Knowing and Loving
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so” is the message of one of Christian music’s most enduring songs, particularly for children. Written by Anna B. Warner in the 1800s, this lyric tenderly affirms our relationship with Him—we are loved.
Someone gave my wife a plaque for our home that gives these words a fresh twist by flipping that simple idea. It reads, “Jesus knows me, this I love.” This provides a different perspective on our relationship with Him—we are known.
In ancient Israel, loving and knowing the sheep distinguished a true shepherd from a hired hand. The shepherd spent so much time with his sheep that he developed an abiding care for and a deep knowledge of his lambs. Little wonder then that Jesus tells His own, “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. . . . My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:14, 27).
He knows us and He loves us! We can trust Jesus’s purposes for us and rest in the promise of His care because His Father “knows what [we] need before [we] ask him” (Matthew 6:8). As you deal with the ups and downs of life today, be at rest. You are known and loved by the Shepherd of your heart.
When we experience difficulties, it helps to read about God’s faithfulness to others. Psalms 77 and 78 describe Asaph’s trials that caused him to doubt God’s love for him (77:7–9). Having experienced God’s presence in the past, he yearned to experience that same closeness yet again (vv. 1–6). As he recalled how God had mightily rescued and redeemed His people from slavery in Egypt (vv. 10–20; 78:1–55), he is assured of God’s presence. He confidently speaks of God as the Shepherd who “brought his people out like a flock” and “led them like sheep through the wilderness” (78:52).
How does the image of God as a Shepherd help you as you go through difficult days?