the following is an excerpt of an upcoming devotional due Fall 2015 New Hearts Teaching New Hearts…
The thief does not come except comes to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Everything about the enemy’s activity is designed to limit, even eliminate, us. But Jesus says He has come that we may have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus is in opposition to limitation. Expansive, ever new and renewing. Life, something to have, not a thing to lose, or lay down lightly.
The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. His life, already condescending itself to eschew the endless liberty of divinity and become grounded in gravity and grave matters, expresses the power to lay down, die, and rise again as a principle of operation. A demonstration known by the Father, orchestrated for us, His sheep.
My sheep know my voice. Jesus is not a mysterious entity. He is knowable and knows us as eternal residents of his hand. His hand to hold. He calls us by name and leads us. We are following Him when we step out in faith. He went there first, showing us the good works from the Father. Faith without works is deader than the stones that will cry out if we forego our chance at singing Hosannah!
Jesus, the Risen Son of the Living God. We, His listening sheep, would do well to still our bleating long enough to hear our names sung from the lips of He who is by no means a stranger.