You have to wonder what it is that skips through a sheep’s mind as they wander. Perhaps it really is that picturesque grass on the other side or maybe they’re simply distracted easily, finding themselves away from the flock before they even realize what happened.
I have a tendency to do that too. One day I feel as though I’m closer to my Shepherd than I’ve ever been. Then suddenly, I wake up and wonder where I am and how far I’ve really strayed. I don’t like this continual struggle. If I love my Savior so, why do I stray from Him? Why do I find myself wandering all alone, knowing I should have stayed in the comfort of His care?
Thankfully, God sees my weary, struggling heart and still He loves me. With open arms, my Shepherd welcomes me back to the fold. Even better, He promises to forgive me when I come to Him in repentance.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
And when I’ve come back into my Shepherds arms, I’m reminded that He has paid for every sin in my account and has brought me into His care; I am a part of His flock.
Do I deserve this amazing love and mercy? Can I honestly say I have done anything to deserve being changed from His enemy to His child? I deserved none of it and because of that, the glory belongs to Him. Because I know that it is:
“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” -Titus 3:5-7
I know that I am no longer viewed by God as sinful. He looks at me and sees the righteousness of His Son, Jesus.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” -2 Corinthians 5:21
God says that I am holy, blameless, and above reproach.
“And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight–” -Colossians 1:21-22
You see, I am no longer defined by the things that I’ve done in the past; I have been made new.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17
And now, by His grace and through His Holy spirit, my life can reflect His goodness and proclaim His glory. I can’t change on my own, but I don’t have to; He helps me.
A Heart For My Shepherd –
And that is why I have a heart for my Shepherd. That is why I strive to let my life reflect His love and mercy. I know that without His righteousness, I am worthless. Without His mercy, I am lost. Without His help, I am helpless. Without my Shepherd, I am nothing.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:1-11