I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. — John 10:11
A bad shepherd lets his sheep to stray. He neglects the flock, allowing the sheep to graze in bad fields or experience life-threatening thirst. He beats the lambs to teach submission and obedience. He isn’t alert to predators, allowing them to get too close to the sheep. Clearly, he doesn’t care much about the welfare of his sheep.
But Jesus is the opposite, rightly calling Himself the good Shepherd. When a sheep strays, He goes out looking for that wanderer, searching until He finds it and rejoicing when He does. He stays up during the watches of the night, listening for predators, watching the shadows for movement, protecting His flock from lions and bears. He leads the sheep to green pastures and, according to Psalm 23, to still waters where they can drink. Speaking quietly, He gently guides His flock that willingly follows. This good Shepherd finds joy in how well His sheep are doing.
You, dear one, are a lamb in the care of the good Shepherd.
Lord, I’m so grateful to be in Your flock, to have You, the good Shepherd, taking care of me, amen.
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. — Luke 15:10
Jesus told of a shepherd who leaves his ninety-nine sheep to find the one that has gone astray. This shepherd’s action reveals Jesus’ heart and His desire that no one would perish but find everlasting life through Him. And when someone does come to Him — or when He is able to carry a lost lamb home — angels rejoice!
Many of us have loved ones who are that one lost sheep. And perhaps all you can do is pray. Know that that can be enough!
A simple reminder to pray is to grab a pen, write 99/1 on a sticky note, and put it in a prominent place. Every time you see it, those numbers will remind you of Jesus’ determination to chase after the one.
One more thing: when you worry about your friend or family member who is far from God, think about your own story. Remember how God pursued you, and rest there.
Lord, I am so thankful that no one is too far from Your reach. Please bring my loved one into Your flock, I pray, amen.
Excerpted with permission from The Beautiful Word Devotional, copyright Zondervan.
* * *
Jesus is shepherding you. He is attentive, aware, caring, and involved in your every moment. He’s also pursing your loved one who walked away from Him or has yet to take His as their Savior. Keep praying and rest in that assurance! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily