Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on October 4, 2015, is provided by Joanna Tzen.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Don’t Become a Very Hairy Sheep”
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.
Earlier this month, a sheep named Chris made international headlines. He had wandered from his flock and had been living in the Australian outback for five to six years on his own. When they found him, his fleece had grown to five times its normal size. As a result, he could barely see or walk; the heavy wool made it impossible for him to right himself if he had fallen over. He had to be sedated to be sheared because he had not been near humans for so long. The fleece alone weighed a record-setting 89 pounds, and it took 45 minutes to shear him—a process that usually only takes two minutes.
Today’s passage tells us that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and that we are His sheep. The way we know Jesus is by His voice. Do we know Jesus by His voice today or are our lives cluttered with many voices? Our hearts and minds can be filled with the world’s opinions—what our parents think of us, and what our peers think of us. We can only know by learning the voice through which Jesus speaks—meaning, knowing His Word through reading of Scripture. It also means slowing down to listen to Jesus in prayer, discerning what are the voices in our lives; that is, to know which one is Jesus and which is not. Are we quick to run to the truth of Jesus, and do we know it because we have spent time in His Word? Or are we sometimes led astray by words of the world?
Jesus is calling you to spend time with Him today and learn His voice. He knows your name, and He longs to lead you into the green pasture (Ps. 23).
Prayer: Jesus, forgive me when I disregard Your voice and am tempted to follow the world’s ways. Help me to not only hear Your voice but abide by it. I know you are the Good Shepherd; remind me of your faithfulness. I desire to follow You into the green pasture and life everlasting. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Genesis 38