100 sheep minus 1
One Lost Sheep
When we want what we want, how easily we find ourselves straying from the safety of the flock. We have become lost and wander about aimlessly seeking our shepherd, without direction and alone. Our lack of self-control has brought us here, while we were looking for greener pastures, but now we're in trouble, vulnerable and an easy target for the wolves.
The wolf scours the land, seeking just such an opportunity, a chance at an easy meal. All the while we are bleating out our distress call, unaware that we are leading the predator dangerously close to ourselves and our destruction. We are so hungry for what we don't have, we envy, we covet, we have even bore false witness, all in the pursuit of our own happiness and we don't understand how temporary that happiness is. Thankfully we have someone who does understand and He has laid down His own life, in order to preserve ours.
“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Matthew 2:6 (NIV1984)
What me a lost sheep? Those smelly, matted fur and simple minded creatures could never compare to the complexity that exists in mankind, how or why would someone compare me to such a lowly creature?
13 “The tax collector stood alone too. But when he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. He felt very humble before God. He said, ‘O God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, when this man finished his prayer and went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee, who felt that he was better than others, was not right with God. People who make themselves important will be made humble. But those who make themselves humble will be made important.” Luke 18:13-14 (ERV)
We are all just children in the eyes of the LORD. He loves us all and He demonstrated that by sending His Son to die in our stead. The sheep and shepherd analogy is indeed a fair one considering that Jesus is God incarnate. What the shepherd does is not only live with his flock, as Jesus dwelt with men, but the shepherd protects his flock. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2010:7-18&version=KJV
Finding the Lost
About that time the followers came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Jesus called a little child to come to him. He stood the child in front of the followers. Then He said, “The truth is, you must change your thinking and become like little children.If you don't do this, you will never enter God’s kingdom. The greatest person in God’s kingdom is the one who makes himself humble like this child. “Whoever accepts a little child like this in my name is accepting me. “If one of these little children believes in me, and someone causes that child to sin, it will be very bad for that person. It would be better for them to have a millstone tied around their neck and be drowned in the deep sea.
I feel sorry for the people in the world because of the things that make people sin. These things must happen, but it will be very bad for anyone who causes them to happen.“If your hand or your foot makes you sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose part of your body and have eternal life than to have two hands and two feet and be thrown into the fire that burns forever. If your eye makes you sin, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to have only one eye and have eternal life than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
“Be careful. Don’t think these little children are not important. I tell you that these children have angels in heaven. And those angels are always with my Father in heaven.
"“If a man has 100 sheep, but one of the sheep is lost, what will he do? He will leave the other 99 sheep on the hill and go look for the lost sheep. Right? And if he finds the lost sheep, he is happier about that one sheep than about the 99 sheep that were never lost. I can assure you, in the same way your Father in heaven does not want any of these little children to be lost. Matthew 18:1-14 (ERV)
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples in Capernaum, at the northern portion of the Sea of Galilee. He may have also had others, such as the Pharisees, listening in on the parable. He wanted to tell and paint a picture for how cares for everyone, but especially those who have become lost, those who would turn their backs to God and walk away from the prosperity of the pastures they already enjoyed and in search of those they thought greener elsewhere and to let all of Israel know that our concern should be for our neighbors (lost sheep), that they are to be cared for by the shepherds and in this case, the point is made that they are ministers to the children of Israel and woe unto them if they carelessly led those children into danger by false doctrine. On the other hand a great cause for celebration when even one of the lost is found (saved), we can rejoice that they will be with Him and us one day in Paradise.
Britt Nicole - The Lost Get Found
Sheep and Lambs
Among the sheep, you are likely to have mature, as well as immature animals. Those who had the good fortune of being raised in a Christian household, will surely remain blessed in times when the sun seems to have set all too early. To the unfortunate, those who have not followed the Shepherd, I have hope they might be found one day and that they may find Him, hear his voice calling from among the many, who desire only what they can take and not what they can give, that is serenity.
Run to the light
Sometimes danger just doesn't appear to look so dangerous. As the old adage says " a wolf in sheep's clothing", we must be aware of certain dangers that lurk even among us, they, the wolves, appear when we are at our weakest moment. The Spirit of God within you must be crying out "Run, run" and even though that voice may be small, we need to respond and with urgency when we hear it.
At the end times though, many may be deceived and it is for these times that we must be always prepared. For we know not the hour of our Master's return and it would be foolishness, as a follower of the Way, to not expect His return. Therefore beware imitators, who will come before our Shepherd's return, they will come with the intent of enslaving you once again.
The wild animal was taken. The false preacher was taken with it. It was the false preacher who had done powerful works in front of the wild animal. In this way, he fooled those who had received the mark of the wild animal and those who worshiped his false god. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur. Revelation 19:20 (NLV)
The Good Shepherd
11 " 'This is what the Lord God says: I, myself, will search for my sheep and take care of them.12 As a shepherd takes care of his scattered flock when it is found, I will take care of my sheep. I will save them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.13 I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries. I will bring them to their own land and pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines, and in all the places where people live in the land.14 I will feed them in a good pasture, and they will eat grass on the high mountains of Israel. They will lie down on good ground where they eat grass, and they will eat in rich grassland on the mountains of Israel.15 I will feed my flock and lead them to rest, says the Lord God.16 I will search for the lost, bring back those that strayed away, put bandages on those that were hurt, and make the weak strong. But I will destroy those sheep that are fat and strong. I will tend the sheep with fairness. Ezekiel 34:11-16 (NCV)