Daily D – John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. JOHN 10:27 (NLT)
A professor introduced our class to a leader who was an emerging thought leader in church work. I devoured his book. As many sentences were highlighted as not. Pages were dogeared. This leader also produced a monthly snail mail newsletter. (This was in the days before email.) I subscribed and eagerly awaited each edition.
This leader began scheduling conferences around the country. He brought one close enough for me to attend. I scraped together the money to pay for entrance and joined a crowd of guests where I did not know a soul. It did not take long before it became apparent that many of the other attendees were together as teams. Imposter Syndrome raised its ugly head.
There was a book signing at the end of one session. I felt as awkward and excited as a teenager meeting her pop idol live and in person. The leader signed my book and I mumbled something appreciative.
Meeting a personal hero is kind of a big deal.
My bride was given tickets to a Texas Rangers baseball game (I miss baseball) where we were able to sit in a suite with all-you-can-eat ballpark food, television cameras for replays, and private restrooms. For me, a guy who thinks about baseball only during the season, the post-season, after the season, and Spring Training, it was a little bit of heaven on earth. And then it got better.
Dave Hostetler came into the suite to say hello. In the summer of 1982, Dave created Hoss-steria in Arlington. For two months that summer, he lit up the nights and filled Arlington Stadium. The stadium announcer played the theme from Bonanza when he stepped toward the batter’s box. In twenty-eight games, he hit eleven home runs, drove in twenty-two RBI, and boasted a .687 slugging percentage. (Call me if you need translation.)
When he came into the suite that night and introduced himself, I started babbling about that summer and that streak. He smiled broadly, sat down, and gave me undivided attention. That was a pretty good night. My ultimate luxury someday will be season tickets to the Texas Rangers where I can take family as often as possible and guys who need time to decompress whenever necessary.
There is a reason not to tell you the name of the leader I got to meet. As it turns out, he had a girlfriend stashed away in an apartment. He justifiably lost his job, and his prominence, when that was discovered. Hoss ended up back in the minor leagues not long after his amazing summer. The memories and the positive emotions they stir remain. He and his bride live in Arlington and he works for an athletic goods company.
Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them, and they follow me.” Keep reading this text and discover how Jesus is deeply, closely connected to his followers. He is also deeply, closely connected to our Father in heaven. We have the ultimate privilege of getting to know Jesus, and through Jesus, to know our Father in heaven.
Sometimes a picture paints a thousand words. Do yourself a favor and visit Burton Hill Baptist Church in Fort Worth. As you enter their new facility, straight on through the glass double doors you will see a mural of a woman meeting Jesus. The emotional impact of that scene brings tears to my eyes sitting here at the breakfast table.
We not only get to know Jesus, but we also get to introduce others to him. When we do so, we multiply that scene of enraptured greeting. We and our loved ones and friends will get to know the full experience of the song, I Can Only Imagine.
Listen to Jesus. Get to know him well. Follow him everywhere. Help others do the same.
I will introduce others to Jesus.
Our Father, thank you for the privilege and honor of knowing and experiencing you. I want to know you well. I want to help others do the same. Make me a minister of introductions. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”