He Calls Us By Name & We Follow
As the kids and I walked along the side walk this morning, the sun was shinning and the warmth hit my skin. The Lord seems to teach me through my children, as I watched them look to me for guidance and as I observed them following me patiently. Ultimatly, because they love me and I am their protector; I shepherd them as I watch over their lives and give them security. Today I was reminded of OUR shepherd.
The shepherd loves his sheep. He knows them intimately and calls them by name. The sheep listen to their shepherd's voice and they trust that he knows what is best. The shepherd goes ahead of his flock and they follow him because they know his voice. (John 10)
Love Our Shepherd
We must form a love for our shepherd and that is not possible if we do not have a relationship with him. We must get to know him intimately so that when he calls us, by name, we will know his voice.
When I began my relationship with Jesus, I didn't have a passionate love for Him the way I do now, but I stepped out in faith when I felt my heart being tugged. I became a student to His word and I allowed Him to grow me in His grace. I began to pray to Him and as I continued to surrender, He began tearing down the walls around my herat so the intimacy could start to grow.
I have seen His love for me. I have seen Him come through for me, even when I doubted him. And I have witnessed how He has changed me from the inside out.
Our shepherd is always good, He knows us and we must take the time to get to know Him.
Look To Our Shepherd
Today as we walked, we came to a chain-linked fence that my daughter always loves to shake. Whenever we go this route, she will usually get so preoccupied in shaking this fence and most of the time she gets stuck behind it as my son and I walk ahead. She will call out to me and look to me for guidance. I will call back to her and tell her how to get around it and sometimes, If she is really stuck, I have go back and guide her by her hand.
We must look to the Lord for guidance. He will guide us to saftey. He will lead us to still waters, to green pastures, and He will lead us through the shadows as well (Pslam 23:2-4). He will never leave or forsake us. We must get to know His voice through His word and teachings, so that He will be able to guide us propertly. And we must listen to His voice, because He knows whats best for our lives.
Follow Our Shepherd
Finally, we stopped to greet some cottonwood seeds. My children like to pick them up and feel the softenss in their hands. My son found a pincone and asked if I would stick the cottonwood seeds to it. As I walked around finding balls of fuz to stick to this pinecone, he followed me and watched as I prepared it for him. The times he tried to grab it from my hand, I reminded him that in order for it to be prepared properly, he would have to be patient and wait until I was finished.
We followChrist Jesus, our shepherd, because He has come so that we may have life, and have it to the full (John 10:10). The Lord goes ahead of us and prepares our table and we must follow Him as we wait patiently. We must trust that He is preparing our prayers and in His timing our prayers will be answered. Through him we will find life and we will live it freely.
Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. John 10:9 (NLT)
The Good Shepherd
Yes, there are times where we have that lack of trust, or we have that lack of obedience. But that doesn't mean He will ever love us less.
“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:12
My daughter is my little lamb that goes astray from time to time. Sometimes walking into the street, not listening to me, or allowing her stubbroness to keep her from what she actually wants.
She walks around sucking her empty bottle, especially when she is tired and ready for bed. My little faye is stubborn and she usually doesn't want to let go of the bottle even if it's empty. I ask her "do you trust me to give it back?" She will usally reply "nah-uh". So, I am unable to refill it until she fianlly gives up and releases it from her strong grasp.
We are empty bottle suckers. We walk around holding our empty bottles (with all our might) trying to suck whatevers left from it. Little do we know, all we have to do is open our hands and give it to the Lord while trusting that He will give it back to us filled.
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.” John 4:10 (NLT).
We must allow the Lord to refill our bottles! Jesus is asking us if we trust Him with our lives. We must not allow the stubborness to get in the way of what the Lord has for us. We are empty and thirsty, and in need of being filled. And with Jesus we will never be thirsty again.
"But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. " John 4:14
Just because we are stubborn doesn't mean we love our shepherd any less, it just means we will make our journey longer and our wait longer. Jesus IS the good shepherd and He layed down His life for us. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11
Do you know Him? Will you be able to know His voice when He calls you by name?