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Daily Devotional John 10:1–18

Most authors who write about “calling” distinguish between the general (or primary) call of God and the specific (or secondary) one. God issues a general call to everyone who listens and responds, a call to salvation and sanctification, discipleship, and devotion. This call is for all of His followers at all times. As Os Guiness writes: “First and foremost we are called to Someone (God), not to something (such as motherhood, politics, or teaching) or to somewhere (such as the inner city or Outer Mongolia).”

The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

JOHN 10:3

We see God’s general call to His people in the Old Testament—a call to righteousness (Isaiah 43) and repentance (Zechariah 13). He called Israel by name and called them His own (Isa. 43:1). This was a calling of identity and relationship. For the next several days, we will study God’s general call to His followers in the New Testament.

In John 10, Jesus continued a series of teachings that began in John chapter 5. Jesus described Himself as the Living Water (John 4), Bread of Life (John 6), and Light of the World (John 8). Then He turned to another familiar image to describe His work—the Good Shepherd (10:1–5).

There is an intimate relationship between the shepherd and his flock—a metaphor packed with meaning. The sheep know the true shepherd because he enters the sheep pen through the gate, not over the wall like a robber. The sheep know the shepherd’s voice, and they listen to him. Shepherds were reputedly devoted to their flocks and often spoke or sang to their sheep. The shepherd in John 10 “calls [kaleo] his own sheep by name and leads them out” (v. 3). He goes ahead of them, and they follow him because they know his voice (v. 4).

>> We all need to respond to that calling: the call to follow Jesus. He is the Good Shepherd, who tenderly calls us to Himself and has sacrificed His very life on our behalf. Have you answered His call?

Pray with Us

We have learned Your voice, learned to love it. We have grown under Your shepherding. May we never fail to answer Your call. May we never be deceived by other voices imitating Yours. We love You, Lord!

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