by David Brenneman
"My sheep listen to My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give them eternal life, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30 NASB
Sheep need to be quiet to hear the voice of the Shepherd. As a very common saying goes, that's why you have two ears and one mouth. Listen twice as much as you speak.
If indeed you are of the household of God isn't a key indicator of that particular relationship that you listen and are careful to do what the Head of that household says? How can you do if you're not listening?
So much in this world today is on a headlong run towards crashing the car. So many are driving recklessly in their pursuits in their lives, not caring about the consequences. Not caring if it costs them everything. Heard yet again the other day that per-capita the United States has the most incarcerated people. Add to it those who SHOULD be in prison but are not because of everything from crooked judges to lack of space to put them.
What's worse is those in power keep attempting to write stricter laws that those who are already breaking them still won't obey and these inevitably hurt law abiding people, often creating more "criminals".
Lawmakers not listening that those who've done nothing wrong shouldn't be punished with those who have.
Listening doesn't happen in our world much because this world IS rushing headlong towards something alright...the return of Jesus Christ, which will not be thwarted nor will it be delayed, or even rushed to happen by Satan. All the same tactics he tried to use with Jesus during His earthly ministry.
Jesus spoke of His sheep hearing His voice. We read in a few parables about this. We read of Jesus being very specific about who's are His and who are not. Of many many people who will be told to depart from Him for He never knew them.
People who think that, or if they've already died, thought that they spoke for God or for Jesus. People who weren't saved at all. These who have died without Christ wake up in bewilderment in Hell, not understanding at first why they are there. Then they realize the truth because Truth will explain it to them.
My personal conviction is that not only does Jesus come for those who are saved in Him when it's their time to go, He also escorts those who rejected Him to Hell. All will know the truth of their eternal state.
Are you sure of your salvation? Are you?
Is listening to His voice important to you?
Does your life reflect a sheep who hears His voice?
Jesus takes it a step further in saying that not only do His sheep hear His voice they do. Are you a doer of the Word and not just hearers only? The Bible says "But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:22-27 NASB
A doer of the Word begins to display the character of Christ to the rest of the world. After all isn't that the workmanship of Christ in us? We read in Romans 12 of transformation. Is transformation happening in your life?
Are you wrapped up in things in this world or are you at all in the classroom of Christ Jesus, being taught by the Spirit, to become the children of God that you are meant to be? Are you listening?
The road to Heaven has all kinds of exits.
All kinds. From the subtle to the overt. From the small to the large. Every distraction possible that would personally affect YOU will be on that road you are on.
Where's your focus? Is it on what things those exits offer or is your mind on listening to what is truly beneficial to your growth in Christ Jesus?
In our world of contradictions...we write laws on distracted driving yet legalize distractions while you drive. Electronic billboards. We permit even single occupant patrol cars to use laptops while they drive.
In life we will have the noise of the world trying to drown out the voice of our Shepherd. This too is on this road of life.
We will be personally attacked to take our minds off the road set before us. Jesus said that those who seek to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer. A stated fact.
Are you a listener? Or are you deluding yourself? Are you "giving" God some of your time and are being selfish with the rest?
Are you going to be told "Well done!" or asked "What were you thinking?".
Knowing for sure that you are saved is absolutely critical to your eternity. Once you're sure, listening to your Shepherd is what comes next. Becoming more like Christ is what's important. Go, make Disciples. Teaching them to do all that He commanded. A life of obedience follows. A life of taking up our own cross and following Jesus follows. A life that should be one of listening to the Shepherd.
Unless your heads been in the sand, it's becoming increasingly evident that to have free speech is becoming harder and harder to do. Especially to take a stand in Christ Jesus and to share with others. Satan will not stop trying to silence Believers. Satan will certainly try to provoke the return of Jesus Christ to get Believers out of "his" kingdom.
Jesus won at the cross. Satan still is trying to find a way to do something about it. Even down to the other end of 1,007 years future, he will gather mankind to try to battle with Jesus after being released from his prison. Jesus speaks a word and its over.
Jesus came to bring us life, but not just life, but life more abundant. That kind of life comes from effectively listening.
My hope for me is that I would listen to Him more and maybe speak less.
"All the way my Savior leads me
What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His faithful mercies?
Who through life has been my guide
Heavenly peace, divinest comfort
Ere by faith in Him to dwell
For I know whate'er fall me
Jesus doeth all things well" - Fanny Crosby 1875 'All the Way My Savior Leads Me".
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