Recently the Baylor Institute Of Religious Studies completed what Time magazine referred to as a “landmark” survey regarding the current view of God and religion in America. The 74 page document showed that 31.4 % of Americans who believe God is highly involved in their daily lives and decision making, also feel he is quite angry and capable of meting out punishment to those who are unfaithful or ungodly. When I read this statistic my heart sunk. This statistic demonstrates that even as believers we can sometimes lose the complete perspective of who God is.
The Bible clearly reveals the nature and character of God. While the Bible teaches that God in his righteousness does discipline his children and that that the wages of sin is death, we read in 2 Peter 3:9 that the Lord is also long-suffering towards us and is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God is Holy and Just while at the same time loving and compassionate, not angry and condemning. The scriptures demonstrate that he desires a very real and personal relationship with all of us, not distant and unattached. It’s important that we never lose sight of this!
Psalms 23:1 - “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not be in want”.
Ezekiel 34:11-12 – “For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness”.
Psalms 23:1 and Ezekiel 34:11-12 show us how God is our shepherd. When you think of a shepherd, what comes to mind? Perhaps a leader? Possibly an overseer? The dictionary defines a shepherd as “a person who protects, guides, or watches over”. When we see Christ as OUR shepherd who “protects” us, “guides” us, and “watches over” us, we see a glimpse of his love and personal attention for each of us.
It’s amazing to realize that the God who created us and the entire universe, cares so much about you and me that HE seeks and looks after US! What confidence we can have in Jesus’ intent in our lives. The bible explains it in such a way that we can see the whole picture of Christ as our complete shepherd in our daily life:
1. He is patient with us and not willing that any should perish.
2. He seeks out his sheep.
3. He looks after his sheep.
4. He is among his sheep.
5. He delivers his sheep.
No matter the circumstances or problems we may face in our life, Jesus is WITH us. However, it does not end there!! If we will trust him by faith as our shepherd, he has promised to not only be with us, but he WILL also rescue us (Ez. 34:12). Be encouraged today! We matter that much to God!