December 21, 2018: SOAP #3305:   John 9-11 Scripture:  John (NIV) 10:1 “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. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. […]

December 21, 2018: SOAP #3305:   John 9-11

Scripture:  John (NIV) 10:1 “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. 2 The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3 The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice.”

Observation:   In this passage, Jesus said several important things about shepherds.   About the sheep, He says only two things; they follow, and they hear His voice.   Hearing His voice is mentioned three times.   The sheep listen to the shepherd's voice, they become familiar with his voice, and they can distinguish it from a stranger's voice.

Application:  There are many steps in our relationship as we grow in our spiritual life.   We are sheep, children, servants, sons, fathers.   Each represents a different level of relationship.   Many levels require growing through a preceding level.   Whatever level I have attained, I never loose the importance of that first level.   I MUST listen to His voice!   I MUST recognize His voice!   I MUST be able to distinguish His voice from a stranger's voice!

Note:   Listening is also a priority in a budding romantic relationship that leads to marriage.

Prayer:   Lord, You are my shepherd.   Keep speaking.   Keep calling my name.   May I grow in recognizing your voice and distinguishing it from all other voices.      Amen

Pastor Leon
Making friends for time and eternity!