“Listen carefully, the Lord God will come with might, And His arm will rule for Him. Most certainly His reward is with Him, And His restitution accompanies Him. He will protect His flock like a shepherd, He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom; He will gently and carefully lead those nursing their young. – Isaiah 40 : 10-11.
The heart of what the gospel is can be summed up with the revelation that he is our shepherd. God’s unconditional love showered upon us is manifested to us in his protection. For his embrace of us is his commitment to us and peace is the fruit of his embrace.
Isaiah beautifully paints this wonderful picture, each word is a brush stroke of God communicating his intention to shower us with his goodness. Here the measurelessness of God’s grace, given to us in Christ, is communicated with the beautiful image of a shepherd caring and nurturing his lambs.
The shepherd looks for his sheep; he provides for them, cares, protects, holds and keeps them safe. He understands his sheep, he knows each one of them, he knows what to expect and he is prepared to risk everything for them.
And his total value and acceptance of us, gives us the freedom to be ourselves, to be the unique person we were created to be. Free to be human, free to be weak, free to be wrong, free to not understand everything, free even to have erroneous beliefs or doctrines. For no matter what we do, where our thoughts and acts take us, what lies or traps we fall into, what confusion we have, Jesus is determined to save us, Jesus is able and willing to keep us, because he was willing to lay everything down to find us, bring us home and keep us safe forevermore.
This shepherd embraces us with the fullness of heaven. This shepherd has planted his glory inside our hearts. This shepherd has united his life into our lives and now we to have the heart of the shepherd alive inside us.
In Christ Jesus we lack nothing, for the Good Shepherd is the embrace, delight and life of our hearts.
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