"If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?
The parable of the lost sheep has become one of my favorite of Jesus' parables. In it, we are able to see a snapshot of his heart. The great King, whose name is above every name, and to whom belongs all power and glory, chooses to identify himself as a shepard, whose concern is for his lost sheep.
The parable provides a portrait of our great savior, who is actively searching for his lost ones. Beyond this, He describes having exceeding joy over finding the lost sheep. To make sure that the message is clear, He goes on to tell us that there is "more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent" (Luke 15:7). He loves us so much that even while we are lost, mired in sin and shame, or dug into our rejection of the truth, that he continues to search for us, and to call us to him.
He tells us that he came to "seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). This is not just something that he does, but rather it is his very nature. Moreover, as his servants, we get the great honor of being a part of his joy! He gives us the privilege of being part of his efforts to search for and to find his lost sheep.
To seek and to save the lost is His purpose and it must increasingly become ours!
The more we serve our King, the Great Shepard, the more we are being molded into his image, becoming like him. His heart should become our heart, and our desire should be to be used to help find his lost sheep. My friends involved in recovery ministries understand this concept in a particularly intimate way, but all of us should have a heart to reach the lost.
Some of us are given giftings and roles as evangelists and as missionaries, but all of us engage the lost throughout our walk. We can all pray for them. We can all live our lives in such a way that shows them the love and care of the Great Shepard who is actively seeking them. Most importantly, we can spend time with the Shepard. As we read the the Word and spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit creates in us a right heart that becomes more and more like the Shepard's heart. As we worship him with our song, with our words, and with our lives, he takes that sacrifice of praise and begins to bear fruit through us.
I would ask you, is this your heart? I don't really think that it is in us naturally. Rather, as we spend time with him, our heart begins to change. Be honest with yourself...if this is not your heart, tell him. I promise he already knows. Ask him to change your heart and to give you a heart for the lost. Ask him to give you a role in this great harvest that is happening right now.
We would love to hear from you. Please let us know if we can pray with you, or if we can help equip you to find and engage lost sheep in your area.
May you be blessed and may you be fruitful in service to Him!
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