Friday, September 09, 2016

The Lost Sheep

Repeat and or meditate on this verse until your thoughts are centered on God.
Let Isr'el's help from Zion come!
When back the Lord shall bring
his captives, Jacob shall rejoice
and Israel shall sing!
 —Psalm 14:6
Suggested tune: Morning Song (CM)

Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
—Luke 15:4-7
Our Lord Jesus Christ while he was here below was continually in the pursuit of lost souls. He was seeking lost men and women, and it was for this reason that he went down among them, even among those who were most evidently lost, that he might find them. He took pains to put himself where he could come into communication with them, and he exhibited such kindliness toward them that in crowds they drew near to hear him. I dare say it was a queer-looking assembly, a disreputable rabble, which made the Lord Jesus its center. I am not astonished that the Pharisee, when he looked upon the congregation, sneered and said, ‘He collects around him the pariahs of our community, the wretches who collect taxes for the foreigner of God’s free people; the fallen women of the town, and such-like riffraff make up his audiences; he, instead of repelling them, receives them, welcomes them, looks upon them as a class to whom he has a peculiar relationship. He even eats with them. Did he not go into the house of Zaccheus, and the house of Levi, and partake of the feasts which these low people made for him?’ They thought as badly of the Lord as they possibly could, because of the company which surrounded him. And so, he deigns in this parable to defend himself; not that he cared much about what they might think, but that they might have no excuse for speaking so bitterly of him. He tells them that he was seeking the lost, and where should he be found but among those whom he is seeking? Should a physician shun the sick? Should a shepherd avoid the lost sheep? Was he not exactly in his right position when there ‘drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him’?
—Charles Spurgeon
I am thine, thou dost befriend me,
be the guardian of my way;
keep thy sheep from sin, defend me,
seek me when I go astray.
Blessèd Jesus, blessèd Jesus,
Hear, O hear me when I pray.
—Dorothy A. Thrupp (alt.)
Allow the above to help guide your own confession, praise, thanksgiving, and/or petition.

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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