“Then Jesus told them this parable: “What man among you if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the pasture and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, comes home, and calls together his friends and neighbors to tell them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my lost sheep!’ In the same way, I tell you that there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous ones who do not need to repent.” (Luke 5:3-6)
“Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
“For if, after they have escaped the filthy things of the world through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again get entangled in them and succumb to them, their last state has become worse for them than their first.” (2 Peter 2:20)
To a shepherd, every one of his sheep represents a valuable investment of his time and his money. The potential profits that each sheep can bring him makes each one worth defending and protecting, even from themselves.
To the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, each one of us, as a follower of Him, is priceless in His estimation. Each one of us is worth Him dying a horrible death, so we can live eternally with our heavenly Father. When we receive Him as Savior, we begin a journey that makes Him the Lord and Master of our lives. As the Good Shepherd, we FOLLOW Him. We go where He leads us. That is what Christianity is supposed to be. US FOLLOWING HIM. Not Him being Santa Claus and us crying “gimme gimme, my name is Jimmie” to Him.
He took up His Cross and now we must take up our cross. Following Jesus is not easy. Like He said, “narrow is the way that leads to eternal life.” Broad is the highway to hell and many are headed there. Christianity is not just saying a prayer, claiming your ticket to heaven, then continuing on living in the same sin you did before you said the prayer. That is NOT salvation. True salvation is life-changing. It is impossible to remain the same when you encounter Jesus Christ.
However, it is possible to really meet Jesus. Really have an intimate relationship with Him and get caught in a thicket of sin. I know because I have and I know for a fact that He WILL leave the ninety-nine grazing in the pasture of His perfect will and come after the one who has left His perfect will. He promises to never leave us or forsake us and He means it!
I was in a thicket of sin called alcoholism. I was stuck and unable to free myself. When I cried out to Jesus from this evil place and repented and acknowledged my sin to Him, He immediately came to set me free. Repentance is the key. Acknowledgment of wrong is the key. You can’t fix a problem you won’t admit to. Whatever thicket of sin you are stuck in today, cry out to Jesus and repent and acknowledge your sin to Him. Then ask Him to help you get free. He will! He is the Good Shepherd and you are very valuable to Him…
Here is a prayer to get started:
Father, I come to You in the Name of Jesus. Lord Jesus I cry to you today and acknowledge that I am caught in the sin of ________________________. I repent of this sin and ask You to forgive me and help me get completely free! I ask that Your Blood would be applied to my life right now and wash me clean from all sin and evil in Your sight. I thank You for coming to get me. I thank You for delivering me from this thicket of sin! I praise You Father for Your mercy endures forever and are new every morning! I receive by faith, Your forgiveness, Your deliverance and the restoration to the fellowship that was lost! In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen and Amen!
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