Devotional: October 25, 2021
The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.”
John 10: 2-5 The Message
Our voices are unique. No one else in all the world sounds exactly like we do. The people who know us recognize us because of the distinctive quality of our voice. Family and friends may often hear our voice, and find calm, comfort, assurance and a sense of peace from hearing us.
The voice of a stranger may bring up feelings which are the exact opposite. Hearing an unfamiliar voice may make us uneasy, concerned, and even fearful. When a sense of fear overcomes us, our instinct is to remove ourselves from the situation. We want to get to somewhere else, a place where we might feel safe and secure.
Jesus’ point is that the relationship He desires to have with us is personal and familiar. Put in its most simple form, Jesus doesn’t want to be a stranger to us. Jesus wants to lead us and care for us. He wants to like the good shepherd and his sheep. He desires to keep us safe, and to have a relationship with us.
I am amazed at how sensitive our dog Pixel is to our voices, and even noise. When we talk affectionately, he approaches us and curls up next to us. If we raise our voice or are frustrated, his head goes down, and he starts to head out of the room. Pixel is very sensitive to the tone of our voices. We find that he responds best to our familiar loving words.
The good news is that our Lord doesn’t want to care for us from a distance. No! just the opposite. Jesus wants to know us personally, by name, in order to care for us. When you call someone by name, it is personal, and that is exactly what Jesus desires. We can run to Him, confident in His love and care. We know our Lord, and He knows us. In a world of constant change and all sorts of things to fear, it is good to know that we have a good shepherd. Jesus watches out for us, and calls us by name. Praise God!
God of love,
Thank you for your personal loving care as you watch over me. Forgive me when I listen to things in this world that try to draw me away from You. May I always find reassurance and comfort in the sound of Your voice. Help me to know You better each day, so I will always recognize Your voice whenever You speak to me. I pray this prayer in the name of Your Son, the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Amen.