SwindollStudyBible-John - Page 35

J ohn  1 0 : 2 7
Bona Fide Sheep
JOHN 10:27-30
T H E GOOD SH EP HER D calls the people under His care His “sheep.” Being one of His
sheep is not a right you deserve nor a reward you earn. It’s a gift you accept. Jesus holds
out His offer: “Be My sheep. Follow Me.”
Some people think they belong to Jesus but don’t really follow Him. In other words,
they aren’t sheep. In this passage, we can identify four characteristics of bona fide sheep.
See if they apply to you.
First of all, sheep are sensitive. “My sheep listen to my voice” (John 10:27). This isn’t
some mystical kind of hearing. Instead, it is an understanding deep inside that is based
on listening to God’s Word, staying sensitive to God’s Spirit, and perceiving God’s work in
your life. If you’re one of Jesus’ sheep, you can say “God told me this in His Word” or “God
showed me that” and mean it, because you know it to be true. Sheep are sensitive to the
voice of their shepherd. If you are not sensitive to the voice of the Good Shepherd, you’re
probably not one of His sheep.
From the time
Second, sheep are obedient. “They follow me” (John 10:27).
Sheep hear their shepherd’s voice, and they then follow and obey. If
you receive
you’re not interested in listening to the voice of God so that you can
Jesus Christ as
follow the path of obedience, it’s very possible that you’ve never
your Shepherd,
become a member of His flock.
Third, sheep are confident. Sheep know their shepherd’s voice
you’re secure.
and, in listening and obeying, have confidence that they will stay on
the path of safety. The members of the Good Shepherd’s flock are confident that they are
on the path of eternal life and will never perish (John 10:28). You have eternal life from the
moment you receive Christ. That brings confidence. Your destiny is set.
I once did a funeral service for a person I hardly knew before a group of people I’d
never met. But I did know that the one I was burying had come to know Christ early in
his life and had followed Him all of his days. So I had the joy of sharing the assurance of
the believer. That was the whole tone of the message I gave at the church. Then at the
grave site, I presented the same message of assurance: that when you know how to
die, you really know how to live. That’s what the man’s life had been all about. It was just
seconds after I had finished the message that a man came to my side and said, “I would
give everything I own to have that kind of ­assurance—­everything.” The Good Shepherd’s
sheep have that confidence. When death comes, there’s no question: Absent from the
body, present with the Lord.
Fourth, sheep are secure. “No one can snatch them away from me” (John 10:28). From
the time you receive Jesus Christ as your Shepherd, you’re in the Lord’s hands. The Son of
God holds you. You’re secure. One of the most incredible parts of the message of salvation
is the accompanying truth that you are secure.
If you’re not sensitive to God’s voice, if you’re lacking in obedience, and if you don’t have
confidence that if you die right now you’re destined to be with Christ eternally, then you are
not secure. You cannot say, “I’m in the Lord’s hands.” If this is you, I plead with you to accept
the Good Shepherd’s invitation and become one of His sheep.

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