The Shepherd Leads to Restore

Did you ever get in your car to go somewhere only to recognize that you had taken the wrong route and out of habit started driving to work? The route back on track is quite simple for a trip like this. However, if you were taking an extended trip and missed a turn some 25 miles back, the way to get back on track would be more difficult and time consuming.

Sometimes, we find ourselves turned away from God. Depending on how long we are in that state before recognizing or desiring to return will affect the route back to God and how long it will take. Regardless of whatever the situation, if you are turned away from God, the shepherd will provide leadership to restore you.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. (Psalm 23:3)

The way back to the lord will vary slightly from person to person, but the shepherd will guide you back in the same basic manner.

First, the shepherd will lead you to recognize that you are away from him. This may seem basic, but it is not. It is the Lord who gives repentance and when he reveals to you that you have drifted or turned from him, he is doing a mighty work in your life that only he can do. (2 Timothy 2:25)

It is at this point that you must yield to him and if you do, he will continue to lead you on and his leading will bring you to see the stumbling blocks that you have allowed into your life. He will point out things such as people, places, entertainment or indulgences that are keeping you from victory and experiencing the joy that he has for you. By the power and leading of the shepherd, he will lead you to remove those obstacles.

The path, that the shepherd lead you back to himself, will bring you to resources for victory. Because truth brings victory and freedom, he will lead you to the truth that you need. You will find it in the Scriptures which may be revealed by friends and spiritual leaders. Evidence that you are following the shepherd towards truth will be when you are seeking truth from the Scriptures and attending services in the church. Truths from the word of God will usually encourage your faith and may instruct you as to what you may need to put off or put on in your spiritual life. (Ephesians 4:22-32; Romans 13:12; Colossians 3:8-14)

Another source of truth may come from spiritual music, which can minister to you and equip you with your worship and walk with the Lord. Your times of rejoicing in the Lord will be greater steps of progress on your way back. As your heart is lifted up in song, it is actually the shepherd interacting with you and lifting you up as he lead you along the path back to himself and to victory.

While you were fallen away from God, you hurt yourself and others. The Lord will lead you to repair the damaged relationships that your sin has caused. The shepherd is not only interested in delivering you from actions of sin: he also wants to restore you to himself and to others because he is concerned about relationship. It was his desire to have a relationship with you the caused him to seek you out and to lead you to trust his son. His desire and concern for relationships did not stop there. Relationships are vital to the Lord. The church, your family, your life as a child of God and your interactions with the world are all relationships that concerned him. The only way for those relationships to be right is for your relationship with him to be right and as a shepherd, he will restore you to that relationship by leading you to himself.

Remember, the steps back to him may be many or few, but they will involve recognizing your condition of being astray, removing stumbling blocks from your life, obtaining resources of truth for victory and repairing relationships.

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The Shepherd: He Restores My Soul

I remember my first trip to the mountains of Pennsylvania. It was a snowy day and I was walking along the top of the mountain. When suddenly, my foot caught ahold of a root under the snow. I tripped forward and after a number of staggering steps, I finally caught my balance. That is when I realized I was in a very bad situation. Because the wind was blowing hard, the tracks behind me were cleared away. I was spun around and lost.

From my location, I walked in various directions trying to get to the edge of the mountain, which would lead me back to camp. I was unsuccessful, cold, lost and darkness was fading in. I was spin around and I really needed somebody to turn me in the right direction.

Life is much the same way. We live with everything appearing to be just right and then it happens. Some event knocks us for a loop, spins us around, and we find ourselves farther away from God than we want to be. How did it happen and how do we get back?

We can find ourselves turned around and away from God for a few reasons. One way we get turned around is by deceit. We can be deceived by people who teach us things contrary to the Word of God or we could be deceived by our traditions. Regardless of the source, unbiblical doctrine can cause you to end up far away from the Lord. If you are trying to live up to a standard so that you can be or feel accepted by God, you have been spun around. Instead of walking toward God, you are walking away from him.

Another major cause for believers to get turn about and away from God is by not being prepared . We are admonished to put on the whole armor of God. When we are not equipped, we get overcome by our past and present failures. Our sin nature has the ability to rise up and take control of our lives and we can easily find ourselves turned around by sin, simply because we were not prepared. But there is good news.

Remember, when life turns you around, it is only God who can turn you back around. He restoreth my soul… (Psalm 23:3)

It is God who can turn you around and he may use different ways to accomplish it. One thing we know is that he will use his powerful word because it is perfect and it can convert or turn around the soul. (Psalm 19:7) There can be instances where we may resist his working and when that happens, he may use acts of chastening to accomplish what is best for us. Regardless of how he does it, it will always be because of his mercy. (Psalm 85:4-7) Thankfully it is new every day.

How did I get turned back around on that mountain top? I remembered that in the morning the sun rose from behind the cabin. Through the snow clouded sky, I spotted where the sun was ready to go down. I used the sun as a guide to get me back to safety by keeping my back to the sun and began running. Eventually, I made it to the mountain’s slope edge and to safety.

It is the same for me today. When I get turned around, I look for the son—the Good Shepherd—and he always leads me back.

Praise the Lord! He restoreth my soul.

Forget Karma: God is Watching (1 Samuel 26:23)


If the Lord gave you what you really deserved, would you be ready for it? Would you look forward to it with joy or does the thought frighten you? What we fail to recognize is that it is not just a hypothetical question.

The Lord render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: (1 Samuel 26:23)

These were words spoken by David when he interacted with King Saul who sought to kill him. He knew that God was sovereign and would return upon men that which they have rendered to others. The same still holds true today. The New Testament describes the principle as sowing and reaping. What you sow, you will also reap. It may take some time before it arrives, but it is coming. Just like it takes all summer for apples to grow and ripen on a tree, it may take most of a person’s life before they reap what they sow, but be sure, they will reap.

Much of this principle concerning sowing and reaping is in relation to how we treat other people. If we sow righteousness towards others, then we will get righteous treatment back, but if we sow wickedness then wickedness awaits us.

Some may ask, “What guideline could I follow that would aid me in sowing righteousness?” The answer would be to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39). If you allow your actions to be motivated by what is best for another person or make decisions that enable you to meet the needs of someone else instead of focusing on yourself, you will most consistently sow righteousness. This doesn’t require you to give all of your money to the poor or even to live a dejected life. It only requires you to start focusing on others instead of yourself. Give somebody recognition. Show patience and mercy, try looking at situations from the other person’s perspective or even take time to listen to people and their problems are opportunities that each of us have to sow righteousness. It will not cost you one penny, but it will be an investment worth millions of dollars.

For you, the world of people is a field ready for planting. What kind of seeds will you sow?

He Touched Him (Matthew 8:3)


Many times, there are behaviors that people do that are overlooked by most. Some people wring their hands as they think about something that disturbs them. Others may brush their hair from their face when they are nervous. The behavior isn’t really important, but what is important is the motivation behind the behavior.

And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, … Matthew 8:3

As I consider the passage recording Jesus healing the leper, I cannot help but ask my self questions in regard to Jesus’ behavior. One question is why did Jesus touch the leper? He didn’t need to touch him in order to heal because the next few verses record Jesus healing the centurion’s servant who was some distance away.

Consider this. When do you think was the last time the leper was touched. I don’t mean being pushed as he fought for food or random interaction among lepers, but when was the last time the leper experienced a tender affectionate hand rest upon the side of his face? When did he last feel a grasp on his should like that of a loving father who rests his hand upon the shoulder of his son? It had probably been an extremely long time. I believe that after years of rejection from society and solitude living, the touch was God’s display of affection to the leper. It seems that as Jesus’s hand gently rested on the leper, a part of the leper revived and his heart filled with the experience of God’s love.

Did you know that God wants you to have that same experience of his love. Regardless of whatever is in your past, God wants to have a relationship with you. He loves you dearly and has done–through Jesus’ work on the cross–everything that is necessary for that relationship to occur. Come before and ask as the leper did and ask. The relationship is greater than you can imagine.

As We Hope in Thee (Psalm 33:22)

My son, Anthony, was the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Needless to say being spoiled was a regular occurrence. As that special one, he learned ways to get people to do for him what he wanted. I remember when he was around 12 years old he asked my sister, Lori, for something. It kind of went like this. In the little boy voice he spoke growing up he said, “Aunt ‘Ore…” Regardless of what followed, he already had her reeled in. He just had a way with my sister that regularly resulted in benefits to him. We too can have a way with God.

Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee. (Psalms 33:22)

Trying to change or become a better Christian isn’t going to be enough to get God to work. Granted, sin can hinder our prayers from being answered, but striving to be a better christian will not be enough because even when you believe you are at your best, you are still a sinner and have sin. But when we hope in the Lord, which occurs when we look to him, it is then that he responds to us in mercy.
When we look to God and rely completely on him, he moves in mercy. Not because we reached a plateau of holiness or because we have risen above the masses of sinners, but because of his mercy he works. When we recognize our condition of falling short and being needy and look to God as our only source of help, God reaches down and works in mercy and love on our behalf.

Have Mercy (Psa 94:18)



When people interact together, it is only a matter of time before some type of conflict will wise.  When the interaction involves one person trying to instruct or mentor another, the chances of it occurring increase.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to lead someone who continually struggles to either keep up or perform as expected.  So, what should our response be?

When I said, My foot slippeth; thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. (Psalms 94:18)

As we strive to trust God and walk in his ways, how does he respond when we falter?  He doesn’t attack or pound us down, but instead holds us up by his mercy.

When people are struggling, our response toward them should be the same.  We should respond with mercy.  There is a difference between struggling and refusing.  When people struggle, they are striving to accomplish or perform as expected, but yet still need support.  We love it when people show mercy towards us and especially when we receive it from God.  His dealings with us are a pattern or model for us to follow.

Patience is still a virtue.  So at work, be patient and show mercy.  As you raise your children, remember mercy.  Mercy is like a fertilizer.  When it is used correctly, it will enhance the growth of your relationships.  Without mercy, relationships can die.  If you want to make a great difference by helping people, you need to exercise mercy.

Stooping Down (Psalm 51:1)



God’s mercy: we talk about it, read about and even sing about it.  But what is it?  I know that you may have coined phrases and shoot from the hip definitions for this term, but have you ever personally tried to define it?

In Psalm 51, David cries out to the Lord for mercy.  The definition of the Hebrew word for mercy means ” to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior”.  Think about it.  Whenever God shows mercy towards us, he, in the splendor of his high exalted state, stoops down to you and me.

Why would such an exalted being be willing to perform such a humbling task?  He does this because of his loving kindness.  As a loving expectant mother feels love in the womb for her child, our Heavenly Father experiences the same towards us.  This form of love is described as tender mercy and it is this tender mercy that moves him to stoop down.

Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. (Psalms 51:1)

When you pray, God stoops down to answer and meet your needs,  When you need help, he stoops down to give you strength and when you fall, he even stoops down to pick you up.  He stooped down to become man and stooped down even further to become our sin bearer. If you think about it, possibly the greatest manifestation of God’s love is his stooping down.

Thanks be to God for his mercy.