The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
The Power of Recognition

David Redding tells of having a big, black Scottish shepherd as a pet when he was growing up on a farm in the country. He named the dog Teddy and they became inseparable companions. Teddy would wait on him to come home from school at the bus stop. Teddy slept at the foot of his bed. Teddy came whenever David whistled a tune. During the night, no one could get within a half mile of their farm without Teddy’s permission. The boy and his dog were inseparable.

Then World War II came and David went away to war. He told his family good-bye, but there was no way to tell a dog you were going away and might never come back.

David Redding went away to boot camp and then was shipped overseas for three years. Finally, the day came when he could go home. The last bus stop was 14 miles from the farm and his parents didn’t have a phone. He simply threw his duffle bag over his shoulder and started walking.
It must have been two o’clock in the morning as he neared the farm. It was pitch dark, but he knew every step of the way. Suddenly, the dog heard someone on the road and began to bark. David said, "I whistled only once and Teddy stopped barking. There was a yelp of recognition, and I knew that a big, black dog was running toward me in the darkness. Almost immediately, he was there and in my arms. He knew me. He recognized me. He loved me. Even after three years, he recognized me and loved me."

Whenever there is a recognition of love, there is joy.

In the 10th chapter of John’s gospel Jesus tells us that he is our Good Shepherd. One thing that is a resounding theme is the recognition between the sheep and their shepherd. Jesus quickly recognizes his disciples and those who follow him recognize his face, his voice and everything about him. As a result we obey him because of the loving relationship.

Christianity is not about religion. It is about relationship between the Good Shepherd and his sheep. He has loved you from the beginning and he passionately desires that you and I recognize him for who he is. He is the Son of the Living God who became one of us and died in our place so that we could have eternal abundant life in him.

I am excited about the new Sermon series we are beginning this week at First Christian Church. We are going to look at the special relationship that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, has with his disciples which he compares to the sheep of his flock. The series is called The Good Shepherd and His Flock (John 10) Follow the Leader. This week’s message is titled The Shepherd’s Voice based on John 10:1-6; 14-16; 25-27. Join us for this exciting connection with our Lord.

Recognized as,

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