Choices

Saturday, May 14, 2022
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Praise The Lord Ye Heavens Adore Him"1 (Lyrics)

"I guess we're eating out tonight," my son muttered as he surveyed the empty countertop. Just five minutes earlier, he'd set a frozen pizza on the counter and gone upstairs. When he returned, all that remained was the pizza's cardboard base. Looking to his left, he noticed suspicious crumbs around Zoe's mouth. Zoe, a Goldendoodle, had easily reached up, grabbed the raw pizza, and wolfed it down.

Zoe is prone to barking. She's been wearing a no-bark collar and is not happy. She slumps around the house in dejection, obviously pouting. Eating her family's dinner was just one more way to let them know her feelings.

My son had rescued Zoe from potential death several years before. She now lives a life of ease with a family who loves her. Yet, when faced with a need to correct her barking issue, she responded with sulking and stealing food.

Isaiah 53:6 – All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned — every one — to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (ESV)

We, like Zoe, often respond to correction in negative ways. Isaiah compares us to sheep — notoriously stupid animals who need a shepherd's constant correction and monitoring. If a sheep rolls over to the point where she can't get her legs under her, she'll lie there with her legs stuck in the air until the shepherd comes to help — she is cast. If he doesn't arrive, she will perish. Often, she gets in this position through poor diet choices or because she chooses to lie down in a soft spot — so comfortable and rounded that she can't climb out.

Psalm 119:176a – I have gone astray like a lost sheep. (ESV)

How many times have I figuratively lain on my back with my legs in the air — cast down — unable to recover because I made poor choices — diet or otherwise! Or I sought the soft spot, rather than choosing to go through whatever corrective situation — like Zoe's no-bark collar — that I needed in order to get back on the right track.

John 10:11 – I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. (ESV)

The good news: Isaiah and John both declare that Jesus, our Shepherd, took on Himself all of our iniquities — poor choices, deliberate sins, vices, and general wickedness. He willingly laid down His life to rescue our poor cast-down selves that we might live forever with Him.

1 Peter 2:25 – For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (ESV)

Zoe's not human, but we can learn from her behaviour. She's making poor choices right now. We've made poor choices as well, but we've been rescued and claimed by the Shepherd. Will we choose to respond to Him? He's waiting to welcome us. Pray with me:

Prayer: Father, I don't want to behave like a sheep, getting into situations where I'm vulnerable to sin and disease. You laid down Your life for me. I want to live my life for You. Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Cook <craftercook@gmail.com>
Apache Junction, Arizona, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen, Sharon.


    Great devotional and so true. Thanks for sharing.


    Love this devotion! Thank you and may God bless you!


    Very well written Sharon and a good reminder! Thanks for your devotional today.


    Hi Sharon,
    Thank you for your devotional today. I liked your analogy of the dog with his no-bark collar.


    Sharon, Thank you for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. “All we like sheep” for sure have gone astray from time to time. Blessings.


    Good one Sharon.
    I’m surprised Zoe didn’t end up very sick from eating that pizza!
    Blessings.


    Amen to that message dear Sharon. Thank you. At times I feel like that sheep.
    Blessings,
    (QC, CANADA)


    Good afternoon, Sharon,
    Thank you for those good word of advice for all of us. How many times we too go astray.
    Blessings.


    Greetings Sharon and thanks for this very meaningful devotional today. The words of your closing prayer are exactly what we need repeat over and over to our loving Lord. Blessings for writing.


    Such well-chosen words, Sharon, on one of the oldest themes in our faith – all made brand new with the use of a ‘golden-doodle’ (which you never say is a …dog!) We think we know all that can be said about sin and sinners. And then YOU and Zoe give us a brand new perspective!! Yay for Choices and for your sharing of your understanding today.


    Good morning, Sharon,
    I love your comparison to sheep. I read a book which explained Psalm 23 in great detail and the importance of the shepherd to sheep. It made some points like you have made in your devotional. When you compare it to Zoe who is misbehaving because he doesn’t like the no-bark collar it adds another dimension to why we act like sheep.
    It helps us to look at our behaviour and think do we want to continue our behaviour or be saved. Great prayer to help us move forward in our faith.
    May you continue to be inspired to share your faith with others. May you continue to praise the Lord. Blessings.


    Thank you, Sharon, for this very important reminder.


    I appreciate your illustration, a little humor, and great application.
    Thank you, Sharon.

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