How did you know when you were saved?
When did you know that you really knew Jesus?
A family member asked me these questions recently. Have you thought about that lately? What was the moment like when you heard the good news of salvation? When you believed you needed a Savior? When you went from death to life, from a slave to sin to a slave to righteousness, from blind to seeing, from lost to found, from an enemy to a son or daughter…
What happened? How’d you get there? How has life changed since then?
In that moment, 1 Peter 2:25 says that “you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.”
Thinking back to Sunday’s teaching on Ezekiel 34, God makes strong statements regarding how He shepherds His flock. He personally seeks out the lost, binds up the injured, provides safety and nourishment, and strengthens the weak.
What a promise to those of us who would call ourselves “the people of His pasture.” The beauty of this passage is that a good and righteous God is also full of compassion and mercy. Though we were intent on going astray, though we thought we could handle things on our own, though (according to Hosea) we were “bent on turning away from Him”— His heart was drawn to us.
God tells us in Hosea that His heart recoils at the thought of abandoning His people. When He saw us fleeing in fear, defenseless, and without hope, He responded, “My compassion grows warm and tender. I will not execute my burning anger…for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath” (Hosea 11:7-9).
Jesus would later reveal, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11). God is so devoted to His flock, it drew Him from heaven to humble himself in the likeness of man, and to lay His life down for those who would come to believe: “He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand” (Psalm 95:7).
Maybe we’ve heard this analogy over and over, but has it brought you to your knees in wonder? Has your eternal security sunk in so deep that you are at rest? God will NEVER turn you away. The mere thought repulses Him. When we came to Christ, we became held in the arms of a strong, unrelenting, utterly compassionate God.
Our Shepherd is kind, caring, gentle, and lowly. His offer is rest to all who would come to Him. Have you come to Him this week? Today? His desire is that you would know, without a shadow of a doubt, His heart for you and for the people around you.
This week, consider the death-to-life awakening you’ve experienced because of a God who is rich in mercy, and let Him shower His love on you. Only then will you turn and pour it out on all the lost, weary, and broken sheep around you.