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October 14 -- Understanding the Love for that One Lost Sheep ... or Dog

Luke 15:1-9:

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

So, Jesus told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’

“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’”

Last week I shared a devotional about the lost sheep. It is a great parable, one of Jesus’ best. The parable becomes even better when we understand how much Jesus loves all his wandering sheep – which includes you and me.

In response to this devotional, Nancy Caldwell shared an event from her life which zeroes in on this love. With her permission, I share it with you today

“When I was a young girl, I wondered why the shepherd would leave the 99 to search for one (I didn’t think about having to get one cow back from the neighbor's corn field). One day after we moved to Argyle, I had our younger dog Duke tied outside on a wire that Doug had put up between the clothes line pole and a 4" thick wooden post. He was bad about running off, and this arrangement allowed him to run and exercise but not run away.

One Friday afternoon while Doug was working in St. Louis (and expected home that afternoon) the dogs heard something down in the woods. Both took off running. Duke snapped that 4" post off at the ground and went tearing off for the woods, dragging post and wire along with him. They were down in the woods barking and barking. Finally, Smokey (the older dog) came back to the house and seemed to be telling me to come with him. I wasn't so sure about going down to the woods. I didn't know if I would fall in a ditch, get tangled up in plant growth, or what. I decided I’d better leave a note for Doug, because if I had disappeared, he surely wouldn't be looking for me in the woods.

When I walked down to Duke's location, I found him with all the paraphernalia wrapped around a tree and he looked up at me and barked softly as if saying, “Help me, Mom. Help me.” I was glad to get my dog safely home. And I thought, “Now I know why the shepherd left the 99 and went after the one.” And to think the Savior loves us so much more. WOW!

Thank you for sharing this Nancy and I hope all of you can walk through the day knowing, Jesus will never let you “stay lost.” Not ever! WOW!

~ Blessings, Dan

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