Shepherd the straying

Rod Shimabukuro

Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7
God’s heart for sinners is displayed. Jesus accepted sinners to have a meal with Him. This brought great offense to the Pharisees and Scribes. Being noted as a rabbi, acclaimed as the Messiah, Jesus’ message attracted sinners to hear HIm.

Heaven seems to put a value on sinners who embrace repentance. The joy of heaven increases when a strayed, lost sinner is found and turns from their sin. The church can be found doing great ministry within their walls, but their holy huddle can be dangerous when they don’t allow sinners to dine with them. Would that ever be the attitude of my heart?
Today, my heart aches with desire to see more sinners welcomed into the sheepfold. Those who have turned away from the faith, are valuable to heaven - to God! Yet I get so caught up in taking care of sheep (not a bad thing!), that I lose sight and compassion for the “outsiders.“ I need to repent of my hurried heart to want to accomplish things within the church. I drift from the heart of seeking the lonely, broken and strayed.

What man wouldn’t go after 1 lost person? There are many. I am one, who is pulled to take care of the majority - the 99 - the ones who are within my boundaries. But would I dare leave my boundaries, comfort zone, my ministry, my people... for one disobedient, backslidden, obstinate person?
Dear Daddie God! Thank you for pursuing me, sending Your only begotten Son, who left heavens joy to search for and save me! I desire to live with a repentant heart - as Your son and servant to my family. Help me to be willing to give up my comforts to help the straying. Please me wisdom and a heart of compassion as a shepherd leader.

Devotions for January 15

Genesis 37,38
Psalms 7
Luke 15

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