We all get discouraged and long for someone to comfort our hearts. We long for someone to love us deeply, to cherish us, and to build us up. And as wonderful as the people in our lives may be, they are admittedly imperfect (I am too!). So, we turn our hearts to the Good Shepherd, who is always available, always good, and always trustworthy. What does He do for us? What promises can we hold to? John 10 is rich with promises from Him.
He knows my name.
This is not a passing acquaintance. We are known by name to this Shepherd.
To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. ~ John 10:3
He gives me full life
This is no mere survival but a rich, beautiful gift of life from God (both here and in eternity).
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly ~ John 10:10
He gave his life for me – how He loved me!
The hired hand holds no affection for these unattractive and mistake prone sheep. But the good shepherd loves them so much he is willing to die for them.
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep….He [the hired hand] flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. ~ John 10:11,13
He knows me
Sometimes we struggle with feeling known. We yearn for someone to know our truest selves and still love us. But, beloved, we are utterly known – and utterly loved – with God.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me ~ John 10:14
He gives without grudging, duty, or bitterness
There are no strings attached, no manipulations. He gave freely.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. ~ John 10:18
He holds me in His hand
Sometimes, all we want is to be held – strengthened by touch, hugged, or held. We need that feeling of safety – and we have it, held tight by the hand of God.
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. ~ John 10:28-29
He goes first – He leads me!
I don’t have to worry about not knowing all about tomorrow. I don’t have to worry about the hardships I will face. God walks in front of me, and I am not alone.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. ~ John 10:4
May we each hold fast to God’s promises and follow Him, until we reach eternity.
Photo by Daniel Burka on Unsplash