Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Evidence of His Love

For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. (Hebrews 12:6 NLT)

More than once, the Bible compares us to sheep. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27 NLT). And in Isaiah 53:6, we read, “All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (NLT).

In Psalm 23, David mentions two primary tools that shepherds use to keep their flocks close to them and out of danger: a rod and a staff.

A staff was a long, crooked pole that had a number of uses. For example, a shepherd would use it to return a newborn lamb to its mother. Or he would extend it so that the sheep would know he was nearby. It gave sheep a sense of comfort and security.

Of course, the shepherd also used his staff to bring back wayward sheep. But when sheep persisted in their wayward ways, the shepherd pulled out his rod. The rod was like a club, and the shepherd reluctantly used it for the sheep’s own good.

A sheep that continued to stray not only risked being killed but could also lead other sheep in the same direction. Thus, sometimes the shepherd would break the sheep’s leg because it’s better to have a broken leg than to become a leg of lamb.

God, too, uses His rod and staff in our lives. If we start to go astray and do something we shouldn’t do, the Lord uses His staff. But if we persist, He may use His rod to get our attention.

If that has happened in your life recently, it is a great reminder that God loves you. If He has brought some correction, even discipline, into your life, it’s because He loves you. He’s trying to save you from something far worse.

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