“(Jesus said) ‘I am the Good Shepherd. The good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd. I know My own and My own know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from My Father.'” (John 10:11-18 ESV)
When I was tiny I had a stuffed animal that I loved very much. When I lost it, I would not stop crying. I looked everywhere. Nothing could replace that toy, worn and beaten-up as it was. It was mine.
“Mine” is what my husband the pastor says in his heart about the people he cares for. When he climbs out of bed at 2 a.m. to go down to the hospital for somebody, you can hear that word echoing in the darkness. When he visits someone in jail who has made a train wreck of his life, that word tells you why he visits. These are the people God has entrusted to him; he loves them, and he will sacrifice himself for them.
“Mine” is what Jesus says about you, too. You belong to Him, and nothing can replace you. He loves you with all His heart, and He cares for you every day of your life. He is your Shepherd, and you are His beloved sheep.
But He goes beyond this. He loves you so much that He lay down His life for you, to save you from everlasting death. That’s what the cross was all about—yes, and the empty tomb. He wants you with Him forever—never to be separated from Him. God intends you to live with Him forever, with all of God’s people, and He will pay any price to make that happen.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for making me Yours! Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Republished with permission from Lutheran Hour Ministries
1. Tell about something that was precious to you as a child.
2. If you say “mine” about something, how does that change your behavior toward it?
3. Are there ever times when God says “mine” about you, and you are not so happy about that fact?