Pastor Tim Romero
Matthew 18:12–14 (ESV): "12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish."
How valuable is one sheep? To God, priceless. He is willing to leave the ninety-nine to go after the one. The point is to illustrate the unfathomable love God has for each of us individually. If you don't feel loved you should!
Chapter eighteen begins with the disciples asking Jesus who is the greatest in heaven to which Jesus replied, "Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." He goes on to talk about the seriousness of sin and our need to take radical steps to rid ourselves of it. He then talks about the great love God has for the one who strays. His point is we should love those who are straying from the faith so much that we would go after them. That is exactly what Jesus has done for us! He expects nothing less from His disciples.
Does someone come to mind when thinking of a sheep that has strayed? Take a step of faith today and reach out to them. See if you might be able to meet with them and minister to them. They don't need to hear a lecture. They need to know they are loved. Leave the ninety-nine like Jesus did and go after the one. They are precious to God, amen?
Father, we thank You for loving us with an extravagant love that is willing to do whatever it takes to reach us. May we love each other the same way. Fill us with agape love that we might have a sense of how You feel for us we pray in Jesus' name, amen.