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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Zechariah 13:9 “This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’ ”
Zechariah 9:9, 10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.
Ezra 3:12, 13 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Daniel 2:30 “As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.”