Picture: Sheep (going astray, scattered)
Scripture: Isaiah 53:6; Psalm 119:176; Matthew 26:31; Ezekiel 34:11-16; Matthew 18:10-13
Write any phrases from the selected Bible verses that speak to you.
Post: The picture below speaks 1,000 words. This sheep, although big and burly he may be, is...just...plain...lost! He's all alone and danger is literally lurking just on the other side of the bend in the highway. I'm wondering if this confused sheep might be thinking to himself, "Hmm, sure wish I had stuck with my master". Or maybe he's intermittently crying out "BAAAA!", (which means, "HELP!" in sheep language). I'm poking fun at this poor sheep, but I'm wondering how many times we have found ourselves in these same sort of precarious situations. We tend to stray with our unchecked thoughts which then turn into unwise words that then give way into unwarranted actions; and then the next thing you know it, we're all scattered crying, "BAAAA!!"
The good news is that we have a Shepherd, and He is relentless when it comes to pursuing His wayward sheep. When we each cry for help, He "leaves the ninety-nine to come and find the one." We keep Him busy, that's for sure; but He loves each of us all that much! There will be consequences to our wayward actions, but not without His guiding love. So, He picks us up out of the thorny bush, or off the side of a cliff, or out from the rocky wilderness, or away from a lonely highway, and He takes us home. "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love" (Psalm 103:8). I am so thankful for His patience and so grateful for His rescue, aren't you?
Take a moment to remember a specific time in your life where your Good Shepherd came to your rescue. Journal this thought, and then write a praise of thanksgiving for His faithfulness.
We so often get ourselves into self created messes! It is a scriptural truth and a human fact that "all of us go astray, each one of us turns our own way" (Isaiah 53:6). Please Lord, give us willing minds to admit when we are in trouble, and repentant hearts to cry out for help. Keep us from stubbornness and pride, I pray. Remind us that we can't do this life without You. Thank you, Good Shepherd, for Your abundant patience and Your steadfast love. Thank You for Your forgiveness. Thank You for not leaving us nor forsaking us. Instead of walking away, You promise: "I will seek the lost and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured and I will strengthen the weak..." (Ezekiel 34:16). Lord Jesus, hear us say, You indeed are the good, good, Good Shepherd. In Your Name. Amen.