Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday Words of Encouragement

Zechariah 8:4-8 ~

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there. ”

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me? ” declares the Lord Almighty.

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God. ”

Matthew 18:12-14 ~

 “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? 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. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

Life was good for the remnant of the Jews.  They were back in Jerusalem where they belonged, sitting in the streets, smoking their pipes and watching their grandchildren playing.   They were content and would often exclaim, "Isn't this wonderful?"

Yet to God it was not wonderful.  He wanted all of His people back where they belong.  His eyes weren't just on the few that were home.  He was looking at the rest of His people who were lost and suffering.

Life can be good for us too, can't it?  We go to church and have a small little circle of friends.  We work, come home and care for our families, go out with friends from time to time.  We can be content and exclaim, "Isn't this wonderful?"

Yet, the Lord is looking at those who do not know Him.  Who are lost and suffering.  And He is not content with our few in the pews.  He desires that all should come to Him.  I love the story of the shepherd who goes looking for the one lost sheep.  I'm sure to the ninety-nine sheep, one didn't make a difference.  They probably didn't even notice that it was gone.  But God notices.

He does not want even one person to pass into eternity without knowing Him.  Shouldn't we have the same desire?  Should we be content to have a small congregation with just a few people?  Should there ever be a time when we become complacent and apathetic in telling others about what the Lord has done for us and for them?

Let's remember that while it's okay to enjoy our lives that God is constantly desiring that all come to know Him.  We should do the same!  Let's put the same care into finding that one lost sheep that we do to the ninety-nine in front of us.