“What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one who is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:12-14 (NKJV)
Several years ago, I talked with a man about what it meant to be a Christian. He told me that he remembered attending church at a young age but hadn’t stepped foot into a church since, except for an occasional wedding or funeral. He said that he wasn’t good enough. He felt he had done many things that weren’t pleasing to God, and that he didn’t deserve God’s love. It saddened me that this was his mindset. He felt God was so disappointed in him that he could never be forgiven.
That’s why I love the parable of the lost sheep. It shows us that the Kingdom of God is accessible to all sinners and those who have strayed from the path. God doesn’t want any lost sheep. He loves us so much that He gave his only Son so that we will never perish but have everlasting life. We all sin, but when we ask for forgiveness, He gives it readily. He doesn’t want us lost. He wants us to come back to Him. Isn’t it comforting to know that we can take that first step returning on the path of life, and He will meet us there?
Romans 3:23 (NIV) says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” It’s easy to get down and judge ourselves as unworthy. Don’t let that kind of self-talk prevent you from having the most important relationship you will ever have.
Heavenly Father, help us to understand how much You love us. Help us to remember that You are the shepherd of the flock and died on the cross for us and that each and every one of us, matters to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Written by: Laurie Davis