The Little Lost Sheep
Luke 15:3-7 - "And he spake this parable unto them, saying, What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance." Do I ever love this portion of Scripture! I love to teach it to little children. It is one of my very favorites. For I was that little lost sheep. First, let me tell you about the Shepherd. He is loving and kind. He looks after His sheep with great concern and tender mercies. He makes sure they have green grass to eat. He makes sure they have fresh water to drink. Moving water. Living Water. He protects them from the enemy. He fights off wild animals. Even lions and bears! He is willing to give His life for His sheep. They mean everything to Him. He loves them so very much! But one of the most amazing things about the Shepherd is how He makes sure that His sheep don't wander off. Because He knows that a sheep without a Shepherd is doomed. A lost sheep will be destroyed and perish without the protection and provision of the Shepherd. One evening it is time to rest, but first the kind Shepherd counts His sheep and finds one missing. He is distraught and must do something! So He leaves the ninety and nine to brave the darkness and the dangers, searching for His little lost sheep. That poor little lost sheep was me. He doesn't just search for a few minutes and give up. Shepherds, apparently, are not quitters. He searches and searches and searches. It didn't matter what comes. Even if he has to cross the river. Even though He is climbing steep mountains. Even if he has to go through wild vines and sticker bushes in the dark. He must find her. That poor little lost sheep was me. Even if He gets hurt and all scratched up. Even if wild animals come. He fights them off and just keeps going. He won't give up until He finds that poor little lost sheep. He stops and listens often. Listening for that tiny sound. The sound of the crying of His little lost lamb. That poor little lost sheep was me. He searches until He finds His little lost sheep. Maybe He has to pull away the thorns and vines to get to her. Maybe He has to crawl into a disgusting muddy pit and pull her out. But it doesn't matter to Him. All that matters is rescuing His poor little lost sheep that He loves. That poor little lost sheep was me. When He finds her, He looks at His little sheep with such love! He picks her up so tenderly. He puts her across His shoulders, because that poor little sheep can't take any more. She is weak and tired and injured. She can't go on. So her Shepherd carries her. All of the way back, He carries her. Until that little sheep is finally safely home. Oh, and then-- what rejoicing! The Shepherd calls His friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with Me; for I have found My sheep which was lost! Everyone is glad and very joyful. The little lost sheep has been saved! And that little sheep is me. No longer poor. And no longer lost. I belong to my sweet Shepherd. And I'll stay by His side until He leads me safely home. My Shepherd loves me. He showed me how much. He sacrificed so much to find me. I was worth all that to Him. Is it any wonder that I love Him? Isaiah 53:6 - "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him (Jesus) the iniquity of us all." We'll talk tomorrow about the just persons in verse seven. It's important stuff. If you are not saved, cry out to my Shepherd today. He is listening for your cry. You'll find out how right here.