Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The Shepherd's Voice

Those who hear the Shepherd hear God [1]. But simply hearing his voice is of no use if you choose to disregard what he says [2]. I want to be a follower of the Shepherd that not only hears his voice, but also does what he says and follows in his footsteps.

All too often I’m guilty of hearing only.

Do you hear the Shepherd’s voice? What is he telling you?

The voice I hear says, "I’m over here." I look and see the dusty face of a wayward stranger near the I-10 overpass. Then I hear him again.

"Look over here." I look down and see the longing eyes of a fatherless child at my daughter’s daycare. I hear the Shepherd’s voice yet again.

"I’m right here." I look around and see letters from prisoners who’ve taken the time to write encouragement to a bunch of men on a Christian renewal retreat.

I hear the voice of the Shepherd in sacred, ancient texts, too. A Hebrew prophet named Ezekiel speaks for the Shepherd who says:

I will rescue [my sheep] from all the places where they were scattered…I will
tend them in a good pasture…There they will lie down in good grazing land, and
there they will feed…I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down…I will
search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and
strengthen the weak… [3]

Because I hear these words, I choose to follow the Shepherd and to do as he did. I look for sheep that are scattered and looking for good pasture. I seek out the strays and welcome them back to the grazing land where there is good food. I speak words of encouragement and strength to the injured and the weak. I strive to be a doer and not a hearer only.

When I hear the Shepherd’s voice in the many places I go, I try to find ways to do as he did. I stoop down to pick up the fatherless child, to give the wayward stranger some direction and to be as humble and gracious as the thoughtful letter writer in prison. Because my Shepherd was humble [4], I too must take on that attitude daily. Because he was a servant [5], I too must stoop down to serve.

Do you hear the Shepherd’s voice? What is he saying to you?

(Blogger's note: I probably should have made this my first post, but I got ahead of myself with the first one titled "Prejudice Against the 'Unsaved'." Please accept my apologies, as this would have been a much better introductory post.)

[1] John 14:24
[2] Luke 6:46-49; James 1:22-27
[3] Ezekiel 34:12-16
[4] Philippians 2:5-8
[5] Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45

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