March 8, 2018 Thursday (Week III of Lent)
Jeremiah 7:23-28; Psalm 95; Luke 11:14-23
He is our God, and we are the people he shepherds. Psalm 95:7
Do we look like people God is shepherding?
It depends on where you look.
Don’t look at the people going to church. Or at priests and bishops. Or at any other category of people except one: God shepherds the people who listen to his words and try to follow them. “Listen to my voice; then I will be your God and you shall be my people.”
Jesus says we know who the shepherd is because “the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name.” That’s also how we know the sheep. It’s a personal relationship. “I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father… And I keep his word” (John 8:55; 10:1ff.).
God’s sheep are the ones who hear his voice now. His living voice. Those who just follow all the laws and practices of a “religion”—without dealing personally with God—are not hearing his living voice. They are not following a shepherd, but a flock of sheep who may be as blind as they are.
We hear frustration in God’s words to Jeremiah: “This nation does not listen to the voice of its God…When you speak to them, they will not listen to you either.”
Even God can’t shepherd people who won’t listen.
But he keeps trying.
ACTION: Know your shepherd. Read Scripture.
PRAYER: “Thank you, Father, for steadfast love.”