Your Poor, Silly Sheep

This week we have our final guest writer, Mark Clay, who is one of our iLove Elders.  I hope that you have enjoyed our Elder Edition of Words for Wednesday over these last few weeks. I want to thank each of our Elders for contributing to Words for Wednesday!

Your Poor, Silly Sheep

One thing I am not is a writer, but I am most definitely a "poor, silly sheep." When I read this devotion last week, I knew that I had to share it as it describes how my spiritual walk often looks. 

It was hard for me to follow at first, as it was written in 1870 by Octavius Winslow. With that in mind, I have rephrased a few things to make it easier for poor, silly sheep like me to comprehend.   It ends with one of my favorite hymns, " Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing".

Your poor, silly sheep
(Octavius Winslow, "Daily Need Divinely Supplied" 1870) 

"The Lord is my Shepherd . . . He restores my soul." Psalm 23:1, 3  

It is one of the most essential duties of a shepherd to search for the lost sheep that wander away from the fold. 

A believer's spiritual journey is marked by decline and revival, departure, and return, backsliding and restoration by the Savior. 

The regenerated soul is prone to backsliding from the Lord. The heart of the believer wanders       from God just as naturally as the sun declines. 

"O Lord, how many and hidden are my soul's departures from You--You only know! How often my love chills, my faith droops, my zeal flags, and I grow weary, and am ready to halt in Your service. Mine is a sinful, roving heart--as fickle to You as the changing wind; as false to my vows as a broken bow. But You, O Lord, are my Shepherd, and You restore my soul. Pitying my infirmity, knowing my wanderings, and tracking all my steps--You recover, heal, and pardon Your poor, silly sheep, prone to leave Your wounded, sheltering side in quest of that which can be found in Yourself alone." 

Jesus' love has the power to guide us when we go off course, keep us from straying, and heal us when we are broken. His love is a source of comfort and restoration for our souls. 

He never abandons His people, even though they abandon Him repeatedly. How can He turn away from someone who was purchased with His sufferings, groans, and tears? How can He abandon the work of grace that was accomplished in the soul by His Spirit? He may withdraw Himself for a while, gently prompting us to wake up from our laziness and inactivity. But He always returns, and then our lips joyfully sing, "He restores my soul!"

"I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you!" Hebrews 13:5 

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing 

Jesus sought me when a stranger, 

Wandering from the fold of God; 

He, to rescue me from danger, 

Interposed His precious blood! 

O to grace how great a debtor, 

Daily I'm constrained to be! 

Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, 

Bind my wandering heart to Thee! 

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 

Prone to leave the God I love; 

Here's my heart, O take and seal it, 

Seal it for Thy courts above! 

O that day when freed from sinning, 

I shall see Thy lovely face; 

Clothed then in blood-washed linen 

How I'll sing Thy sovereign grace! 

by  Robert Robinson 1758

These are the Words for Wednesday.

Yours in Christ,

Mark Clay

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