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Weekly Devotion – John 10:4

By Mike Caton

John 10:4, When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

There are a couple of thoughts that jump out at me here. One is that we, as Jesus’ sheep, need to be good followers. We need to learn where the shepherd is, where he wants us to go, and we need to be willing to follow him wherever he leads us. That sounds so simple, but how often do we resist the leading of God? We simply don’t want to go where he wants us to go. Whether it is a mission trip to a foreign country, or to visit a new neighbor, or to simply spend more time in his word, we are afraid, we are set in our ways, we are lazy, or whatever, but we simply don’t want to follow.

The shepherd is a leader, he goes ahead of his sheep. There are many who ought to be leaders, but are actually directors. They want to tell others what to do, where to go, even how to think, and so forth. But they are not willing to get in there and get their hands dirty. Maybe they think they have paid their dues, they have served their time in the trenches, they had moved to a higher position. Folks like that, who want to be leaders, usually have a huge problem: they don’t have many followers. People are not impressed or motivated by a director or a boss, but when they have a leader, someone they know cares about them, they will go to the ends of the earth.

And one last thought, the sheep know his voice. Isn’t it great to be recognized or to hear a voice that you know? In order to know the shepherd’s voice, we need to be listening to him, and not just once in a while. We need to be listening on a regular basis, and we need to be paying attention to what he has to say. And on the other hand, what do people recognize about us and our voice? Is it a positive thing when they hear from us, when they see our phone number pop up? Or do they simply let it ring and the voicemail pick it up? I suppose folks even have that thought about Jesus.

Father, thank you for good leaders! In Jesus’ name, amen.

Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email mikecaton@centurylink.net.

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