‘I have gone astray like a lost sheep’ (Psalms 119:176)
This is the humble confession of a man of God, and may we not adopt it as our own this morning? Have we not also gone astray? Does not this display our weakness? How weak to wander from so kind a Shepherd, so rich a pasture, and so good a fold!
Is it not a mark of inattention? Jesus has warned and cautioned us against it in His word. Is it not a proof of our ingratitude? Oh, how ungrateful to forsake Him after so many favours, such rich blessings, such tokens of unmerited kindness!
Does it not betray our folly? – to go from good to bad, from safety to danger, from plenty to want and wretchedness. Oh, the power of corruption! The deceitfulness of the human heart! Lord, seek Your servants, for we do not forget Your commandments.
We grieve over our sin; we desire to return; restore us to Your fold, to the enjoyment of Your favour; and enable us to delight ourselves in Your ways. Jesus, Shepherd of the sheep, please bring us back from all our wanderings, and keep us near Yourself; for why should we turn aside from Your flock and fold?
Thou know’st the way to bring me back.
My fallen spirit to restore
Oh, for Thy truth and mercy’s sake,
Forgive, and bid me sin no more:
The ruins of my soul repair,
And make my heart a house of prayer.
THE DAILY REMEMBRANCER by James Smith (1802-1862)
‘JAN. 1849. My motto for this year is, “He careth for you.” I must endeavour to act in faith on this, and every day of this year, then I shall be free from anxiety. It seems laid on my mind, that my work at Park Street [Church, London] will soon be finished. The Lord only knows; may I be prepared for his will, be it what it may.’