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Eternal Security: Pen Cap Illustration

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

John 10:27

Watch Week Two Day Three

In the Middle East there are watering holes where all of the shepherds take their sheep. It’s not uncommon to see several herds at one watering hole. The amazing thing is how attuned the sheep are to the shepherd’s voice. Each shepherd has a certain whistle or call, and when the sheep hear it they separate out and follow their shepherd.

Read John 10:27–30.

Who are Jesus’ sheep? (We are.)
What are two things that characterize Jesus’ sheep?

1. They Hear His Voice.

I (Vivian) remember talking with my daughter about this passage in John when she was around eight years old. She wanted to know how to discern Jesus’ voice. She asked me, “How do you know when the Shepherd’s voice is truly Jesus or just thoughts in your own mind?” I paused as I thought about how to answer. Before I spoke a word, I saw a look of understanding spread over her face. With eyes shining, she said, “Wait, Mom! I get it! It’s like I’m a little lamb and you are the momma sheep. You know the Shepherd’s voice because you have been following Him for a longer time. So I need to stay close to you and follow you as you follow the Shepherd, and then I’ll learn from you how to hear His voice. And then as I grow I’ll be able to know the Shepherd’s voice.”

She describes well the nature of discipleship. Younger believers benefit and learn how to walk with God as they spend time with those who are more mature in the faith.

2. They Follow Jesus.

This should be characteristic of a Christian. Here’s a great opportunity to remind those you are taking through this study that the objective of the Christian life is to follow and know Jesus. Christianity is not a rigid lifestyle of do’s and don’ts. It’s not a moral, ethical code or philosophy. Being a Christian first and foremost is being in a love relationship with Jesus and seeking to know Him and become more like Him as we spend time with Him.

Take a pen cap and hold it in the palm of your hand, and explain that in this illustration we are the pen cap, and our life is in Jesus’ hand.

Read verse 28.

Ask: Where are we in relationship to Jesus? (In His hand.)

Read verse 29. Wrap your hand around the pen cap.

Where are we in relationship to the Father? (His hand is around all.)
Is this a secure position to be in?
Whose power holds us to Christ, ours or His?

Read Romans 8:35–39.

Ask: Can you think of anything that is not included in these verses that might separate us from Christ?

“Things to come” and “anything else in all creation” takes care of any other possibilities not mentioned.


Practice sharing the pen cap illustration with someone to further explain the promise of eternal life.

Watch a captioned version of today’s video here:


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