Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in an eight-part Advent series. We’ve invited some friends of our ministry to write the devotionals. The theme is based on 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” The heart of our ministry is to connect people to Jesus. As we near Christmas, we want to reflect on the fact that we only get to connect people to Jesus — and have a personal relationship ourselves (PTL!) — because God first connected with us through Jesus. We hope this Advent series encourages you.

 

“The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” John 10:3-4

 

by Camille Bishop

One of my favorite descriptions of Jesus is found in John 10 when he declares that he is a good shepherd whose sheep hear his voice, and he calls them by name and leads them out. We observe this “calling by name” in the story of Samuel who experienced God as a little boy while being raised by Eli in the temple. One night as he lying down, he clearly heard his name, “Samuel.” He thought Eli had called him but Eli told him to go back to bed. This happened three times and Eli realized that God was speaking to the boy. He instructed Samuel to respond, “Speak Lord, for your servant hears,” if he heard his name called again. God called again, Samuel responded, and the Lord revealed to Samuel what he was about to do in Eli’s family. Samuel saw those words fulfilled and it was the beginning of Samuel’s call to be a respected and reputable prophet at that time in Israel’s history.

This historical account of Samuel foreshadows the coming of Christ who would enter the world as an infant, become a child, an adolescent, and then a man. We see Jesus in the temple at the age of twelve, sitting among the teachers, listening and asking questions. Everyone was amazed at his understanding and answers. When his parents found him after a frantic search, Jesus said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). Jesus was already aware of his father in heaven, listening to his voice, and obeying his call to be the Savior of the world.

How is God speaking to you? Listen carefully and obey whatever he says. It is your destiny.

About Camille:

Camille is a missionary educator serving with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). She teaches internationally on culture, worldview, and Christian education. Her latest book, Courageous Teaching: Educators Who Dare to Be Transformed, is her story about connecting faith and vocation.