Thursday, June 21, 2018

One Lost and Found Sheep

Submitted by Lara Cook
So, he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.  Luke 15:3-7
Have you ever lost something really important to you?  It is a terrible feeling but when you find it, it is such a feeling of relief and happiness.  Happy. That is how it feels to find something that you thought might be lost forever.  I was lost at one time, and now I am found, and the One who found me is happy that He found me.  
In the passage above, Jesus tells a parable about a man who owned 100 sheep, but one had strayed away from the rest and was now lost.  The shepherd would leave the 99 sheep to find the one that was lost.  When he found the lost sheep, he was rejoicing with his friends that he had found the one sheep.  The lost sheep represents you and I and the shepherd, Jesus.  The one lost sheep would not find its way back without the shepherd.  You and I are lost forever without Jesus.  A lost sheep is defenseless and vulnerable without its shepherd.  Without Jesus we are like a lost sheep waiting to be devoured, vulnerable and defenseless.  
I wrestle with the thought that He was happy to find me, because when I look at myself, I see my failures and weaknesses.  I see unworthiness.  But He looks at us with different eyes.  He sees a lost sheep that is worth rejoicing over!  He is happy we are found and we are His.  The devil will work hard to make you feel unworthy and that Jesus would never be happyto have you.  That feeling will keep you from fulfilling His work for you in your life. Satan whispers in our ears and reminds us of our sin and shame, desiring us to believe that our shame is where our true identity is found.  But our true identity is found in Christ the day we make Him the King of our heart. You did not find Him, He found you, and He rejoiced with great joy when He did.   

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

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