1Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. 2But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." 3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
- Jesus portrayed a picture of God who is like the shepherd searching for his lost sheep so God searches for His lost ones, “for the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”.
- What is your picture of God? How do you view the “sinners” around you? Is your attitude that of seeking the lost, the way Jesus did, or standing aloof and casting a disparaging glance, the way the religious leaders did?
- Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the picture of you searching for the lost sheep. Help me to relate your true picture to those I come in contact with: your love, not indifference, your grace, not judgement, your kindness, not criticism. I pray especially for ……………………. (someone who does not know the Lord).
Prayer for unbelievers
- Lord, I pray that you draw ___________ to yourself.
- I ask you, Lord, to prevent Satan from blinding ___________ to the truth.
- Holy Spirit, I ask you to convict ___________ of sin and the need for Christ’s redemption.
- I ask that you send someone who will share the gospel with ___________.
- Lord, I pray that ___________ will confess Jesus as Lord, grow in faith, and bear fruit for your glory. Amen.
Suggestion for Family Devotional Time: What did the shepherd do for the lost sheep? What does Jesus want us to feel and do for those people who do not know Jesus? Encourage everyone to name some non-Christian friends or relatives. Write them on the Family Journal and pray for them one by one.
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 8:9-11
9 They are all straight to him who understands, and right to those who find knowledge. 10 Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than choice gold, 11 for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.