Devotional Thought for Today
“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
John 10:1-6: “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. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper 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.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
Contrary to popular belief, sheep are extremely intelligent animals. According to the Department of Animal Sciences of Illinois University, sheep rank just below the pig and are on par with cattle among farm animals. They may have poor eyesight and herd mentality, but they have excellent hearing. In fact, sheep can distinguish their shepherd’s voice among 100 voices.
In this passage, Jesus uses the relationship of a shepherd and sheep as a metaphor to describe His relationship with us. Because Israel was an agrarian society, they fully understood the importance of this relationship. And since sheep have poor eyesight, they rely on the shepherd’s voice for protection. They rely on the shepherd’s voice to guide them to greener pastures, to call them back if they wander too far, and to lead them back to safety at night.
Like sheep, we need to rely on our Good Shepherd to guide us through life, which means we must know His voice. However, this can be extremely difficult because we live in a culture where there are hundreds of voices simultaneously shouting at us. So how do we hear His voice?
Because we live in such a busy culture, we need to learn how to block out these voices in our hearts. Oftentimes, this requires us to physically block out these voices. I am reminded of Matthew 6:6: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
While this verse is about practicing spiritual disciplines for the secret reward, there is truth to finding a quiet spot to temporarily block out the noise. For some, it means waking up 30 minutes earlier in the morning to pray. For others, it means finding a quiet place during lunch to pray.
Hearing God’s voice is crucial to being a disciple of Jesus. Like a shepherd, His voice protects us and guides us in this noisy world. Let’s strive to make hearing His voice an important part of our lives.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 53
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 23:1-6: “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[a] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Questions to Consider
- For David, how does the Lord act as a shepherd?
- How does the Lord guide us along the right path?
- Based on the notes for question one, what are some ways the Lord has acted as shepherd towards you?
- The Lord provides (v.1), refreshes (v. 3), guides (v. 3), and He comforts His people (v. 4).
- God guides us along the right path because it brings Him glory. When we follow His commandments, that in itself brings glory to God, but it also is a testimony for our friends, co-workers, and family members!
- Personal reflection.
This evening, take a moment to find a quiet and comfortable space to spend time with God. During your prayer time, make sure you set aside time to be silent and hear from the Lord. Remember, prayer is a conversation with Him!