“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
When the sheep listen to and obey the shepherd it is for their good and their flourishing. As Matt pointed out, part of misunderstanding the character of God is also misunderstanding his intention for our obedience. He is not looking for begrudging submission. Rather, his commands are intended to bring us joy because they bring him glory and are for our good.
When you think about obedience, is “goodness” something that you imagine it leading you toward? What situations make it difficult to believe that God wants good things for you? How does this affect your obedience and trust in Him?
In what ways does goodness follow us because Jesus is the Good Shepherd?
Inevitably, no matter how faithfully we pursue obedience, there will be times in which we fail. That’s true in every area of life. We will come up short before God, in our marriages, in our jobs, in our friendships, and so on. That’s why the second characteristic that chases after those who follow the Lord is so significant.
How do you tend to respond to your own failures? In what ways do you find it difficult to believe that God would respond to them with mercy rather than punishment?
Where are you in need of mercy today? How should the truth that God’s mercy follows you through faith in Christ meet you in that need?