Matthew 18:12 “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? 13 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. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Where do I start today? I write devotionals meant to encourage you that are out on the front lines in spiritual battle. Lately that battle has come to our home. Laurie and I have prayed about running an orphanage for years. Little did we know that we would get so much practice in our own house with our 13 year old that was adopted 4 years ago. Stealing, drunkenness, obsessions, pornography, lying, running away, threats . . . should I go on? You get the picture. This morning I installed locks on all of our bedroom doors. Our house is feeling like a prison more and more each day.
I love this sheep that has wandered off and fallen off the cliff in need of rescue. He has a lot of reasons to wander off and get lost. The new wounds that he receives from falling are minor compared to the wounds that he received as a younger child.
Our Father does not put a litmus test before us when we need rescued. When I have reached up from my own cliff disasters Jesus has never said “if you don’t stop falling down, I’m going to stop rescuing you”. No. He always pulls me up no matter how stupid I am.
I’m really tired. I don’t want to rescue anymore. I’m sure that you don’t want to rescue at times too. Maybe Psalms 23 should add a line – Makes me lie down in green pastures while He goes and rescues our sheep. Wait . . . “our” sheep or “His”?
Think about it . . .
1 Peter 4:12
Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
It’s rare to find novels that take place in the foreign countries that we work in. I search for stories that take place in Guatemala but they are hard to find. I recently found a book and it had great reviews so I bought it. What the reviews didn’t mention is that if it were a movie it would be rated “R” if not an “X”. It started out good but soon I found myself blushing and then questioning if I should go on at all. I’m just glad that I proofed it before giving it to my son to read (the first chapter looked like it might interest him). I probably wouldn’t have bought it at all if it had the proper warning label on it.Sometimes we get surprised in life. Situations can take us off guard – maybe they are better than expected, maybe they are worse. It would be nice if everything had a rating so we could know in advance what to expect.
Are you surprised with your mission? Is it what you expected? Should it have had a higher rating?
My prayer today is that you weather the surprises and press forward. No matter what you come up against God will see you through it.
When passwords first came out they were relatively simple. I picked a 4 letter word that was the name of my first employee – it was kind of a joke but it stuck for a long time (it still opens my garage door). Over time, the requirements began to change. It must be at least 6 digits, it must have at least one numeral, it must have a capital, it can’t be the same as another password, it goes on and on. It has gotten so complicated that I now have a file holding all of my passwords that I refer to almost daily. Now I read an article that says people want to do away with passwords for other security means.
In one of the episodes of MASH, Radar was trying to stop artillery from our side. Command asked for the password but the password that Radar read had changed and they were out of luck. The 4077 was instructed to get out of there.
Can you imagine needing a password to connect with God? Flipping through the Bible looking for the correct phrase? Calling our pastor asking for the new code?
The body outside of His body often thinks that we speak in code and secrets. It’s not that difficult – as Psalms 25:14 says: all we need to do is fear Him.
14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him,
And He will show them His covenant.