For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you.
He is your example, and you must follow in His steps.
He never sinned nor deceived anyone.
He did not retaliate when insulted nor threaten revenge when He suffered.
He left His case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.
Once you were like sheep who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd, the Guardian of your souls.
1 Peter 2:21-25 (NLT)
Personal reflection: When left to my own devises, I do have a tendency to wander - just as sheep do. Oh, how I need my Shepherd!
Reading the passage again and again, I realize these verses are not only difficult to hear, but also nearly impossible to live out in my own human experience. In fact, I can't do it on my own. I need my Savior and the help of the Holy Spirit to do my best to live as God has called me to.
These verses reveal several areas of my life where I find it challenging to be obedient and trust Him; sometimes without even realizing what I'm doing. Why is it that the things God wants me to do, the opposite is "second nature" for me? And those words, "live for what is right..." How I wish God would write me a personal note, call me on the phone or send me an e-mail or text message, so I knew exactly what those words mean to Him. In my humanness, I stumble about trying to determine what is right (biblically) while the world is shouting really loudly about what "they" say is right. Lord, help me please!
These verses end with a wonderful reassurance.... I have chosen to turn to my Shepherd and He is the Guardian of my soul. And, because of Jesus, I am healed! Our God blesses us with an amazing HOPE that even as we struggle along our journey, He is with us to help us fully LIVE.
And, once again, I lift my hands toward heaven and sing out: