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The Lord is my Shepherd: Salvation is a Relationship

by Mary Welch  
6/06/2012 / Salvation

The Christian world often talks of getting "saved" without really explaining the concept or outcome. If we look at the term "saved," we understand that we are being rescued from something dangerous and set in a place of safety. Think of quicksand. Nothing is provided that we can use to rescue ourselves: no ropes, no tree trunks, nothing. How do we keep from sinking? We yell for help, admitting that we cannot save ourselves. This is the first concept of salvation: we are sinking in the quicksand of our own humanity. The quicksand is the punishment for breaking God's laws. Think of the Ten Commandments. We are not perfect; we cannot keep God's laws. Sometimes this makes us mad at God, but He never expects us to be perfect; He just expects us to yell to him for help. As a parent, I see my toddler try to do something that is too hard for him, so I watch and wait for him to call for help. Humbling our pride and calling for help is the hard part, but we must admit that God is Great, and we aren't.
The Lord is my Shepherd. "The Lord" is spelled LORD in the scriptures: All powerful, self-existent God. If I am sinking in quicksand, and two saviors are standing there to help: one has a good sturdy rope and the muscles to pull me while the other is trying to figure out how he can keep from stepping into the mire; I know who to call. The LORD is the only one with the rope and the muscles, so to speak. Jesus Christ, as Lord, God in the flesh, came to sink in the quicksand to pay for our failings. He alone had the power to die and come back to life. When I call to the LORD to rescue me, He becomes my shepherd. This is the relationship connection in salvation. Now I have a shepherd who walks with me. I am still human; I still wander over a rocky terrain, but He whispers in my heart, "No, not that way. Follow me."
If the LORD loves me, why did he let me get into the quicksand in the first place? God as Creator loves His creation; but He wants to be loved and honored in return. His plan for this was to provide a way to rescue us from the quicksand and yet give us the choice of calling for Him or struggling on our own. This plan gives Him the love and honor due to the LORD of all creation.
The choice is ours to make: quicksand or Jesus Christ as savior and shepherd. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want or need another savior, another to guide me. The relationship factor is the stability, the sweet peace of salvation's plan. Just Yell; He is waiting.
For relationship insights, see FaithWriters
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Mary T. Welch

I am a teacher by vocation; I have taught all phases of English from Phonics to Shakespeare. Writing is my song, whether fictional or devotional. I work in my church and teach in a Christian college, always looking for ways to use words to glorify God.

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