For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. 12 As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places (Ezekiel 34:11-12 ESV)
The shepherd and sheep analogy shows the beauty of God’s commitment to us as believers. In the Old Testament God used it often in talking to the nation of Israel, and he renews this image in speaking to believers in the New Testament.
He will seek us out. He will rescue us, no matter where we find ourselves.
What a comfort, what unsearchable love.
26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 ESV)
But, he doesn’t just stop there in keeping us physically safe, His concern is for our eternal soul. He makes us new. New heart, new spirit. He enables us to follow Him, something we could not do out of our old nature.
8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. (I Peter 4:8-11 ESV)
Peter takes our faith a step further with this litany of directives:
The New Testament proves time and again that following Christ is not about following a list of rules, but of being in Christ, of following in His footsteps, constantly seeking to model our lives after His holiness.
Father God, my loving Shepherd, thank you for guarding and protecting me. Thank you for renewing me when on my own everything was hopeless. Thank you for setting a high standard for me to follow each day of my life. Give my strength and boldness to follow without fear. In Jesus Name, Amen