John 10:1-5 (NRSV)

1 “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 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 hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”   

John 10:4 (NRSV)

4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.   

DEVOTION – Xavia Sheffield (Maryland)

As a little girl on the farm I was responsible for slopping the pigs; so I learned how to call them to the fence for their feast.  Years later, when my family visited the restored village of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, my knowledge of calling pigs came back in handy.  As we strolled along a wide path toward a barn, we saw people standing on the fence, shouting and waving their arms.  A herd of pigs huddled under the shade of a distant tree.  The people were trying frantically to get the pigs to come to the fence.  I calmly climbed up on the fence and used my “pig voice.”  The Whole herd of pigs can running to the fence.  The tourists asked, “How did you do that?”  I explained simply, “They know the distinctive call and responded.”

The same is true for followers of Christ.  When we hear the distinctive call of the one who knows us by name, we respond because we know his voice.  John 10:5 says, “They will not follow a stranger…because they do not know the voice of stranger.”  We hear many voices in our lives, but only one, the voice of Jesus Christ our Lord, can lead us to the eternal feast.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: The Lord is my shepherd, and he knows me by name.

PRAYER: Good Shepherd, when we hear you calling us by name, we know to come running to you for everything we need.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: NEW BELIEVERS

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