Luke 15:5 "And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home."
The shepherd's search for his lost sheep is begun at the moment the sheep becomes lost; it is carried on with great vigor and urgency; and it continues until the sheep is found. Such was the concern of a shepherd in our Lord's day for his sheep. When at last the great moment of discovery comes and the lost sheep is found, this is an occasion for nothing but pure joy over the fact that the lost is no more lost but found; the missing one is safe and sound. As a spontaneous expression of joy and relief, the shepherd tenderly picks the sheep up, examines it for cuts and bruises, and gently lays it on his shoulders as he heads back to the fold.
By this simple illustration our Lord reassures us and all His sheep that each one is very precious in His sight. For each one who strays or wanders from the fold of faith He has an all-consuming concern. Our Good Shepherd goes forth, seeking the lost one and hoping to restore him or her. He does this each time a sheep strays.
What a comfort to all of us wandering sheep! We experience not only our Lord's loving concern and persevering search but also His forgiveness that takes away our lostness. With rejoicing He restores us to the fold of the faithful.
PRAYER: Gracious and Good Shepherd, may we stray no longer but remain found by You forever. Amen.
(Taken from "Words of Promise," copyright 1996, Concordia Publishing House (out of print). For information on other devotional materials, call 1-800-325-3040.)
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