Memorise: 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?
Luke 15:4 KJV
Bible Reading: 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 neighbours, 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 KJV
One other major reason I am determined never to backslide is that I don’t want to cause God any heartache. In the Bible reading for today, the Lord asked if there was anyone who would not go after one lost sheep even if they still had a flock of ninety-nine in their care. If we review this scenario described by our Lord Jesus a little more closely, we would realise that a shepherd would only know that one of the sheep is missing in the evening because a flock of a hundred sheep and that of ninety-nine sheep would look like at a glance. The shepherd would only get to know of the missing sheep when he counts them at night, just before he rests for the day’s work. However, upon discovering that one sheep is missing, he would immediately resume work and begin to search for it. I don’t want to cause my Lord Jesus Christ any heartache; if anything at all, I want to bring Him joy.
The story in our tells us that, until He finds that missing sheep, the shepherd would not rest. Also, the fact that when He found the sheep, He came back rejoicing shows that when He was looking for that sheep, He was in sorrow. I don’t want my life to cause sorrow to the Almighty. I don’t know about you, but I, Adeboye, will only bring joy to the Lord and not sorrow.
The story is even deeper than that. Luke 15:7 tells us that there is rejoicing in heaven when one sinner repents. You see, there are two opposite sides in the spirit realm – Light and darkness. Each time somebody gets born again, there is sorrow in hell because the devil has lost somebody, so the devil pursues that fellow with the intention of bringing him back to his company. Each time a Christian backslides, there is rejoicing in the camp of the devil. Let me give you an illustration: If you used to be an unbeliever, constantly at the bar drinking with many friends, then got born again, your former drinking partners would begin to avoid you because your life would now become a challenge to them. Just seeing you alone would make them feel condemned. Can you then imagine what would happen If one day they suddenly saw you back at the bar? They would shout for joy and drink more than they normally do that day. Each time a Christian backslides, he or she would make the devil celebrate and bring displeasure to God. I pray you will never cause God any form of displeasure in Jesus’ name.
Reflections: In what ways have you been causing Jesus heartache? Repent today and commit to only bringing Him joy henceforth.
AUTHOR: PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE