My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:John 10:27(KJV)
Jesus is our Heavenly Shepherd Who came from His home above to gather all who would follow Him and believe on His name, to become one fold with one Shepherd. Jesus is our caring Shepherd Who guards and guides us, Who feeds us and tends us, Who protects us and loves us, and Who intimately knows each of His own, by name.
There is a special relationship between shepherds and their sheep. It is said that sheep recognise the voice of their shepherd and will respond to that voice over any other. Some have said that shepherds will break the leg of a little lamb that keeps straying from the flock, and carry the lamb - as such forming a strong bond so that the little animal will not stray again, once her leg has mended, but stay close to the shepherd. Shepherds have a very close relationship with their flock and there are many stories of shepherds courageously protecting their flock from wolves and other wild animals. There are, no doubt, times when a loving shepherd has lost his life trying to protect his flock from such wild beasts.
What an amazing picture, therefore, of Jesus, our Good Shepherd Who gave His life that we might live. And we, His sheep, hear His voice and respond to Him. Hearing and recognising the voice of our good, heavenly, caring Shepherd, comes from listening to His still, small voice attentively, hearing the Word of God repeatedly, and trusting the truth of all that He says – trusting the gracious words that proceed from the mouth of our great Shepherd of the sheep, for He has promised that none shall pluck us out of His hand.
We are the sheep of His pasture, and we must be receptive to His call. We must carefully listen to all He says and trust all that He does, even when we don’t understand. And we must rest in His love, abide in His truth, and obediently follow Him all the days of our lives.
"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord (my heavenly Shepherd), forever."
Loving Father, I was lost but You called me and found me. You gathered me into Your loving arms and led me into Your heavenly sheep-fold. Continue to guard me and guide me, keep and protect me from all the perils and dangers of this life, for I trust Your Word and will follow You all the days of my life, continually praising You for Your loving kindness and gracious mercies. In Jesus' name, AMEN.