I also know now that the same bird produces more than one call. A cardinal will peep, one high light note at a time, or he will purty, purty, purty, or what, what, what, what, or even cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer, cheer. It all depends upon whether he is courting a female, defending his territory from other males, warning other birds of interlopers, or just contentedly enjoying his meal. But whichever call he uses, now I know it.
Some bird songs are deceptive. A mourning dove sounds almost like some kind of soft-spoken owl. A blue jay’s whistle might sound a bit like a cuckoo to someone who is used to listening to cuckoo clocks. And did you know that the movies often use a hawk’s call when an eagle is pictured because it sounds much more regal for our national bird than the squawk an eagle usually produces. And so you have to be educated to these sounds to know them, to distinguish one from the other.
The same is true of the Bible. The things I see people falling for astonish me. How could they possibly believe such craziness? How? Because they have never educated themselves in the scriptures. If you know the general teaching of the Bible, the general layout of the plot (yes, there is one), more than that, if you know the God and the Christ presented in those Scriptures, you won’t fall for the false teachings out there. You may not know exactly what is wrong, but your mind will instantly say, “Wait a minute. Something doesn’t sound right.”
You can only do that by paying attention to everything Jesus says, not just the parts you like. Too many of us don’t want a Savior who demands that we follow him only, that we give up ourselves, our likes and dislikes, our loyalties and loves, and who makes statements like, “Sin no more,” and “You are of your father the devil.” We want the loving Jesus who forgives sins and holds the little children in his lap. To truly accept Jesus is to accept all of his words and ways, not just the parts we like. “The sheep follow the shepherd,” Jesus says, “because they know his voice” John 10:3. Even the stern, disciplinary voice.
Jesus is our Good Shepherd. We must learn all of his words in order to truly know him and not be deceived. All who came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen, John 10:8. I’m afraid too many of us would listen, and become lost sheep in the process.
Do you know his voice? If you don’t know the whole of Jesus, you don’t. If all you have are your favorite sayings and favorite anecdotes, you are in danger of being led astray. If I can learn a couple dozen bird calls in such a short amount of time, surely you can learn the call of a Savior who wants you to know him in even less.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32
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