John 10:27-29 – (Jesus said) “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.”

Did you ever date somebody for a while—and then he or she said to you, “I’d like you to meet my parents. Come over for dinner on Saturday”? If so, I suspect you were nervous. You didn’t know what to expect, and you wondered: “Will they like me? What will they think of me? What do they already know about me?” You knew what the son or daughter of the family thought of you—but the parents were another matter.

I have a parallel problem with God. Sometimes I have a hard time relating to God the Father. Jesus I can picture in my mind. I can read the Gospels and see Him in action. I hear His words and they relate to me. Most of all, He died on the cross and rose again for me. If He would do that for me, He must love me. There’s no doubt about it.

But when it comes to God the Father, I draw a blank. Maybe it’s because I can’t see Him in my mind’s eye, the way it’s possible to picture Jesus (though of course I know my mental picture is likely wrong). The Father is invisible, not incarnate in a human body. Or maybe it has something to do with the circumstances of my childhood. But whenever I think of God the Father, I am somewhat nervous … shy … standing far off, wondering in the back of my mind: “What do you really think of me?”

Jesus reassures us about that. He describes Himself as our good Shepherd, the One who gives us eternal life and protects us, who knows us all by name. He assures us that no one can snatch us out of His hand. And then He goes further. He says, “No one can snatch you out of My Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.”

That makes me think. “Wait a minute. If Jesus cares for me like a shepherd—if He protects me and knows me so well—and then He says He and God the Father are one!—well, then, that must mean that God the Father feels toward me exactly the same way Jesus does.” That rocks me back on my heels. Jesus loves me enough to die for me, and God the Father feels like that about me? Jesus puts up with me when I trip and fall into sin, and patiently forgives and restores me day after day—the invisible God feels like that about me?

You may not have this problem. But if you do, you can take comfort in the fact that Jesus is, as the writer of Colossians puts it, “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation” (Colossians 1:15). Jesus’ attitude toward you is the same attitude that the whole Trinity has to you. God is One—and He loves you. You can see God through Jesus.

THE PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for allowing us to know You through Your Son Jesus. Amen.

This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.

Pastor Wolfgram and Jim Barnhardt can be heard on KNDR 104.7 FM at 3:30 today (Thursday, May 9) regarding the People Matter Community Carnival scheduled for Saturday at Wachter Middle School from 11:00-2:00 pm.  We could use a few more volunteers to assist with the Shepherd of the Valley booth to distribute VBS and congregation information. 

Hope Manor – Sober Living Homes is our 2nd quarter focus for Human Care.  Their mission is to provide an environment where people can apply the tools of recovery in a comfortable, safe and stable environment so that the individual has the opportunity to realize true freedom in sobriety.

 We have set May 18 as Shepherd of the Valley Volunteer Day at Heaven’s Helpers Soup Kitchen.  Please consider when during that Saturday you might be able to help.   There is still space to assist in the afternoon.  Please visit with Micheal Henke and see the sign up sheet in the narthex at church. 

 VBS volunteers wanted:  Please visit with Carrie Harling to let her know that you desire to help with VBS which is scheduled May 28, 29, & 30 from 9am to noon.  Online registration for students and helpers can be found at www.vbsmate.com/sotvbismarck.  Email Carrie at carrieharling14@gmail.com

 The next Hang Out will take place on Tuesday, May 21, 6:00 PM at Shepherd of the Valley.  Join us for supper, fellowship, and Bible Study with Vicar Woodside. 

 Youth in grade 8-12 are invited to join Pastor Wolfgram for Bible Study and appetizers on Wednesday, May 15 at 8:00 pm at the church.  At 9:00 pm we will go to Applebee’s for continued conversation and appetizers. 

 The next Men’s Network will take place at Messiah Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 18, from 9:00-11:00 AM. 

 Election of officers to various boards will take place during the June 23rd Voters’ meeting.  Please consider how you might serve the Lord and His church.  What gifts and passions has the Lord given you to serve in His Kingdom work?  Visit with Pastor Wolfgram or Justin Dever with regarding questions or your desire to serve. 

 We’d love to have you join us for a Larks Baseball game on June 23 to support Crisis Care Chaplaincy.  Please see the poster below.  Deadline for purchase of tickets is May 23. 

You are also invited to attend the Trunorth Theatre Company performance of Luther by John Osborne. 

X