June 29 I Monday
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones.”
The late American evangelist D. L. Moody came home after preaching one day and his wife asked him, “How was the service?” He said, “It was great. We had two and a half converts.” His wife inquired, “Two and a half converts? You mean two adults and one child?” He answered, “No, two children and one adult. Two lives have been rescued and half a life has been rescued, because half of that life had already been lived without God.”
Children are important in the Kingdom of God. As we examine Jesus’s teaching on the one sheep that has gone astray, we see His heart in reaching everyone, even children, with the gospel. Jesus tells us, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off” (Matthew 18:12-13).
We know that the Good Shepherd looks after His sheep and cares for each of them as John 10 records. The Good Shepherd calls His own sheep by name, goes ahead of the sheep, leads them and they follow Him because they know His voice. Ultimately, the Good Shepherd is willing to lay down His life for the sheep. All these things are wonderful about the shepherding ministry of the Lord Jesus in our lives. But if we are honest with ourselves, sometimes, the one sheep that got away is a nuisance to us because it will require us to devote time and energy to reach the one lost.
Yet, Jesus was using this story of the lost sheep to teach His disciples about greatness in the Kingdom of God. Jesus cut right to the core of their attitude and taught them that true greatness is characterized by genuine humility, followed with a ruthless discipline to never lead anyone else into sin as well as a heart of glad service. We should not view serving Jesus Christ as a stepping-stone for personal greatness or fulfilment; He is not a ladder we can climb to satisfy our own aspirations.
Rather, as Christians, we should ask ourselves, “Who is a lost sheep that I can reach out to today?” If we are not yet a believer, know that the Good Shepherd has not given up His pursuit, “In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14). As one lost sheep is important, we are all precious in God’s sight.
Prayer: God Almighty, how precious I am in Your sight! Thank You for Your love and persistence in not wanting even one sheep to perish. Show me whom I should reach out to today.