We sing a song about a shepherd who goes through pain and agony to find his lost sheep. Every one of us are sheep that have lost our way, and our good Shepherd suffered and died to redeem us. The Christian life after redemption is sometimes called a walk our a path, and Psalm 119 describes God’s word as a light for our feet. We have to consider where we have been and where we are going. We will not reach our destination on accident.
A Walk, A Race, A Journey
Ephesians 4:1 calls on us to walk according to our calling, and chapter 5:1-2 continues by asking us to walk in love. Verse 8 encourages to walk as if in the light, and verse 15 calls upon us to take care in our walk. We are to be circumspect or wise. Paul tells Christians to be careful in how they make the journey set before them.
Hebrews 12:1 speaks of a cloud of witnesses who have gone before us, and these should give us strength to lay aside the weights that hinder the race we run. We push forward with endurance, always looking toward Jesus. In I Corinthians 9:24, Paul calls on Christians to run with our incorruptible crown in sight. He encourages Christians to run confidently, knowing the goal toward which we press.
In Hebrews 11:13, the author speaks of those who died in faith, knowing they were strangers and pilgrims while on this world. They seek after an eternal country to call their own, prepared in heaven to be their resting place. God’s children recognize themselves as transient residents wherever they are, always journeying toward another land. In I Peter 1:15, Peter quotes from Leviticus, calling on us to be holy, as God is holy, and he tells us to pass the time of our sojourn in awe and reverence.
Paul says we can run with certainty. Peter expresses confidence in Christ’s redemption. I Peter 1:24, quoting from Isaiah, reminds us that our race is finite. It will come to an end, but God’s word will endure. As we press toward our goal, we should be preparing for the destination. Our Shepherd has died as a Lamb so we can complete our journeys. We should run our race all the harder with that sacrifice in mind.
lesson by Tim Smelser