Monday, February 15, 2016

The One Who Went Astray

Call to Prayer
 Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
That I may praise you, let me live;
and let your judgments bring me aid.
Your servant won't forget your laws;
seek me: I, like a sheep, have strayed.
 —Psalm 119:175-176
Scripture of the Day
If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
—Matthew 18:12-14
Food for Thought
The wandering sheep here is ‘one of these little ones.’ And this parable illustrates the truth that, because they belong to the Good Shepherd, the least of them is too precious to God to be allowed to wander away and be lost. They have the angels of the presence as their guardians; they have God himself, in his yearning love and numerous methods of restoration, to look for them should they ever get lost, and to bring them back to the fold. Therefore, ‘Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones’ [Matt. 18:10], each of whom is held by God's will in the grasp of whose love nothing can be loosened.
 —Alexander Maclaren (alt.)
Today's Prayer
O Savior, who goes after those who are lost until you find them, teach me to minister to the needs of others. May I compassionately regard those who do not know you and whose lives are one long outrage against your forbearing love. Give me something of your Shepherd compassion and longsuffering...
 —F.B. Meyer
Your Own Prayers
 Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
 —Matthew 6:9-13

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