"The King of love my Shepherd is, Whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am His, And He is mine forever.
"Perverse and foolish oft I strayed, But yet in love He sought me, And on His shoulder gently laid, And home rejoicing brought me."
It is not a flattering description, and it is not really something we would want to put on our résumé: "Perverse and foolish." It is not a pleasant description, but unfortunately it is an accurate one. In our fallen, sinful state, we are perverse and foolish. Even though we know the Word and will of God, we often choose instead to follow our own sinful desires and listen to the tempting voices of the world around us. We act foolishly, turning from what is right. We know that what we do is wrong, but like straying sheep we still choose to go our own way. The apostle Paul, a fellow sheep, discussed his own puzzling tendency to wander from what he knew was right. "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" He then asks, "Who will deliver me from this body of death?" And he supplies the answer for us all: "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (see Romans 7:15-25).
Jesus Christ our Lord, the King of love and our Shepherd, is not at all surprised by the unflattering description of His sheep. He knows us; He created us. Our "goodness" fails, but His goodness does not. He is no ordinary shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is good because He doesn't just seek out His straying sheep. He does more, much more. As Jesus said of Himself, "The Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep" (John 10:11b). Our Good Shepherd seeks us out and calls us back to Himself. He forgives our sins; we are sheep washed clean in the blood of our Shepherd, who is the Lamb of God offered up as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, for the sins of you and me.
The King of love seeks out each wandering sheep and gently lays it across His shoulders, shoulders that once bore the cruel weight of the cross for us. To the eternal joy of the angels, our Shepherd brings each one of us, His lost sheep, safely home to His fold. Sheltered and secure in His goodness and love, we lack nothing. We are His and He is ours, now and forever. And on the Last Day, when our King of love returns in glory, we, His happy sheep, will join the angels and rejoice in our Good Shepherd's presence for all eternity.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, King of love, shelter us in Your presence, now and forever. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "The King of Love My Shepherd Is," which is found on page 709 of the Lutheran Service Book.
1. Do you feel like you do fewer foolish things these days than you did, say, ten years ago?
2. Are you able to continue loving people who repeatedly mess up their lives, or the lives of others? If so, how do you do that?
3. Has there ever been a time when you felt you were lost for good? Has God ever brought you back from the brink?
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"