Luke 15:1-7 – Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”

So he told them this parable:  “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his 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-ninerighteous persons who need no repentance.

At the beginning of the Parable of the lost sheep, Jesus says that the shepherd, when he has a sheep that is lost, will leave the safe ones in their safety and search for the lost one “until he finds it”. What a glorious truth this is. Our Good Shepherd does not stand on the porch calling our names and then give up when we do not answer. Not at all. He goes out looking for us. He is determined to find His lost sheep. He will not rest until all whom He has been searching for are found. And He will find them all. He leaves no rock unturned in His determination to find all that the Father gives Him.

At least part of the point of this parable is that God is not less determined to find lost souls than a good shepherd would be to find one lost sheep. If a human shepherd will search for a sheep, not giving up until he finds it, how much more will God not surrender in His work of rescuing His lost ones until He has found every last one of them? We are not more compassionate with our livestock than God is with His chosen ones.

The God who will search until He finds is the God who tells us to go into highways and hedges and compel people to come in. He will find all He seeks and He tells us to preach the Gospel. We should preach with the confidence that there are people in our field of vision whom God has his sights on and who will come because of our efforts because behind the scenes of our Gospel delivery is the all powerful God of all things working to lose not one of all that He has given His Son. What an incentive for us to give the gospel to all whom God puts in our path. Those who reject our overtures are not to deter us. God has us where we are to find His lost sheep. Let us not grow discouraged that we encounter so many who do not seem to be who He is looking for. He will find them and He will use us to accomplish it. Now go.

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