Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
One of the most beloved parables of Jesus is about the Good Shepherd, who keeps seeking for His lost sheep "until He finds it" (Luke 15:4). That is, up to the point when he or she takes that last breath; the lost one may be entangled in hopeless briars and underbrush and has long given up any thought of being "found."
The Shepherd braves the storm, the darkness, the precipices, Himself wounded in His searching; what the lost "sheep" needs to do is just cry in the darkness--the Shepherd will and must hear. You can't free yourself, you are hurt; but you must do the most difficult thing you've ever done in your whole life--you must believe that He loves you with a seeking, never-giving-up love that is divine, and that "this man receives sinners"--you.
You must believe He actively forgives you; He was "made to be sin" for you "who knew no sin" (2 Cor. 5:21), He has "chosen" and "adopted" and actually "predestined" you to be saved eternally (Eph. 1:4, 5). The thunder rolls through the mountains and the lightning flashes, but the Shepherd cannot go home to rest until He brings you with Him.
Think about Him instead of yourself; He needs a little joy--forget your own. Give Him the joy of "calling together His friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with Me, for I have found My sheep which was lost!'" (Luke 15:6). Somehow in the process it will rub off on you, "Enter into the joy of your Lord" (Matt. 25:21).
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: April 4, 2006.
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