Wandering Sheep

“If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine… and go to look for the one that wandered off?” Matthew 18:12

I f you are parents of small children, you know exactly how the shepherds mentioned in the Bible felt as they watched over their flocks. Even for a mother with “eyes in the back of her head,” keeping one active child from wandering off can seem as big a challenge as corralling a hundred sheep!

Jesus is called a shepherd, too, but His flock is all of humanity and He watches over us day and night. That’s why He called Himself the Good Shepherd. He came to earth to die so that not one soul would have to be lost. During His earthly ministry, He was always on the lookout for lost souls. He stayed up late to talk to Nicodemus (John 3:2). He wouldn’t let Zacchaeus hide unnoticed in a tree (Luke 19:5). And when the Pharisees were about to stone a despised adulteress, Jesus intervened with a message of forgiveness and direction—“Go, and sin no more” (John 8:11).

Every day, we have divine appointments to lead others into God’s flock—not just our family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, but also people we’ve never met before and may never see again. God’s wisdom and power are at our disposal. We just have to keep our eyes open.

Just between us…

  • Do you see Jesus as your Good Shepherd? Why or why not?
  • As a couple, are we watching for “lost sheep”?
  • How can we be more watchful for opportunities to reach unbelievers? Is there anyone “lost” with whom we can talk this week?

Lord Jesus, show us how to demonstrate Your great love and compassion to those around us. We, too, want to be shepherds of lost souls. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

NIV DISCOVER GOD’S HEART DEVOTIONAL BIBLE – THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2018

God’s Battle Cry

Deuteronomy 17–20

God’s Story

Israel’s nomadic days are nearly over. And a nation with land lives differently than a wandering one. So the people listen as Moses relays God’s intentions for the leadership and foreign policy of the new nation-state.

If the people decide they want a king like the other nations, he must be an Israelite, and he must not take many wives or accumulate great wealth. He is to make his very own copy of God’s laws, keeping it by his side and studying it all his days, yoking his heart to God.

Since the people are too scared to hear from him directly, God promises to raise up a prophet for the nation once Moses dies. A false prophet is easily identified—what he says won’t come true. Liars who dare to speak for the Truth are to be put to death.

Battles are to be fought in faith by men who have enjoyed a good life. God commands that the fearful and fainthearted be sent home from the front lines—God’s warriors are to have lionhearted trust in him.

The King’s Heart

When the Israelite army was outnumbered and overpowered, God commanded the priest to proclaim to the army: “Do not be fainthearted or afraid . . . For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory” (Deuteronomy 20:3-4).

God knows that sometimes our enemy’s size blocks our view of him. He knows we forget his presence, his power. So he ordered a faith-filled, sight-correcting reminder to be called out in the face of fears.

“Shout it over your life,” he commands. “Don’t let your vision trick you—I am with you! The Sovereign One, the King-Raiser and King-Deposer, the Army-Toppler, the Future-Decider—I am fighting for you!”

Sometimes we need to shout faith to our souls. We need a reminder that while the obstacles we face may be bigger than we are, they are never bigger than God. There is no need to be afraid because we are his. And no foe stands a chance against him.

Insight

According to Deuteronomy 19:15, no one is to be executed on the testimony of only one witness. In John 8:1-11, religious leaders bring a woman caught in adultery before Jesus. The men stand ready to stone her as the law requires (see Leviticus 20:10). But Jesus pricks their consciences, and one by one they leave. Jesus is alone with the woman—the lone witness. She is guilty of adultery, yes. But there are not enough witnesses to condemn her. Jesus meets the requirements of the law and simultaneously shows her grace.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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