatever I was doing and head home. The signal was unmistakable, and I knew I was being called by my father.

Decades later, I'd still recognize that whistle. In John chapter 10, Jesus told his disciples that he was the shepherd, and his followers were the sheep. The sheep listened to the shepherd's voice, he said.

He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. In a time when numerous leaders and teachers sought to confuse Christ's disciples by asserting their authority, he declared that his loving voice could still be heard clearly, more distinct than all the others. We're told in verse 4 that his sheep follow the shepherd because they know his voice. May we be careful as we listen for Jesus' voice and avoid foolishly dismissing it, for the fundamental truth remains. The shepherd speaks clearly, and his sheep hear his voice. Perhaps through a verse of scripture, the words of a believing friend, or the nudge of the spirit, Jesus speaks, and we do hear.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from John chapter 10 verses 1-10. Very truly I tell you, Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in by some other way is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listens to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger.

In fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice. Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.

I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. Let's pray. God, we need to be reminded that you're speaking, and that we can hear you. Help us pay attention. Help us to listen and respond. In Jesus' name, Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-07 21:03:48 / 2023-11-07 21:05:36 / 2

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