Back on the Path!

“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him 
the iniquity of us all” (Isaiah 53:6).

“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it….” So wrote the songwriter long ago. In my years of ministry, I have never witnessed someone abandon the faith “instantly.” Usually, the process involves a gradual decline, where love for God and His people seems to cool like room temperature when the heat is turned off. Before we are too critical or self-righteous about this, Isaiah reminds us that we are all guilty. No one has followed the Shepherd perfectly, and we must guard the downward tendencies of our own deceitful heart. But there is good news in the struggle. Jesus is greater than our heart! Because He loves us so much, He is willing to forgive our wanderings…and keep us by His power. His grace is truly amazing toward us! Yet, as followers of Christ, it is not enough to be content in the enjoyment of our relationship with the Shepherd. We have a responsibility to others. This involves helping brothers and sisters who have lost their way to find the path back to Him. In my devotions, I am reading (and re-reading) the Book of James. Here is how James ends: My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sin” (James 5:19-20). This Christmas season, you will probably meet several people who once lived close to Jesus but are now in “a far country.” Would you pray for them and be available to the Lord to say a word of encouragement or challenge…as the Holy Spirit directs you? If you were in their shoes, you would want someone to reach out to you. Be the one to help turn them from the error of their way, saving them from death and covering over a multitude of sins!

Pastor Mark Boucher