Sunday, December 15, 2019

Advent: Seeking Christ Day 15

What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing” {vv.4-5 NASB}.

The care our magnificent Creator of the universe takes in reaching poor, lost, wandering sinners. His sheep are important to Him. He cares so much for His sheep that even though He has one hundred, should one stray away, He will go searching until He finds that one lost sheep.

I find it so beautiful (and no accident) that today is the third Sunday in Advent in which we focus on joy. {If you would like to read more on joy in Advent, I wrote several posts a few years back for Advent; you can find them here, here, here, here, here, and here}. Jesus continues within this verse to say, “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” {v.7 NASB}. When one sinner comes to Him there is JOY in heaven. There is joy in the presence of the angels of God! Imagine how wonderful that is, that though they cannot fathom salvation {1 Pet. 1:12} they rejoice when one of God’s human creations receives salvation. Our salvation is one of joy; the psalmist prays, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit” {Ps. 51:12}.

I heard a minister of the Word once say that most Christians look more like they are on their way to hell rather than heaven. We should be the most joyous people on earth. Our salvation should put a sparkle in our eye, joy on our face, joy in our walk; we should cause the lost to long to have what we have. If our Messiah has this much joy over finding us, should we not have joy when we find Him and walk with Him for the rest of our lives?

The whole of chapter fifteen Jesus teaches parables on the importance of finding those who are lost. The righteous ninety-nine should take care lest they think themselves more righteous than the lost one. Instead of glorying in that we have been found, we need to share the heart of the Shepherd and search for those who are lost. Pray daily for the lost—those you know and those you don’t. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Let’s search for them this Advent season and bring them into the care of the Good Shepherd.

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