Jesus is the leader we love to follow because he loves us. Our shepherd loves us by...
1. Jesus protects us. We, his sheep, know his voice.
John 10:1-5, 7-10 "“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” ... So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.""
We need to distinguish the voice of our shepherd from the voices of false teachers, and the devil's accusing voice.
How do you know if a teaching is from Jesus or not?
Can you give any examples of false teachings that do not match the voice of our Shepherd? How do you know?
How can you identify the voices, accusations or thoughts in your head that are from the devil?
What can you do when you feel accused by the devil?
2. Jesus lead us. We, his sheep, follow him.
John 10:11 "I am the good shepherd." Psalm 23:1 "The LORD is my shepherd...." 1 Peter 5:4 "And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory."
Why do you love to follow your Good Shepherd?
3. Jesus dies for us. We, his sheep, are loved by him.
John 10:11-14, 18 ""I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.... 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.""
Jesus' willingness to die for us demonstrates how deeply he loves us and demonstrates we are his sheep.
Acts 20:28 "... the flock... the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 "You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body."
How do you, as a beloved, blood-bought sheep of the Lord, need to honor God with your life?