I’m fortunate to live near the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove in Asheville, NC. Early each year Kendra Graham (wife of Will Graham, Billy’s grandson) leads a ladies’ Bible study. And it’s free! So a group of us from church go and get two hours of weekly refreshment at one of the loveliest meeting facilities anywhere. Ahhhhhh.
Last night we covered John 10:1-10. I did my homework, gleaning a few bits and pieces from the scripture that seemed pretty powerful if not earth-shakingly new. Then I settled in to go over the homework and hear from Kendra. And here came the power of studying with others.
My homework was kind of the same old stuff that occurs to me over and over. My ultimate lesson was to talk less and listen more. Good. I’ve been working on that. Now here’s what Jesus said to me through Kendra that was NEW to me–He said “I won’t ask you to go anywhere I’m not.”
Jesus precedes us wherever He leads. He doesn’t push us out ahead or send us into places He’d rather not go. He doesn’t throw the stick way out there and expect us to fetch it back. He walks straight into whatever it is He wants us to do and then invites us to come with Him.
- Raise a million dollars at work? Step right this way.
- Share my word with others? Let me show you how.
- Be a good and loving friend? I’ve got some examples for you.
- Write books that will touch people’s lives? Let me tell you a story.
There’s only one reason to ever give up on something. If I look around and don’t see Jesus there with me, it’s time to hightail it back to where He is.
John 10:2-4 – “The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.”