What an amazing preaching privilege I’ll have not many minutes from now to declare that nothing in all creation can separate any Christian from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39). That is God’s Word to His people, as dependable as His raising of Jesus from the grave.
Though it doesn’t have divine inspiration, I was reminded of a pastoral privilege, summed up well by another pastor who put it this way, “I am a pastor, and I watch people make bad choices for a living.” He went on to say, “The trick is to be calloused and tender at the same time.”
Bad choices could come from not seeking counsel, seeking counsel but ignoring it, being immature, being quarrelsome about everything for fun (I have a lot of experience here), and of course, being sinful. A shepherd’s life involves watching sheep get themselves into trouble that they didn’t have to—repeatedly, stepping in mess they could have avoided—again and again. It is an occupational hazard.
And, bad choices and divine love go together, before and after, though it is a bad choice itself to blame a bad choice on God’s love.
“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6). In love, the Good Shepherd laid down His life for His sheep. And in love He calls His sheep to follow Him, to obey His commands.
Because you can’t be separated from His love, be encouraged. And also, you can still make bad, sinful, ruinous, catastrophic choices. Don’t do it. Repent, and remember His love.
You are His flock, the church of God which He obtained with His own blood (Acts 20:28). Hold fast to the Word of His grace which is sanctifying you for good (Acts 20:32).