John 10:27 “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.”
Last week’s devotion asked the fundamental question that every Christian should answer, “Do you love God enough to live out His truths rather than just learn and talk about them?” Today’s short verse reveals the secret of living out His truths - Listening and following.
There is no person, no religion, and no subject that has had more written and published about it than Jesus Christ and Christianity. While this is a real confirmation to the validity of Christianity, it can also become the downfall Christians.
Discipleship today has become focused upon content to where hearing (responding) and following (obedience) are obscured. My sheep listen to my voice speaks to knowing and understanding Jesus. Content is wonderful, but as I wrote last week in Galatians 5:6: " The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
Listening to Jesus is understanding and obeying. Listening is not consumed with activity where you read, study, memorize, and listen to great quantities of content, but rather hearing so you can understand and respond.
Listening to Jesus’ voice means you just do not hear and understand, but you also hear with the depth that causes you to respond and obey. You see each encounter with truth as an opportunity to hear Jesus’ heart and do it. The most practiced form of discipleship today involves taking in large amounts of content. This can make it easy to not listen, much less understand, and certainly not do what Jesus desires you to do.
Today’s verse gives one the simplest and most visual ways of becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ. Every discipline and activity you do in practicing your faith should be focused first on hearing God’s voice. What is God saying to you? Where do you fall short? What does God want you to do?
The second principle may be a little more challenging – following Jesus. It is not enough to know and understand, but rather to follow Jesus. As you develop a life habit of knowing Jesus’ voice and then responding, then you will experience the transforming power of Jesus in your life.
I teach three simple disciplines in following Jesus. 1) Always do a written application to the knowledge you take in. Do this especially for your daily quiet time. 2) Follow Jesus (respond and obey) on those written applications. 3) Develop some simple disciplines to continually keep those applications alive in your life.
Disciplines such as weekly reviewing your applications, memorizing Scriptures that strongly challenge you in the application area, and finally, to go deeper when it is needed. Look at similar Scriptures and seek other sources to better understand where God is leading you.
God loves you to be in His Word to learn and grow. God loves it even more when His Word transforms you by hearing and following Him. Live for Christ to know His voice, so He can have the joy of connecting with you!
John 8:47 “He who belongs to God hears what God says.”
Go to www.GrowinginChrist.net to download two free teaching that will help you know His voice. The two teachings are located at the bottom of the landing page.
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