12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
We could probably best understand this teaching in the light of our own children. If one of our children gets hurt, is in an accident, gets arrested, or otherwise finds themselves in a “lost” situation, we as parents will “move heaven and earth” to help them. We have been there. When Jared was so sick we changed all kinds of plans to get him the care he needed. When Caleb was struggling in college we spent a great deal of time and energy reaching out to him. Whenever Stefani had a need in high school, depending on the severity of the need, everything else took the back burner while we helped her. Jesus’ teaching here is not obscure.
Jesus is not saying that the shepherd does not care for the other ninety-nine; he cares for them all of the time. But when one sheep strays, wanders off, runs away, or otherwise finds itself in trouble, that one gets the shepherds attention. In reality, we should find comfort in this teaching. Each of us has gone astray at one time or another and we have known the care of the Good Shepherd. When the Lord has sought after me His lovingkindness has been in the forefront. His goodness brings me to repentance. I am that “little one” that the Father does not will to perish.
Maybe you are wandering away today. If you are, your Good Shepherd is pursuing you. You can keep wandering or you can let Him pick you up in His arms and return you to His fold, His place of comfort and care. It is God’s will that you return to Him. Find great comfort in the will of your Good Shepherd that you not perish but that you be brought back in love to Himself and to His people.
Sunday’s service at Grace for Life was a wonderful time of praising God and giving thanks. The church family was very gracious in their thanks to Bobbi and me for our years of service. It seems a bit surreal that we have been here twenty years and that our time here is almost over. This has been a wonderful place to minister, to live, and to grow with the people of God. Our children have been raised here and we thank God for Grace for Life and the dear and wonderful friends we have here. (Just a reminder, we are going to California to see Ben’s ordination this weekend are going to stay there a couple of weeks. We are back in town the month of November.) There is another showing of our house tomorrow, pray with us for the timely sale of our house.
I will be at Sunrise Assisted Living again this morning. Thank you for your many prayers for that service each week. In the weeks ahead Rich Powell and Ed Green plan to keep this service going. If you would ever like to serve with them I am sure they would appreciate the company.
Have a great day in the Lord,