Follow the voice of the Good Shepherd

Published 4:28 pm Friday, August 28, 2015

Not long ago a gentleman shared a story with me about a habit that his dog has that seems somewhat strange to me.  The dog, apparently a rather large one, is very fearful of thunderstorms, so during storms it always retreats to a place where it feels safe.  That might not be so strange, but the location that the animal feels secure in sounds odd to me:  the bathtub.

He went on to tell about the time that his dog was missing.  As he looked around for his pet, he noticed that the dog catcher went by and that there was also some commotion down the street.  He went to inquire about what was going on and was told that the occupants of the home had found a large dog in their bathtub.  Furthermore, the animal was not responding kindly to their attempts to get him out of the house.   Upon gaining that information the gentleman was suspicious that the dog might be his, so he was allowed to go in to see.  When he approached the dog in the tub, he called his dog’s name and it immediately responded and followed him out of the house with no problem.  The voice of the trusted master had the ability to turn circumstances around so that all ended well.

One of the outstanding provisions of Christ is His willingness to be involved in the lives of those who will submit to Him through believing upon Him as their Savior.  As He described the relationship that He desires to have with humankind, He likened Himself unto a shepherd and His followers to sheep.  In John 10 we are given a beautiful description of that relationship and the benefits that are experienced by those who are willing to follow Him.  Verses 27-28 provide these words of assurance:  “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand”  (New International Version).  Christ accurately and lovingly referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd:  “I am the good shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me” (verse 14).

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Included in His provisions for His sheep is Christ’s protection from the thief.  Satan, the devil, is the source of all evil, and he seeks to steal as many people away from following Christ as he possibly can.  But notice the powerful contrast between what Satan desires to do and what Christ came to provide:  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (verse 10).

Anyone who has had their property broken into by a thief understands the devastation and loss that it brings.  Not only is there the pain of having things taken, but the realization of being violated in such a senseless way can be overwhelming.  Thieves never enter a home to do anything good.  Concerning our spiritual lives, Satan is the master thief who wants to violate, confuse, and destroy our souls.  He has nothing worthwhile to offer, although he disguises his deceptive ways in attractive trappings in his attempts to deceive as many people as he can.

It always pays to listen to the right voice—that of Christ—so that Satan’s destructive deceptions can be avoided.  We can rest assured that Jesus Christ is the Good Shepherd Who will always lead us in the right direction.