“My people have been lost sheep; their shepherds have led them astray and caused them to roam on the mountains. They wandered over mountain and hill and forgot their own resting place. Whoever found them devoured them; their enemies said, ‘We are not guilty, for they sinned against the Lord, their true pasture, the Lord, the hope of their fathers.'” Jeremiah 50:6-7 (NIV)
Jeremiah speaks of what is in store for a people whose hearts have turned from God. As I read through these messages to Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, Elam and Babylon–my eyes stopped here: their shepherds have led them astray. Was this all the result of a bad example? Poor counsel? I don’t minimize their sin–but it made me stop hard and think what kind of influence am I? Do my actions and words point people to God?
Their shepherds have led them astray. I have more influence in people’s lives than I think. Big influence, my family and close friends. Perhaps even little influences can be of big importance. When I think of all the people I come in contact with in person, by phone or blogging, I wonder: would they know who I follow by my speech? Do my actions and words glorify God?
And who is influencing me? Who are the examples I follow and do I know where they are leading me?
Father, I don’t want my careless examples to wound or harden hearts. I pray to be intentional with my thoughts, words and actions to bring you glory. You are my true pasture. I want to live a life that leads people to you. Amen.