Returning To Security
Being lost is awful: being found is awesome. In the early days of following Jesus, that contrast is often so marked. Can you remember the relief of sins forgiven, of being found and welcomed into God's family and embraced with His love? Being lost is so wasteful of everything; so purposeless and so hopeless. That is the state of all those who have not welcomed Jesus into their hearts, whether they know it or not.
Peter quotes from Isaiah 53:6, “We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The ‘all’ is everybody in the world. Peter reminds his readers that they were like that too, before they surrendered their lives to Jesus. He wanted them to appreciate afresh the contrast between their old way of life in ‘lostness’ and their new relationship with God through Jesus in ‘foundness’. In contrast to the lonely fear of life without a Shepherd, he draws their attention to the fact that they now have One who will protect, guide, lead and supply their needs for ever. He is also their Boss, their Employer, their Supervisor.
Jesus' story of the lost sheep shows that He cares so much about the lost sheep that He will give the highest priority to their rescue (Luke 15:1-7). His story of the lost coin describes the same rescue in financial terms (Luke 15:8-10). The story of the prodigal son then puts it in terms of human family relationships (Luke 15:11-32). All these stories have the same meaning - God wants to find lost people (Ezekiel 34:16). The prodigal son started on the road back to his father when he repented (Luke 15:18-19). Repentance is always the first step in returning to Father God (Acts 26:20).
If you have come to God through Jesus Christ, you have returned to your Shepherd. He is the Good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep (John 10:11). All His suffering, in being rejected, is so that you might be accepted. He was cast down, so that you might be lifted up. He died, so that you might live; and He accepted God's wrath, so that you might receive God's love. If you have returned to Him for His shepherd-like care, please note that He is also your Overseer. He watches over you to see that you fulfil your place in His world and His family - so that He may have the glory. So, is He pleased with what He sees as He observes you at work and home today?
© Dr Paul Adams