Esther 8 and Matthew 18:10-14
These two readings today demonstrate God’s love for his people. In Matthew we are reminded that not one child should be separated from their Heavenly Father. The Esther reading tells of God’s on-going protection of his people in troubled times.
We have all been made in his image, Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. No matter who we are, God made us and loves us. Our response: We love Him because He first loved us explains the apostle John in 1:19. What comfort that brings, and what responsibility!
Apparently in former times it was the practice for shepherds and cowherds to leave their flock to find a missing lamb. It seems to be still the same today. While we were travelling to Karumba in the Queensland Gulf Country we watched as a talented helicopter pilot patiently rounded up stray cattle in the bush. The pilot was focused on his task and did not finish until every single beast was back safely with the main herd. 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us of how God watches and waits patiently for his people The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
What is our role then? It is clear that we are not to cause anyone to stumble but also we are to help prevent anyone from going astray. Big tasks indeed! Encouraging each other in our walk with Jesus should be easy, friendly calls, encouraging texts, email, even snail mail are all possibilities. Preventing someone stumbling could take more effort I think, more like the helicopter pilot, focus, patience, perseverance in all conditions until the job is done.
I think Lachlan’s Just One is a great method to help us regularly remember some of God’s straying lambs. Our part is quite small really – regular prayer, a word of encouragement, an invitation perhaps. The saving part is up to God. It is good to know that our Lord does hear us and will answer our requests. He’ll even give us courage if we ask!
John 14:13 You can ask anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. NLT.
Which lost sheep are on your mind today?