THURSDAY DAY 4
Scripture Reading: Psalm 23:3
Often times the Shepherd goes in search of a lost sheep in order to restore it back to the fold. Psalm 119:176 says “I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant……” In Luke 15:4-6, Jesus demonstrates that it is the loving duty and joy of the shepherd to restore a lost soul. “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Commenting on this Matthew Henry said: “The case of a sinner that goes on in sinful ways. He is like a lost sheep, a sheep gone astray; he is lost to God, who has not the honour and service he should have from him; lost to the flock, which has not communion with him; lost to himself: he knows not where he is, wanders endlessly, is continually exposed to the beasts of prey, subject to frights and terrors, from under the shepherd’s care, and wanting the green pastures; and he cannot of himself find the way back to the fold. The care the God of heaven takes of poor wandering sinners. He continues his care of the sheep that did not go astray; they are safe in the wilderness. But there is a particular care to be taken of this lost sheep; and though he has a hundred sheep, a considerable flock, yet he will not lose that one, but he goes after it, and shows abundance of care. In finding it out, He follows it, enquiring after it, and looking about for it, until he finds it. God follows backsliding sinners with the calls of his word and the strivings of his Spirit, until at length they are wrought upon to think of returning. In bringing it home, though he finds it weary, and perhaps worried and worn away with its wanderings, and not able to bear being driven home, yet he does not leave it to perish, and say, It is not what carrying home; but lays it on his shoulders, and, with a great deal of tenderness and labor, brings it to the fold.”
Dear friends, how tempting the seeming satisfaction of green pasture can be sometimes to the sheep that it forgets the presence and leading of the shepherd. A sheep gets its head down to the green pasture and with its attention on the pasture, move from one place to the other without raising its head to look at the shepherd. It is carried by the feed of the green pasture that it loses concern for its follow sheep, but suddenly raises its head only to discover that the shepherd and the flock are nowhere to be found. This is the situation of many children of God. How often have divine provisions reduced our fellowship with the Divine Provider? No wonder St. Pio of Pietrelcina, lamented thus:”Stay with me Lord, for it is necessary to have you present so that I do not forget you, you know how easily I abandon you.”Great was our consciousness of the Shepherd before we got the green pastures: our job, entered the ministry, got into marriage, passed the exam, got the promotion, got the miracle, the healing, answers to our prayers, but afterward we seem to prefer these green pastures over and above the Shepherd. We like the sheep have gone astray, we have stopped our fellowship and followership of the shepherd, but in Christ Jesus we have a faithful Shepherd, who restores our soul, for He came to restore the lost sheep.
- Thank the Lord for His words today
- Pray for God’s mercy for the times you went astray
- Tell God to restore you as the father restored the prodigal son
- Tell God to restore, to keep intact all your family members in the fellowship of Jesus, the Shepherd
- Tell God to restore to you all lost blessings and privileges.
- Thank God for prayers answered
Exercise: Is you present job, marriage, children etc drawing you away from the Lord? Pray to be restored today.
Memory Verse: Ezekiel 34:16