Thursday, December 04, 2008

The master gatekeeper

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: John 10:3-4 (The Message) The gatekeeper opens the gate to (the shepherd) and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice.

As children, the first voices we recognize are our parents. We hear their voices from inside our mothers’ tummies, we hear the joy of their voices the minute we pop out of the womb. When we couldn’t sleep as infants, they rocked us to sleep by singing a soft lullaby. “Hush, little baby, don’t you cry …” Virtually every day of our young lives, we hear their voices. Even when we are away from them, we can picture their voices in our minds’ eyes. Our parents’ voices are soothing and comforting in times of troubles.

God’s voice should be soothing and comforting to us, as well. Some of us hear God’s voice every day, and we know it. It also is soothing and comforting. In the boisterous, hustle and bustle of this world, we can hear God’s soft voice whispering in our ears. Some people may not hear God’s voice because they don’t seek it out. We hear his voice most often in our prayers and in the reading of his word. If we aren’t praying and reading daily, how can we know his voice?

The gatekeeper is us, either opening our hearts to Jesus or closing it down tight. The choice is ours. We may choose to keep our gates closed at various times of our lives. Still, Jesus comes to the gate daily to see if we are ready to open our gate to him. He is patient and persistent. He waits at the gate for us all day. If we are followers of Jesus, we allow him to be the gatekeeper, which allows Jesus to protect our hearts from the outside. It is a wonderful feeling to know that he is protecting us 24/7.

I love that Jesus calls each one of his sheep by name. He knows all of our names. That shows how important each one of us are to him. As a teacher, I have 120 students, and it took me three weeks to memorize everyone’s names. Imagining knowing billions of names! Jesus voice is there for us to follow – if we choose to obey. Some of us will listen to a stranger’s voice and follow it, straight to trouble. Indeed, there are many sheep rustlers out there, seeking to sway our hearts. Every day, we need to call upon our shepherd for protection and direction. He is waiting to hear our voices call him.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, protect me today. Keep my heart pure for you. Help me to hear your voice and follow it. Help me to discern when rustlers call out. Amen

Doug Mead
Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Vol. 3, No. 167

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/

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