I like the analogy that Jesus uses of comparing himself to a good shepherd. In Bible times, sheep were kept in a sheepfold at night. This was an area in a field that was boxed-in on three sides to help protect the flock from robbers and wild animals. The shepherd guarded this opening, known as the gate. Like a dog to its owner, the sheep would learn to recognize the shepherd's voice, and respond only to him. A hired hand was seldom a good protector, because he was only there for the money. When a wild animal came along and threatened the sheep, the hired hand would run away in fear. But not the shepherd. He protected his flock with his very life.
Jesus protects us with His very life. Like a shepherd knows his sheep, Jesus knows each one of us. He is totally aware of our flaws, weaknesses, fears, and needs...and He loves us anyway! He calls out to us and leads us on the path that is best. In Christ, we can find not only Salvation, but friendship, protection, and serenity. When we lie down at night, we can rest peacefully knowing that the Good Shepherd is guarding the gate. To me, that sounds safer than Fort Knox. I am proud to call Jesus my great Shepherd. I am so thankful that He guides and protects me every day. If you don't know Jesus in this way, I invite you to ask Him to become your great Shepherd. Why live another minute without His incredible Peace?
John 10:11 says, "I am the good shepherd; The shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep."
Father, thank-you for leading me with Your voice. I pray for anyone who is not Your sheep today. Lord, lead them according to You will. In Jesus name, Amen.