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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
At night, sheep were often gathered into a sheepfold to protect them from thieves, weather, or wild animals. The sheepfolds were caves, sheds, or open areas surrounded by walls made of stones or branches. The shepherd often slept in the fold to protect the sheep. Just as a shepherd cares for his sheep, Jesus, the good shepherd, cares for his flock.
In the sheepfold, the shepherd functioned as a gate, letting the sheep in and protecting them. Jesus is the gate to God’s salvation for us. He offers access to safety and security. Christ is our protector. Some people resent that Jesus is the gate, the only way of access to God. But Jesus is God’s Son—why should we seek any other way or want to customize a different approach to God? (NLT)
John 10:1-7 – [Jesus said] “I assure you, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber! For a shepherd enters through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t recognize his voice.”
Those who heard Jesus use this illustration didn’t understand what he meant, so he explained it to them. “I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep,” he said.
The Lord says, “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.” — Isaiah 49:16 (NRSV)
Kong Peng Sun (Singapore) titled his story “WHO ARE YOU?” Here is a portion of Kong’s story:
“I have difficulty recognizing people’s faces, including those of my friends I haven’t seen for some time. . . .
“We may worry that our friends will one day ask, ‘Who are you?’ However, we can rest assured that wherever we are and at any time, we can rely on God to remember us always. This is the promise of our loving Father in heaven.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God knows us each by name – and will never forget who we are.
Prayer: God, our creator and father, thank you for the assurance that you know and recognize each of us always. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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