July 19Transform - Kids' Camp 2013
Discover Jesus through worship, teaching, and group devotions. Enjoy swimming, extreme swinging, ...
Scripture: Jeremiah 1-2, John 10
John 10:3-4 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him (the shepherd), and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice.
John 10:14-15 I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
Jesus uses the illustration of sheep and the shepherd. He is the good shepherd who sacrifices his life for the sheep. He loves and cares for the sheep, unlike hirelings who do it only for money (a stinging indictment of the Jewish religious leaders of his day, and anyone today who does ministry as a job, not a calling).
Jesus describes an intimate relationship: he knows his sheep and they know him, and the knowledge is as intimate as his own relationship with the Father! (14-15) This is what He came to bring us: a rich relationship with God/Jesus that brings abundant life! What a gift!
This relationship (like all relationships) is nurtured by listening. Jesus repeatedly says that his sheep listen to, recognize and know his voice, and that this listening results in coming to him, following him, and knowing him.
So how do come to know, recognize and listen to his voice?
First, the Scriptures. Soak in the written word! One idea: memorize the red letters! I could memorize everything Jesus said, meditate on it and do it. This is actually part of the Great Commission: “teach them to do everything I have commanded”. This would be a good way to become more familiar with his voice.
Second, pray. Listening prayer is very difficult for me, but it is also very powerful when I can still my heart and do it. Listening prayer also prepares me to hear his voice in noisy avenues of everyday life. I could spend some time each day listening and writing down what he tells me.
Third, community. I know him best with others who know him. I must learn to listen for his voice in the community of faith, and hear him speaking through my brothers and sisters.
I will set aside time today to listen for his voice in these ways.
Prayer: Jesus, I want to know you! I want to hear your voice so I can know you better and follow you. I know you are speaking to me, and that often, I’m not paying attention. So help me to listen and know your voice…and follow!