June 19

John 10:9-11 9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

In ancient Israel shepherds built makeshift pens out of rock and briars. There was only one opening into the pen. As dusk began to settle in, the shepherd would call his sheep into the pen and then lie himself across the entrance. Any predator would make a lot of noise trying to get over the wall into the pen and thus wake the shepherd. Jesus said He is the gate or door to the sheep pen.

There is a predator that would love to tear you from limb to limb, because he hates your Father. He has these objectives irremovably bound in his heart: murder, theft, and destruction. That is why the good Shepherd is the gate to the pen. If that predator gets in, the Shepherd knows what would become of us, so He puts Himself in the way. If you go through the good Shepherd into the pen, you are saved from the Destroyer. Jesus will let you out when it is safe and lead you to good pasture. He has a very different objective. Love binds it to His heart. It is to give you life to the full (1 Peter 1:8).

The Destroyer will lie through his teeth to get you away from the Shepherd. He will promise you all kinds of things, but none of it is true. The Shepherd never lies. He loves you so much that He gave His life to protect you. You have read the history of these two. Jesus outlined their very different desires toward you. Which will you believe today? ...and in the future? Why would you even listen to the one who has evil intentions toward you? Instead, listen to the Shepherd's voice. That is one way of knowing whose sheep you are. The Shepherd's sheep hear His voice and follow Him. Go in and out through Him today and find pasture.

Meditation: He came to give us life to the full!