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And He Himself gave some to be....evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ...
- Ephesians 4:11-12

THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO www.timeintheword.org

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Location: The Hill Country of Texas

Pastor - Providence Reformed Baptist Church
Director - TIME in the Word Ministries

Thursday, October 20, 2005

By Name

TIME in the Word - Daily Devotional

Verse for the Day: John 10:3b
and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

Daily Scripture Reading: Galatians 4

The Puritan Catechism
Question #2 - What rule has God given to direct us how we may glorify him?

Devotional Thoughts
Jesus not only talks to us as our shepherd - He also calls us by name! Can you remember a time when you ran into someone you knew that you knew but had trouble recalling their name. You know, you smile and talk kindly to them because you know you know them and you try so hard to remember who they are! Hopefully they remember you or else you have a nice conversation and neither of you knows who the other really is!

Thankfully, even though Jesus rules the universe, He always recalls our name! He knows who we are and He will never (He cannot ever) forget who we are. The Book of Psalms even tells us that our names are carved into the palms of God's hands! He cares so much about us and loves us so much that He does call us by name.

This is also significant of a special, intimate relationship. He knows us and calls us! He talks with us. He cares about us and our lives. No matter how small we seem or our needs seem in the scheme of things - God calls out to us BY NAME!

Do you ever feel forgotten? Alone ? Like no ones cares or even cares to care? Like you are a nobody, worthless and abandoned? Well, no matter how you feel you must understand that He knows you, He never leaves you, and He calls you by name. Sure you can't see Him, that is why salvation requires faith, but you can know without a single doubt that He is there! At times we just need to inform our feelings of the truth.

And not only does He care and call us by name, He also leads us out! We will look later at what happened when the sheep left the fold but for now it is important to notice that the shepherd LEADS the sheep. The shepherd is not a cowboy! He doesn't drive the sheep like a herd of cows. He doesn't use a whip and loud noises to direct his flock. The shepherd simply and gently leads the way.

The sheep trust the shepherd. They know Him. He calls to them by name, they hear His voice and want to be where He is, so they follow. He leads, they follow. That is the Christian life summed up. He doesn't whip, drive, beat, herd, or yell - He just simply leads the way. And if we know Him and hear His voice we follow wherever He goes. Wherever that may be we are safe because He is there with us, before us, leading us. We are safe, secure, protected, provided for, encouraged, motivated, and fed - we are loved.

But notice, in order to follow, we, the sheep, must know where the shepherd is, we must listen for His voice and when we hear it we must follow wherever He leads It is a matter of faith. Every day we must believe, trust, obey, and follow our shepherd. That is the only way to please Him, to get fed and watered and find rest. With Him.

Today listen once again for His voice. When you hear it, be willing to follow wherever He leads. He expects you to follow today - will you? No Fear. No Worry. Just Faith. Just Jesus! Follow Him as He calls you personally by name today! Bask in His amazing love for you. (If you are not in the Word, you won’t hear His voice!)

Bible Reading For Further Study

Recommended Songs for Worship

BONUS - The Treasury of David
by Charles H. Spurgeon
Psalm 23
(It is recommended that the reader take a small section of this work each day and meditate on the truths gleaned from Holy Scripture - today focus on the sections on verse 4).


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