Scripture Reference: John 10:25 – 30
How many of you come when you are called? (Let children respond.) Do you come right away? Does it depend on who calls you, or when they call you? (You might want to find out if the parents agree that they come when they are called.) Well-trained dogs come when they are called, don’t they?
Dogs know their owner’s voice and when they hear the command, they come. Sheep aren’t really as smart as dogs, and they don’t always come when they are called, but they do recognize the voice of the shepherd. (You may want to show one of the videos links below demonstrating that sheep do respond to the voice of the shepherd.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Coq_grSFlNs
It may take a while for some of them to come, but they eventually do come.
Sheep will not come to a voice that they do not recognize:
Jesus is our Good Shepherd and he knows us and He calls to us. In the Gospel of John, chapter 10, it says, “My sheep hear my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish.”
Jesus is calling, but are we listening? Do we hear Jesus when he is encouraging us to do the right thing? To obey our parents when we know we should? To do the work that we promised to do? To be kind and generous when we feel like being mean and selfish?
The Good Shepherd calls to us because Jesus loves us and wants us to grow up to be God’s followers and to love one another. The voice of Jesus guides us in our lives and helps to keep us safe.
I don’t always listen very carefully to God’s voice, but I try. And I know it has saved my life on many occasions. (Here you may share your own story of God’s protection.) Last week, while biking to school, God preserved my life. I was preparing to make a right hand turn, which is the dangerous one here in Japan since we drive on the left side of the road. I was approaching the intersection, saw that the light had turned yellow and so I slowed down ready for the green arrow that would allow me to turn right. My green arrow flashed on and I started to step on the pedals to push out into the intersection with my right hand extended, signaling my turn. I hesitated, thought I should look back one more time, and just as I did, a big truck came blasting straight through the red light coming past me on my right side, almost smacking my extended hand.
It was surprising, of course, but I then finished my turn and looked back at the corner where a policeman was standing. He had seen the whole thing. I called across the street to ask me if he had seen what happened and he nodded his head “yes.” So I then continued on to work.
That hesitation; that feeling that I should stop or look or be careful has come at other times in my life and it has made all the difference. God is always calling to us. Just as sheep that listen to their shepherd are protected and fed, our lives are blessed when we listen to the voice of Jesus.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for being our Good Shepherd. Help us to listen for your voice