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Known by the Shepherd

Known by the Shepherd
Words of Faith 12-2-16
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2016
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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John 10
[14] "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me-- [15] just as the Father knows me and I know the Father--and I lay down my life for the sheep. [16] I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

How is the Good Shepherd different from a hired hand? Is it simply that the Good Shepherd does not run away when there is danger? No, there is more.
The Good Shepherd knows His sheep. It was not unusual for a shepherd to name the sheep in his flock. The shepherd knew which sheep were prone to wander and which ones stayed close to safety. He knew which sheep were more selfish when nearing a watering place and which ones were more passive. He knew which ones were stubborn and which were compliant, which ones need encouragement and which ones needed to be held back a bit.
The Lord knows all this and more about us, His sheep. The Lord Jesus is the very Good Shepherd because He knows everything about the sheep of His flock. He knows our every need. He knows our every sin. He knows our every victory. There is nothing we can reveal to the Shepherd about ourselves that He does not already know.
Confession is never a matter of revealing our failure to the Good Shepherd. It is simply our act of agreement with Him that our behavior is sin so that we may receive forgiveness.
The sheep know the Good Shepherd, though certainly not in the depth that they are known by Him. The sheep recognize the voice of the Shepherd and grow in a relationship with Him. The sheep learn the ways and guidance of the Shepherd. They learn to respond to His voice, trusting that He is always protective and wants to keep them from danger. The sheep learn the pathways that are safe, the “paths of righteousness” that curve around the terrain of the mountain.
The Good Shepherd is gathering His flock from various places, calling them out of the dry and dark places to walk with Him. We can never be so arrogant as to think that we are the only sheep. Jesus was clear that there were other sheep that would listen to His voice. Jesus was speaking to the Jewish community at a time when His ministry was almost exclusively to Jewish people, but later the Gospel would go out the Gentile world.
The truth is we never know whom God is calling or may have already called. In Corinth, the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city" (Acts 18:9-11).
Christ already had called His own in a city yet to be evangelized! The Lord has many people that we do not yet know about. This is not to imply some universal endorsement of all religions, but we must realize that that though there is one flock and one Shepherd there will be a variety of “sheep pens” in one body with Christ as Head (Eph. 2:11-22; 3:6).
Are you walking with the Good Shepherd? Are you listening to His voice? Have you answered His call? Are you trusting His knowledge of you and your needs? Are you growing in your knowledge of Him and His ways? Are you going to the waters He provides? Eating in the places He supplies?

Good Shepherd, I give thanks to You for calling me. I rejoice to walk with You in trust and obedience. Show me the paths You desire for me to walk. In Jesus’ name.

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2002, 2016
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)
2820 Business Center Blvd.
Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200
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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.