Saturday, August 24, 2013
Yes – that’s the same little lamb from yesterday’s blog. Yes – I did write what I was thinking about, but I failed to mention how important that one little lost lamb truly is – because it is me. And you. And every person who has not come to understand why Jesus used that example in a parable.
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? (Matthew 18:12 KJV)
Luke mentioned it, too:
What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? (Luke 15:4 KJV)
Why is this illustration so important?
Luke follows his verse with one of joy:
I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance. (Luke 15:7 KJV)
But, I prefer Matthew’s promise:
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Matthew 18:11 KJV)
For all of the ninety and nine lambs that were not only raised in the fold but didn’t think of leaving, there is one – as I was – who was just as determined that the fold was too confining. There was a wonderful world created by God to be tasted, tested and enjoyed. I had no thoughts in my mind of the ravening wolves of Ezekiel 22:27 or Matthew 7:15. No thoughts that one might be devoured, as 1 Peter 5:8:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8 KJV)
Little lambs aren’t concerned with these – which is why we need a shepherd, best described in Psalms 23. One who will leave ninety and nine safely in their fold to search for that one, lost, lamb. For that search, for that savior, I am eternally grateful.
Unlike some Christian denominations, I believe Christ came to save the lost. I believe we all were lost before we understood the good news. I believe John:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (John 3:16-17 KJV)
It’s not so easily understood, though. Jesus spoke these words in a conversation with a highly religious man, a Pharisee who was seeking to learn more from this teacher:
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (John 3:12 KJV)
Jesus spoke of both. He promised heaven, but taught us how to live here on earth. Too often we doubt the existence of heaven and ignore how He would have us live on earth. So, how do we build our faith in heaven and learn how to live on earth?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)
Little lamb, keep His book handy.