THE ONE SHEEP
"If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?" Matthew 18:12 (NLT)
In the beginning of the Parable of the Lost Sheep, all of the sheep are together. The shepherd is providing for them, protecting them, and caring for them. The one sheep wandered away because sheep get distracted. Sheep see something, and think, “That will fill my need,” and go and do whatever they think.
At some point, the one sheep that had wandered realized that its needs were not being met. The one sheep knew the shepherd’s voice, and finally turned to the shepherd and allowed him to lead it back to the flock. The shepherd rejoiced over the one sheep, and the flock accepted the sheep right back in.
The one sheep that wandered away thought it could make the best decisions on its own. It thought its needs could be filled by things other than what the shepherd would provide. Do you attempt to achieve everything on your own? Do you feel unfulfilled in any area of your life? I have good news! Jesus is the Good Shepherd (John 10:14). God formed you in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13), so you were once a part of the flock. You may have wandered away, but you know your shepherd’s voice (John 10:27). You can always turn back to Jesus, and when you do, in any and every area of your life, He will rejoice! The other ninety-nine sheep that trusted the shepherd are rejoicing as well, and are excited to see you back in the flock!
The other ninety-nine sheep trusted their shepherd even when he appeared to be changing one sheep’s life more than theirs. The other ninety-nine sheep accepted the lost sheep back into the flock when it returned. Do you struggle when you see God moving in someone else’s life more obviously than He is moving in yours? When you see someone show up at church that isn’t doing what the Bible says perfectly, are you offended? If so, I’d encourage you to reread the last paragraph, and not disqualify yourself from being the one sheep that wandered away, just because you are saved.
We are each the one sheep that wandered away. Unless you are doing everything Jesus has asked you to do perfectly, you have wandered away from His perfect will. I am so thankful that Jesus still loves me and is still pursuing me. Today, let’s love Jesus back by allowing Him to lead us in every area of our lives.
Jesus, You are the One Good Shepherd. Thank You for loving me even when I didn’t deserve it. I know You have better for me and my future than I could ask, think, or imagine, so I trust You to lead me. Help me as I learn to rely on You, rather than myself. Reveal to me what my next step should be, and give me the courage to take it. I trust You, and I thank You for everything You’ve done for me.
I love you Jesus, Amen
What is the next step you are going to take toward Jesus?
Write it down.