My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”John 10:27
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them. Are you listening to the voice of the Lord? Those who truly listen are in the Lord’s hand, because he knows them. Do you believe the Lord knows you? Those who believe know that God is faithful for God cannot deny himself [see 2 Timothy 2:13]. Hearing his voice is to know that he listens to our outburst. Christ has suffered every human pain that we feel, therefore we can come to him in prayer knowing that he hears us and understands us. It was Jesus who said that he knows the sheep that hears his voice. Did you know that the word “voice,” is not only what you hear, but what is being express in the written word. Remember the three different voices in writing, the individual character’s, the authors, and the narrators. Each have their own voice in writing, and we listen to that voice to know their thoughts.
One has to read the whole story to understand what is being said and what it means. God wants his sheep to hear his voice and believe. As humans we must confirm what is being said is the truth. We must have faith and the assurance that God is faithful. Let’s look at what the apostle Paul said in second Timothy.
Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, the Lord knows them that are his; and, let everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”2 Timothy 2:19
The first thing we must realize is that the foundation of God stands firm with a seal that he knows those who belong to him. God is trustworthy in all manner of life. It is God through his son Jesus that gives us eternal life and we shall never perish [see John 10:28]. If we believe our life is made secured under the mighty hand of God, we will know without a doubt that Jesus is who he claims to be. That is why Paul exclaimed, “what can separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” None of these conditions can separate us from the love of Christ if we believe in the written word of God. Not even physical death will separate us from the love of Christ. Paul is adamant in his statement when he said, “nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us, [ see Romans 8:35-39]. Those who follow Christ and listen to his voice will never perish or be plucked out of the hand of God. We have this assurance for life. In all these things we are more than conquerors through Christ.
It is unbelief that keeps some Christians today wandering in the wilderness. Detachment from God and unbelief in him keeps you in the wilderness instead of coming into God’s green pastures. Can we exclaim the same as what King David said, that the “Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters,” [see Psalms 23: 1-2]. We must hear the voice of the shepherd in order to be led to the green pastures and the still waters. Can we stay close to the shepherd and be comforted? One must believe in who He is in order to hear and follow him. It is faith unfeigned in Jesus Christ that the promises of God are made real. We must remember that Jesus said the following.
If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believe.”Mark 9:23
All things are possible to him that believe. If we feel we do not have faith, we can say like the father of the child who needed a miracle, “Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief,” [see Mark 9:24]. This father wanted his dumb and deaf child to be healed. Jesus fulfilled the father’s desire and charged the dumb and deaf spirit to come out of the child, [see verses 25 and 26 of Mark chapter 9]. Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief is the realization of trust in who Jesus is. Remember that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith [see Hebrews 12:2]. We must believe that it is possible with God while it is impossible with man. It was Jesus who said, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep,” [John 10:11]. Who will stay with the sheep when the wolf comes? Think carefully before answering this question. Take a look further down in chapter 10 of John to verse 16.
And the other sheep I have, that are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one-fold, and one shepherd.”John 10:16
One shepherd of all and one big fold. The other sheep are the Gentiles who are the other nations besides Israel. How amazing is that the words of Jesus would reveal all nations to be in the fold. We must hear and follow Jesus for He laid down his life that he may take it up again. Jesus said that no man can take this away from him. Why? Because Jesus was given this commandment by the father. What was the commandment? The commandments given by God to Israel for the offerings of sins. God did not take pleasure in the burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin, [see Hebrews 10:6]. God took away the burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin by establishing a new law through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all, [see Hebrews 10:10]. There is now no more offering for sin because Jesus has fulfilled the offerings for sins.
Let us read and hear the word of God. Let us repent and ask God to change our hearts. Let us serve the LORD with gladness and come before his presence with singing, [Psalms 100:2]. We are sanctified by Jesus offering himself on the cross. Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith. Full assurance without any doubt whatsoever in Jesus Christ. Our inheritance will be made available to those who believe. Just think about the missionaries who go into dangerous places for the gospel of Jesus Christ. The harvest is ripe, and they are called to go and reap the harvest.
“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”Joel 3:14
Just look at the current map of Christian persecution and begin to pray for God’s hand to move upon these nations. Pray for the Christian workers who are staying to help within these countries. Below is the picture of the current world watch list of nations where Christians are being persecuted. This is Brother Andrews organization known as “Open Doors“, who are helping persecuted Christians around the world. Brother Andrews smuggled bibles in the communist counties such as the Soviet Union. Andrews story in the book titled, ‘God’s Smuggler’, is still available today. Check out the web site OpenDoors and read about what is happening today. We can pray and prepare our own heart for the multitudes in the valley of decision. The harvest is ripe right in your own neighborhood. Will you hear the call of the shepherd?
Let us heed the call of the true shepherd and follow him with a true heart of confession, in Jesus’ name, amen.
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.“1 John 1:3