A Lenten Devotional, Day 24

A Lenten Devotional, Day 24

This season, we’re blessed with a set of Lenten devotionals by contributing author Lee Hinkle.  Find out more about Lee at the bottom of this article, or at hinkledownunder.com.

Reading

John 10:1-21 (ESV)

Meditation

We called them “The Meatball Bandit.”

Our home was broken into three times in the span of three months. The first time, they were able to get quite a few electronics and our trash bin (“wheelie,” for my Australian readers). We replaced the window they broke, and replaced our electronics; and the second month, they took those replacements. We replaced the window, and did not replace the electronics; so the third month, they took a bag of meatballs from our freezer and returned the trash bin they had taken in the first break-in. We fixed the door and window they broke, and they did not come back. It caused some stress and fear; so to bring some levity to the situation, they became “The Meatball Bandit.”

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10 (ESV)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” There are threats to all of us. Our own sin and the sin of others work to bring destruction. They begin to erode our ability to trust that God is good and true. They become more powerful as we focus on them and worry about what they can do to us. We begin to focus on them and take our eyes off of the Good Shepherd. The voice of the thief can become louder and louder in our ears. We give it power and soon begin to think it is all-powerful.

But, listen; do you hear the call of the Good Shepherd? We know His voice. Listen closely. A stranger might be trying to call you, but listen. You know the Shepherd’s voice. He comes to give life abundantly. Enter through Him and find life.

It can be hard to hear His voice sometimes, when the thief seems ever present. As we pulled up to our house even 4 or 5 months after the last visit from The Meatball Bandit, we would all be looking at the back door to see if there had been any disturbance. It really didn’t stop until we moved from that house.

Our old life of fear without the Good Shepherd hangs around us and seems to easily distract us from the Truth of His presence.

Our old life of fear without the Good Shepherd hangs around us and seems to easily distract us from the Truth of His presence. We believe that either there is no way we could be a good enough sheep to have Him as a shepherd, or that we, the sheep, need to build a better sheep gate to protect us. We think that we have done too much to be forgiven or that we need to do more good things to be accepted. And so our joy is stolen; but the Good Shepherd came to give us life abundant.

We hear His voice and know that we are His.

Prayer

Jesus, thank you for being our protector and comfort by laying down your life for us. Thank you, Father, for giving us to Jesus and charging Him with our life. Spirit, teach us to hear our Good Shepherd’s voice above all the other voices that work for our destruction. Amen.

Lenten Action

Read Romans 8, Galatians 3:23-4:7, Ephesians 2, and Colossians 3:1-17.
• • •

Lee Hinkle is an American pastor who, with his family of 7, felt God’s call to pack up and plant a church in Fremantle, a town in Perth, Western Australia.  Last Summer, the Hinkles left Indianapolis and arrived in Oz to begin their work.  You can follow their adventures at hinkledownunder.com.

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