On-line bible study week 2 (Jan 21 – 28) Read Luke, Chapter 15.
For those who are new to this.. Set aside 15 – 20 minutes quiet time this week and read Luke 15 (for those who do not have a bible, you can Google it or download the free bible app). Ask God to speak to your heart as you read. And then? Share below in the comments your favorite verse – and if you want? Why it spoke to you. Write that verse down and memorize it this week!
I love this entire chapter – but the verse I’m memorizing this week: “And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders” vs. 5 and also verse 7 “In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”…
I could lament on this chapter for a long time, but will share these nuggets of what it means to me:
If you notice the verse says “who repents and returns to God” – you can’t return to someplace you’ve never been. What that tells me? If the devil is whispering “You’ve done too much. God can’t use you now. You might as well just give up.” Those are all lies! The Lord is pursuing you and will welcome you back with open arms.
“Over ninety nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed..” All 100 sheep were white (righteous) but one strayed away. Maybe you’re that sheep that strayed away? Maybe you weren’t wearing the full armor? (If you aren’t wearing the shield of faith which extinguishes the enemy’s flaming arrows? Maybe you got hit by a few?) Maybe you laid down your sword? (Stopped reading the word of God). Then comes isolation… we wander away from the other “righteous sheep” feeling we are no longer worthy of God’s love. That He’ll never use us. It’s in that isolation the devil tries to go for the juggler. But that’s when we, the army, are called to go find that wounded soldier and not leave them lying on the battle field. To pray for them, call them, go visit and remind them they are not alone. (NOT to judge them and whisper under our breath or to others “They knew better”) But to remind them that the Lord is pursuing them. His word calls us to “Go after the one”.
If you are the lost sheep? It’s never too late to return. All of heaven will rejoice when you say “I’m coming home.”
If you are in ministry? Don’t fall into the trap of measuring your success by numbers. It’s not about how many signed up, joined, or attend. All the effort we put forth in any ministry? We should put forth even if it’s only for that one. When I write my blog, when I wrote my book, when I started this online bible study – my goal was one. God help me reach one lost sheep. Success is not in the numbers, it’s in the obedience.
Be blessed this week my friends!