It is in a sheep’s nature to wander away from the shepherd. But it is in the shepherd’s nature to restore his sheep. Likewise, we can expect to fall out of fellowship with God. But by His grace, we can learn how to get right with God and stay right with Him.
Psalm 23:3 says, “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”
If we have wandered from the path of righteousness, we must first remember the ministry of the shepherd. Jesus is the good shepherd who restores His sheep when they are led astray.
He uses the rod for protection and correction.
For the stubborn sheep insistent on his own way, Jesus uses the rod, which is a shepherd’s chief weapon for protecting and correcting his flock. God loves us too much to leave us in our stubbornness. It would be foolish to resent the rod or quit because of it. God’s correction reveals our sonship, renews our worship, and restores our fellowship. Though correction is not joyous, it brings peace and fruitfulness.
He uses the staff to retrieve.
The shepherd’s solution for the straying sheep is a staff, which is a crook used to harness and retrieve sheep. When we stray away from God, He retrieves us with His love and draws us back to Him with His grace.
He anoints His sheep and restores them to righteousness.
For the sheep that have been hurt by the enemy or the elements, the shepherd anoints their wounds with healing oil. God has anointed us with the Holy Spirit, which protects us from the enemy’s infliction. After He ministers to His sheep, God restores us that He might master us. After we’re restored, we ought to follow Him on the path of righteousness closer than ever, observing and obeying Him.
Adrian Rogers says, “If we don’t go from restoration to righteousness, we will go right back to the same problem.”
The shepherd’s reputation is based on the activity, welfare, and obedience of his sheep. We stay right with God in order to reveal His majesty to others. Jesus is our saving Jehovah; He leads us so that we can bring glory to His name.
Apply it to your life
Are you a sheep in need of restoration and guidance back to the path of righteousness? Love God, thank Him for His loving chastisement, observe, and obey.
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