Black sheep

Psalm 23 begins with the following three verses:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.

If Jesus is to be my shepherd, then I must be the sheep. Sheep follow their shepherd. They listen to his voice. That’s why David uses the language “He makes me” and “He leads me”. Jesus’ directions are active, not passive.

Here’s the thing, though. Jesus doesn’t force me to follow Him. God gave us free will. If I am to trail the Good Shepherd, I have to let Him lead. I must lay down my will daily (yes, daily because I am stubborn and forgetful) and choose to be led.

Many days I feel like the black sheep, but God’s grace and mercy keep me in the herd. It is my honor and joy to listen for my Savior’s voice, follow as best I can, and know He will rescue me when I wander and get lost.

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About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
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