A New Year For His Voice

From carols, programs, parties, to children waving their new list for Santa. Voices vibrated our very being this past holiday.
And during this clamoring noise did we hear our names called that didn’t have a need or a demand attached to it? Or to tell us we were valued and loved? Maybe we felt like a stick figure at a large party – lost?
Christians too, can get caught up in the excitable moments of celebration followed with moments of irritability. The jumbled chaos of Jingle Bells had overshadowed or drowned out our Shepherd’s voice.
Whether its holidays or the demands of living, Christ promised: “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hears his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and he leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10: 3-4).
When a ewe and her lamb get separated the baaing and bawling never stops. But when the lamb recognizes its mother’s voice it scampers across the field right to her! This is the picture Christ is draws for us. He intimately knows each of us from among the mingling crowds.
We are beginning a new year. Perhaps this season you gave your heart to Christ for the first time, or perhaps you’ve renewed your commitment to him. Through schedules, challenges or disappointments Christ says emphatically, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, [I know where they are and what’s hurting them}, and am known by My own. [Because we are His, we know His voice, too.]. . . . . . And I lay down My life for the sheep” (John10: 14-15). Wow! Can we think of anyone else who would do this for us?
The world wants to rob our peace. The world wants us frazzled. The world wants us to march to its drummer. But Christ warned us of this false hireling. The hireling wants to lead we sheep for his own profit. His voice condemns: “Aren’t good enough; you’ll never improve; you failed again; you can’t help that person, look at yourself.” And at the first sign of trouble our Accuser abandons the sheep.
Let’s make this year a time we listen to the voice of the One who knows us.
First, He promises to go before us through all the rumpled up, twisted avenues we have to travel. Second, we are never too far, too deep, or too overwhelmed for God to find us: we know each other! Third, Jesus proved His love for His lowly sheep with His life. And when He did, He called out each of our names from the cross! Fourth, accepting His gift of the cross, we have eternal life and no one, not even the hireling, can snatch us from Christ’s loving Father.
May this New Year we tune out the Accuser, who pulls us down, and listen to the Voice of our good Shepherd, who knows us, and calls us by name.