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The Lost Sheep

by on September 20, 2017

The Lost Sheep

I went to school. They taught me classes on counseling.
“Do not get overly involved in people’s lives.
Do not allow co-dependency.
Do not allow enmeshment.
Watch boundaries and so on.”
Good advice; mostly.

Problems immediately arose. What about the pesky little Scriptures that tell me about lostness? The coin that did not know it was lost. The sheep that knew it was lost but had no idea what to do about it. The child who was lost and finally found the way back to the anxious, waiting parent. What about these? Who is Jesus sending out in this day to find these lost ones?

Am I safe enough in my own security in Jesus Christ to relentlessly pursue the lost ones and fearlessly risk my reputation and fortune to bring them close to the heart of the Master?

Granted – Jesus did not drag people into discipleship but neither did He allow them to continue in their dysfunctional lives without knowing how much He cared. He offered and more than offered. He provided answers. He was a teacher, a master, a savior. He used language that was gentle and sometimes not. He got in the way of evil.

Warnings about over-extending myself are needed and appreciated but be careful. I expect to die in the trenches of Holy battle against the unholy foe that almost destroyed me. That is what I plan and will do. As an athlete I was told that if you give all you got, you will collapse at the finish line. How much more should that be true in this battle of the ages for those who are lost – some who know they are lost and some who do not?

I was one of the lost ones. That lostness could have been permanent. God sent people who did not give up on me. They told me God’s truth with the love that I desperately needed. It was a long, painful process. Finally, it began to make sense to me. I am not lost anymore. I am found.

I deal with and attempt to bless many of those who are lost – some who know they are lost and some who are lost and do not know it. Jesus wants all and each of them. There is a great Shepherd of the sheep. The rest of us are under-shepherds. We are just tools in the hands of the Master – tools to be used to bring healing to those who are lost.

The Church of Jesus Christ is a family. A few of us are fathers. Paul said we have many teachers but not many fathers. Jesus said those who do His will are His mother, sister, and brother. In a family we care for each other.

We are also a body. Each member of the body has a special gift to bless the body and keep it healthy. Each member of the body is a gift from God to bless His body.

I have witnessed and experienced and participated in the persistent pursuit of strugglers by Jesus’ under shepherds. It can take a long time for someone who is convinced that they are worth nothing, to be assured that they are of inestimable value to God and to me. Every moment of that investment is worth whatever the cost. Recognizing their autonomy and respecting their boundaries and still investing time and energy in them is when God shows His pleasure to and for and in both of us. Jesus beautifully demonstrated that to the ‘woman at the well’ in John 4.

Some of us know about being lost and being found. If you are one of us, enlist yourself as a helper of and to the Great Shepherd. Jesus is waiting and there are many who need you. Now.

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