MAY 24 - Proverbs 24 and Luke 15:3-7

MAY 24 - PROVERBS 24:11-12 and LUKE 15:3-7
By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

"Rescue those who are being taken to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter. If you say, 'Behold, we did not know this,' does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?"
Proverbs 24:11-12
and
The Lost Sheep
"And He spake this parable unto them, saying, 
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? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. 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."
Luke 15:3-7
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Illustration with 24 - With the #2, I create a simple shepherd's crook (shepherd symbol) and the #4 is perfect for a little "lean-to shed" with a sheep hunkered down beneath it. This illustration serves to remind us of the responsibility we are given in seeking after those who have gone astray or wandered from the fold. We are to be the gracious hands and feet of Christ in securing the lost gently back into the fold.
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How quickly the "found" souls forget about the "fallen away" souls ... and how serious ought we to be in our sensitivity to those who have wandered or been led astray from the fold.
How tender ought to be our consideration of the "one" who is straggling behind, struggling to get their feet beneath them, and simply starving for want of safe and secure pasture.
Rescue those who are being taken to death.
Hmmm ...
A powerful and challenging line.
The term redemption means the act of saving, delivering, rescuing from death; it signifies the reclaiming of life.
The Proverb also asserts an extraordinay and weighty caution on those who "look the other way" or remove themselves of the sacred responsibility of returning the wounded back into the fold.
Christ will never leave or forsake His own ... 
And we are not to do that either.
 So bent is He on fulfilling His role of redemptive care to the lost, wounded, and wandering, that He will leave the ninety-nine in pursuit of the "one."
And when He finds that "one,"
He will administer a love, compassion, and grace that displays itself openly and lavishly for all the sheep in the fold to see ... with the expectation that rejoicing of "all" is to be the response within the fold.
To refuse and forsake the wounded and lost, my friend, is to refuse and forsake redemption.
Don't do it!
Might look messy,
Might look inconvenient,
Might look time consuming,
Might want to look the other way ...
Don't.
You just might miss the blessing;
You just might miss an experience with God.
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With outstretched arms and intentional feet, we make our move toward the wounded, Lord. Lead us to the "one" who requires redemptive care;
Lead us to the "one" who's wandered away or strayed from the fold. 
Let us openly identify with the "one" in a manner that exemplifies Your identification with "us" in our most wounded and sinful state.
Let every comfort and compassion be extended on the "one" 
... and let rejoicing be the theme within the fold.
To our Christ of compassion be all praise;
Lead us as we look to You today.
Amen.
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THREE SUGGESTIONS:
1) Apply more than your tongue and a prayer to the wounded ... do something practical and constructive in identifying with them right now.
2) Do not allow the "older brother" syndrome to dictate your activity to the lost and wounded. Make it your goal to be the "first" individual to offer an open show of redemption.
3) Celebrate and rejoice with an individual who has returned to the fold ... and be extravagant in your display of love for them.
Mmmm ...
Simply beautiful.