He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. –Ps. 23:3
The shepherd leads the flock down the paths which are best for them. Sheep are prone to wander. They see a place where the grass is greener and off they go on their own path, not the one the shepherd has chosen. Eventually the shepherd will go find that wandering sheep and restore him back to the flock. However, the sheep may have experienced troubles because he was out of the shepherd’s will.
Christians are like those wandering sheep. Our Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, leads us in the paths of righteousness – right living. Sometimes we stray off the path of righteousness to the path of sin. We cut back on tithing or cheat on our income taxes because we need a little more money for ourselves. We cut off our Bible study time because we need more time for ourselves. So the Christian has to encounter the consequences of leaving the paths of righteousness. Nevertheless, the Shepherd will restore that wandering Christian back to the flock.
Believers are given the reason why we need to follow the Good Shepherd. It is for His name’s sake. We don’t want to tarnish the name of Christ. Christians are to lift up the name of Jesus so that others may see Him.
“All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, to such as keep His commandment and His testimonies.” (Ps. 25:10). “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Prov. 3:6).
Obedience to God will keep you from wandering into trouble. Our good Shepherd will never lead us on a path which will harm us. The path may have a few rough spots, but His mercy will carry you over them. Stay on the Shepherd’s path.
Copyright 2013 Carolyn Dale Newell.