My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.
John 10:27-28 NIV
In Canada, sheep production is a relatively small industry compared to that of cattle or poultry with just over one million sheep and lambs raised across the country annually. There are over 8,000 sheep farms across Canada. Sheep are raised for meat, milk and wool, depending on their breed. In milk production, lambs are removed from the ewe within 48 to 60 hours after birth and raised on sheep milk replacer. It can produce two litres of milk per day and weigh between 70 and 125 kilograms.
The Bible often speaks about God being our shepherd. The 23rd Psalm is beloved because it speaks of God’s loving care, like that of a shepherd caring for his sheep. We innately understand our deep need for the God of love to walk with us, protecting us, guiding us, saving us. Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, understood this. John 10:27-28 says “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” As we enter this Advent season and prepare our hearts once again to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we are reminded often of why He came. His love for us drove Him to a stable in Bethlehem and to a cross on Calvary because He knows how lost and wayward we are without Him. What a profound blessing to hear the shepherd say, “I know them.” He knows you. He knows your need. He knows your sin and your brokenness. He calls you by name to Himself, and He meets your deepest need – the gift of eternal life.
These have been words from the heart.