Tim Ryan of Transformations Treatment Center has an awesome quote that Christians should adopt.
“Some people see their past failures as just that, failures. I see them as lessons and stepping stones to the life I now have.”
Num 23:8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the LORD hath not defied?
Past Failures – The Word of God is clear about our responsibility to each other as it relates to forgiveness, restoration, and service. My blog is filled with reasons why Baptists tend to shun their own. The verses at the end of this post have an explicit and concise tone that should encapsulate our motives and efforts.
Pastor, it’s easy to feed, water, protect, guide, entertain, disciple, and soothe the ninety and nine, but the real effort presents itself when the 1 needs attention. Preaching to the “choir” is a best-case scenario and enjoyable. Massaging the ninety and nine with what they want to hear, so the ole apple cart isn’t overturned, is not a daunting task. Surrounding yourself with deacons, teachers, evangelists, and missionaries that subscribe to the importance of the ninety and nine is seemingly necessary for self-preservation and protection of your position.
So, what about the 1 dear Pastor, deacon, evangelist, teacher, and missionary? It seems that the spiritual skill-set in many churches has been honed to achieve the results laid out in the above paragraph. Behold, the spiritual skill-set required to seek, save, feed, water, protect, guide, entertain, disciple, and soothe the 1 is missing and ignored in our churches. I can’t help but wonder if our local churches believe 1 John 1:9, Galatians 6:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Jude 22, 1 Corinthians 10:12, 1 Corinthians 14:37, Job 4:3 & 4, Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 1:18, and the Prodigal Son, no doubt!
Remember this church, a shepherd is someone who the Lord raises up to care for the total well-being of His flock. Again, the total well-being of His flock, and that includes the 1! Pastor, it doesn’t matter if you agree, disagree, approve, disapprove, like, dislike, understand, or don’t understand the reasons why 1 goes astray. Here is what does matter: step out of your comfort zone and perform your duties as a seeker and protector by breaking away from the ninety and nine to rescue the 1. You may get your opportunity to be the 1, and you’ll long for the finding hand of the shepherd.
A few thoughts from the verses below:
- How think ye? This problem of the 1 versus the 99 is a church problem
- Yep, someone may intentionally stray, or your lack of concern may be the catalyst driving the 1 away i.e. it may be your fault, Pastor, that a sheep is lost
- The responsibility to go and find the stray is active present
- If reprimanding is your motivation for seeking the stray, then Galatians 6:1 is your first lesson
- Don’t suppose you’re qualified as a Pastor, deacon, teacher, or evangelist if you’re unwilling to obey the command of seeking the stray
Exhortation: You can’t claim 1 John 1:9 for yourself if you dig up past sins of another Christian! By the way, doesn’t matter what sin. Galatians 6:1 (restoration isn’t a partial outcome)
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
3 And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
We, as Christians, tout the work of the Holy Spirit and His marvelous attention to us. Preachers, without stuttering, tell us that the Holy Spirit is our paraclete (advocate or counselor John 14:16, 26) So, why do we, as Christians, not practice what is preached? Time to get it together!