Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
In case any of us has difficulty understanding how the Good Shepherd "seeks" us "until [He] finds [us]," we have these illustrations in the entire Bible: God sends Nathan the prophet to rebuke King David for his horrible crime, sin of adultery and murder, that's the Good Shepherd seeking him; He sends Jeremiah to rebuke King Zedekiah for his rebellion against God and King Nebuchadnezzar (God's temporary servant); and all the prophets and apostles were His agents in seeking to save us from ourselves.
Today the same dear Lord "seeks" the soul of the cigarette smoker, using all the warnings published against smoking; the alcoholic, through the almost daily horror stories of the evils of drinking; and of us, from the sin of abusing our health and shortening our lives through intemperance of many kinds.
The Lord Jesus sought the soul of Saul of Tarsus while he was "persecuting" Him; all the while the Lord made his way "hard" like kicking against goads (Acts 26:12-15). Every time you go to the refrigerator when you shouldn't, He is seeking for you like the Good Shepherd seeking His lost sheep to save you from ending your life and health too soon.
The illustration fits, except that Jesus did not tell of a sheep fighting the Shepherd when He came to rescue it. Hard to imagine! But that's what we have all done, time and again (or at least, I have). That's what it means, to be a sinner--resisting the grace of God.
Saul of Tarsus learned, however, and he tells us, "I do not frustrate the grace of God" (Gal. 2:21). He is, at last, "crucified with Christ" (vs. 20). The Good Shepherd seeking His lost sheep and all these prophets and apostles rebuking us for our sin, even giving their lives in being "crucified with Christ" in order to be faithful, are identical with the ministry of that much more abounding grace of God (cf. Rom. 5:21).
We had some friends who adopted a cat that was headed for the pound and early death; they cared for it, fed it, and bought an expensive cage to transport it in comfort when they went on long trips; but it snarled and hit at them when they tried to put him in the cage. The ungrateful pet "frustrated" their "grace" but didn't know what it was doing.
The Lord says to us, "Thou … knowest not" what we are doing (Rev. 3:17). It's time to become conscious.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 9, 2007.
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