When we discovered that my mother-in-law had gone missing while shopping with a relative, my wife and I were frantic. Mom suffered from memory loss and confusion, and there was no telling what she might do. Would she wander the area, or hop onto any bus thinking it would take her home? Worst-case scenarios spun through our minds as we began to search for her, crying out to God, “Please find her.”
Hours later, my mother-in-law was spotted stumbling along a road, miles away. How God blessed us in being able to find her. Several months later, He blessed her: at eighty years of age, my mother-in-law turned to Jesus Christ for salvation.
Jesus, comparing humans to lost sheep, gives us this illustration: “Suppose [a shepherd] has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, . . . he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep” (Luke 15:4–6).
Shepherds counted their sheep to make sure every one was accounted for. In the same way, Jesus, who likens himself to that shepherd, values each of us, young and old. When we’re wandering in life, searching, wondering about our purpose, it’s never too late to turn to Christ. God wants us to experience His love and blessings.
Lord, You search for us and find us. Thank You for making us Your own.
Amazing grace! . . . I once was lost, but now am found. John Newton
In the Bible the word shepherd not only applies to the occupation of shepherd (Genesis 29:3; 46:32) but is also used to indicate a leader (2 Samuel 5:2; 2 Chronicles 18:16; Jeremiah 3:15) or spiritual overseer (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:2). Being a shepherd of sheep required bravery, steadfast watchfulness, and tender care. Sheep are helpless without a shepherd and need guidance to food and water as well as protection from the elements and wild beasts (1 Samuel 17:34–36; Psalm 23; Luke 2:8).
Leading people is far more difficult! Thankfully Jesus is the Good Shepherd who cares for us so much that He “[lay] down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11–14). He is “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9) and rejoices over each lost person who repents and is found (Luke 15:3–7).
Have you received the salvation offered by Jesus, the Good Shepherd?