The Lost Sheep

Let’s explore an imaginary scenario today. You own a large farm with a hundred sheep milling about the fields. One morning, as you rounded up the sheep and returned them to their stalls, you noticed one was missing. What would you do? Would you say, “Oh well,” and mark it off as lost or dead? Or out of compassion and concern, would you seek help to find the missing animal?

Last month, my wife wrote a story about the Mustard Seed parable. In the theme of Jesus’ ministry, my story, today, tells of the Parable of the Lost Sheep:

1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” 3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  Luke 15:1-7

Many people are reserved when sharing their faith with others, but Jesus claimed Christians are to reach the lost with the hope of Christ. As the parable describes, Jesus spoke to the tax collectors and sinners despite the hissing Pharisees mocking Him. God focuses on the lost, not just believers.

The work of salvation was not intended to end with Christians, but to go out to the other “sheep.” All believers are His chosen ambassadors. Jesus no longer walks on the earth, so He asks us to speak on His behalf, for we have a ministry of reconciliation. He requires us to leave our comfort zones and selfish desires behind and seek the lost sheep in the field, and believe me, many have vanished from their Christian beliefs today.

What causes a Christian to lose their faith? Perhaps their faith was shallow from the start, or they doubt the Bible. Sometimes lost men feel they cannot compare to holier people, creating a weak soul. The negative news and social media can persuade fragile minds. This is the reason Christians need to study the Bible continually and memorize its words.

It is important to tell all sinners Jesus Christ will forgive their sins. Spend your time with them, just as Jesus spent time with the lost. Answer their questions and concerns of faith. Be an example of the goodness and mercy His forgiveness can bestow on their life. Never close the door on a friendship with a floundering soul, for you are subtly (re)planting the seed.

Now, go find that one lost sheep and hoist him upon your shoulders. Carry him back to the Lord’s arms with unconditional and non-judgmental love. Will you seek to follow Jesus’ example?

Image courtesy of Pinterest

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