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How To Hear God’s Voice | John 10:1-15

Jesus as the “Good Shepherd,” our Good Shepherd! This is the series we’re covering this week. Oh how Good He is! Let’s spend more and more time with Him so that we can recognize His voice and guidance in our lives. We’re jumping into John 10 today, where Jesus explains that He is the gate for the sheep, offering a path back to God and a rich, satisfying life. Okay, here we go.

Show Notes:

  • Video: Lead on Good Shepherd by Patrick Mayberry
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Jesus did not say, I am the good CEO. Even though he does run the entire world, he has the world and our individual worlds, in his hands. He didn’t say, I am the good teacher. Although anything worth learning, Jesus can teach you. Jesus didn’t say, I am the good lawyer, even though he will advocate for you every day, he’s on your side. What Jesus said is so powerful and tender at the same time. He said, I am the Good Shepherd.

Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica and I’m in love with this new song. You should Google it, it’s called Lead on Good Shepherd by Patrick Mayberry. It’s so awesome. It’s full of soul and it’s my prayer for you. It’s my prayer for me, that the Good Shepherd would lead us besides still waters. As the Bible talks about in Psalm 23. This week, you and I are going to study who the Good Shepherd is. Why did Jesus say he was the good shepherd and what does it mean to us? The first thing I want to say, before we dive into the word, is that I have found myself busier than I’ve ever been in my life and it’s something that I’m working on in a deep way and I’m asking God for help. As I was praying last night with my husband, I settled back against my pillow and this one word swam across my mind’s eye, and it was margin. I realized what I need is margin in my life. I need to sit next to those still waters more often, don’t you? So come on. Our good shepherd is waiting for us. He’s always beside the still waters. Alright, I was going to say dive in with me, but I’m going to say wade in with me. Let’s go slow into John chapter 10 beginning in verse one. This is Jesus speaking and I’m picturing him by the way, sitting by a stream bubbling behind him with his friends. He says,

“I tell you the truth, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! 2 But the one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice. 5 They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t know his voice.”

I want to pitch a little tent here beside the still waters because there was a beautiful story I heard in church this past Sunday. There was a visiting pastor and he even called his wife up to the pulpit to share this story. They were in England and they came across a pasture and there was one sheep in this pasture, which was kind of unusual, and his wife just loves sheep. She actually had sheep when she was growing up, and she was always looking for another opportunity to pet one or to have one as a pet. So of course, this woman bent down and spent some time with the sheep. She pet the sheep, spoke to the sheep, and then the couple left. Later they came back and there were hundreds of sheep in the pasture and the woman just kind of sighed and went, Oh, I’ll never find the one I made friends with, until out of the crowd of those cottony, adorable sheep came the one who she had spent time with. That sheep remembered the voice of the woman and she had only spent a little time with it. It’s such a powerful analogy because when we spend even just a little time with Jesus, who is the Good Shepherd, we get to know Him. We get to recognize when He’s speaking to us, when He’s telling us to do the right thing or to make the right choice or just speaking to us in our love language. So often, Jesus will speak to me in a beautiful sunset or through an incredible quote from CS Lewis that I was trying to find, and then it shows up in my CS Lewis daily email the next day. He has so many ways to reach out to us, and if we spend time with him, like you and I are doing right now, reading his Word, we recognize when he’s talking with us. If a sheep can recognize a woman he spent a quarter of an hour with, imagine when we just get quiet and we sit by those still waters with the Lord. Imagine how much easier it’s going to be to hear his voice. Okay, we’re going to pick up the passage now in verse six.

Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, 7 so he explained it to them: “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. 9 Yes, I am the gate…

The way back to God, right? Jesus died on the cross to bring you and I back into fellowship relationship with God. Pick that up again.

…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. 10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

When you and I say yes to Jesus, when we accept his free gift, the fact that He died for you and me on the cross and we say, we believe you did that for me, that you died and rose again… That’s how you and I have a rich and satisfying life. We have peace in the most frightening moments, and we have eternal life. We live forever with Jesus in heaven. A place where there is no more sin, no more tears, no more pain. That is incredible to me. He is the gate. Jesus is saying, I am the way back to a restored relationship with God. Verse 11, now.

“I am the good shepherd.

Not the good CEO.

The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep. 12 A hired hand will run when he sees a wolf coming. He will abandon the sheep because they don’t belong to him and he isn’t their shepherd. And so the wolf attacks them and scatters the flock. 13 The hired hand runs away because he’s working only for the money and doesn’t really care about the sheep.14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, 15 just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep.

That is how loved you are. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the one who lays his life down for the sheep He loves so much. How about some more tomorrow? Until then, remember, you are really loved.

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