Voice of the Shepherd
A devotional thought from Geoff Ashley for “Forever Trusting”
Take a few moments to read John 10:27-29 carefully.
I once heard the story of a man who was visiting the Middle East and came upon some shepherds sheltering their sheep for the night. As each flock was mixed together in the same shelter, the man asked, “How will you be able to separate the sheep in the morning?” A shepherd replied, “Wait until the morning and you will see.”
The man slept anxiously all night, wondering what intricate measures would be employed to distinguish each flock. He awoke in the morning to find each shepherd walking some distance away from the camp. Each took a place on one of the surrounding hills. The man stared in silent anticipation, curiosity and questions filling his mind.
The shepherds each began to yell loudly, and the sheep began to stir. One by one, each sheep separated itself from the fold and followed the voice of its own shepherd.
Whether true or not, this story captures a sense of what Jesus stated in John 10. His sheep hear His voice, they know Him and they will follow Him. Though sometimes the Shepherd leads through the valley of the shadow of death, yet His presence and power protects such that the sheep persevere (Ps. 23).
In this session we consider the doctrines of perseverance and assurance and their relationship to the call for the children of God to continuously trust the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are safe and secure in the Father’s hands and thus free to follow Him wherever He leads.
Pause and Reflect
• Read John 10:27-29 again and consider the various absolutes (eternal, never, all, no one) in the passage. Dwell upon the meaning and implications of these truths
• Do you have any doubts or reservations about the doctrines of perseverance and assurance? If so, what are they?
• Are there any areas of your life where you are reluctant or unwilling to follow the Savior’s lead?