John 10 – My sheep know my voice.

Jesus called Himself the Good Shepherd in John 10. I guess that makes me one of His sheep.  I think I can live with that. After all, a good shepherd does a lot for the sheep. He protects, guides, and provides for his sheep; He even sacrifices Himself for His sheep.

We could sure use it, too. Every kind of trap laid by the enemy is waiting for us, every temptation to compromise, every lure to go astray, every bad choice we could make will likely look as good as possible if left to our own devices.

Good thing He doesn’t leave us there.

He doesn’t just protect us from the dangers, though. He guides us into all the goodness He has planned for us. He doesn’t just want us not to fall into the pit, He wants to lead us to cool waters and green pastures. He’s got good works ready for us to do, a fine reward in store, and an abundant life to live along the way.

If you read closely, you might have caught a caution or two in Jesus’ words. First, He warns against thieves.  Next, He tells the crowd His sheep know His voice and will not follow another. Then, the Lord warns that the “hired hand” will abandon the sheep.

In essence, all are cautions against being led astray or accepting any substitute for Christ’s leadership. While most of us probably wouldn’t fall for someone pretending to be Jesus, it’s surprisingly easy to begin to rely on someone or something other than Christ for our provision. We can start to rely on wisdom from the world that sounds good enough, trust our job to meet our needs, and follow popular figures closer than we follow Jesus.

Teachers, Pastors, and Counselors can certainly help us, but we’d better be sure they’re speaking the truth. In fact, we’re commended when we test everything we hear against the Scriptures.

Likewise, a good job is a great blessing, but even the skills we have to do our jobs are gifts from God, not to mention the job, itself. God promises to provide for us, and He might choose to do it through your current job, or He might have other plans.

You can take comfort in following the Lord. Just make sure it’s Him you’re following, Him you’re trusting. If you do, I can’t say what your journey will look like, but I trust you’ll find peace and joy along the way.

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