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Sundown Devotional: The Sheep on God's Shoulder

MsDora, former teacher and Christian counselor presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Sundown Devotional: The Sheep on God's Shoulder

Sundown Devotional: The Sheep on God's Shoulder

The Devotional

And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.
Luke 15:5 NLT

Many of us who attend church regularly never perceive ourselves as having strayed. We participate in every service; never do drugs or wild parties; never practice promiscuity; have no record of a drastic change from sinner to saint. Therefore, we credit ourselves with being forever Christians, but God sees beyond attendance and abstinence.

Nineteen year old Megan was one who strayed inside the church. She became obsessed with her good looks and slim figure. Eventually, her beauty became the sum total of her worth and she flaunted it―not exactly a reason for church discipline. She fell in love with Martin but could not give up the desire to be popular with everyone. He ended their relationship and Megan sunk from disappointment to despair to depression.

In her Christian counseling session, she confessed, "When I wrapped myself in my selfishness, I ignored the presence of God in my life, and was as lost as if I had turned my back on Him."

We stray whenever our focus on anything or anyone (including self) replaces our focus on God. Within the church, we still need the saving grace of Jesus Christ to rescue us from self-righteous attitudes, prejudices, and bad habits. There is no need for us to pretend that we're in the fold when we're lost. God searches for church members with the same urgency and passion as He searches for non-members.

What magnificent love! What rejoicing when we repent and the relationship is restored! We’re not just numbers in the flock. We’re the sheep He misses and searches for. We're the ones He lifts onto His shoulders and celebrates. May the image of our loving, lifting Fatherly Shepherd live in our minds. May it inspire our wholehearted devotion.

Prayer: Heavenly Shepherd, thank You for loving us even when we stray. Thanks for lifting us onto Your shoulder when we're tired, hurt or trampled upon; or when our vision is so blurred that we cannot see our way. Thanks for the peace and joy which come when our fellowship with You is restored, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Within the church,we still need the saving grace of Jesus  Christ to rescue us from self-righteous  attitudes and  bad habits.

Within the church,we still need the saving grace of Jesus Christ to rescue us from self-righteous attitudes and bad habits.

Quiz on the "The Lost Sheep"

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. The story of the lost sheep is found also in:
    • Matthew
    • Mark
    • John
  2. The next story Jesus tells in Luke 15 is the story of:
    • The lost coin
    • The lost boy
    • The lost talent
  3. This type of story is called a:
    • premonition
    • parable
    • prophecy
  4. "The Ninety and Nine" is a song about the lost sheep, written by
    • Elizabeth Browning
    • Elizabeth Clephane
    • Elizabeth Elliott
  5. The lost sheep represents:
    • church folk
    • unbelievers
    • both

Answer Key

  1. Matthew
  2. The lost coin
  3. parable
  4. Elizabeth Clephane
  5. both

Ten Restoration Quotes for Encouragement

  1. “The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.” ―Dan Allender
  2. “Jesus is God's way of refusing to give up his dream for the world.” ―Rob Bell
  3. God is great! In times of pain, He gives power. In times of sickness, He provides healing and after a loss, He is able to restore what was lost.” ―Gift Gugu Mona
  4. “When God restores you, you might not see all the changes at once. You'll begin to notice parts of you that were broken are no longer that way. Then one day, you realize you're an entirely different person than you used to be. That's grace.” ―Andrena Sawyer
  5. “I recovered from every shock of life's despair because God was merciful enough to restore me.” ―Lailah Gifty Akita
  6. “God is able to fix that which is broken so that what stands repaired is immeasurably greater than that which stood before it needed repair. Therefore, the most staggering brokenness conceivable is in reality the greatest opportunity imaginable.” ―Craig D. Lounsbrough
  7. “There is no greater gift than realizing the constant presence of the Divine and His Absolute Power to create and restore all things.” ―Marta Mrotek
  8. "Forgiveness is one of the most certain paths to restoration, and it is also one of the most difficult. . . In forgiving others, I free myself towards belonging and wholeness, be it with the person I am forgiving, or with myself.” ―Sharon Weil
  9. But don't ever forget: adultery is also biblical grounds for forgiveness, healing, and restoration.” ―Craig Groeschel
  10. “Restoration and hope are available each time you return to God.” ―Jim George
“Restoration and hope are available each time you return to God.” ―Jim George

“Restoration and hope are available each time you return to God.” ―Jim George

  • Sundown Devotional: Five Christmas Surprises
    In the genealogy of Jesus, five women are listed, suggesting their significance in a system which considered them insignificant; four of them add serious disgrace to the theme of God’s marvelous grace. One's different.
  • Sundown Devotional: Looking Back and Counting Blessings
    Blessings which passed by us unnoticed will increase our appreciation for God’s goodness, when we recognize them in retrospect. Let us look back and count them and realize what a blessed year we had.
  • Sundown Devotional: Light for Life's Journey
    God’s instructions are not just for our heads to increase our knowledge, to boost our posture of enlightenment, to give us more theories to discuss. God’s light is a practical guide for our walk.

© 2012 Dora Weithers

Comments

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 27, 2020:

Demas, thanks for stopping by. Your comment is encouraging.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on April 26, 2020:

Good to read from your wisdom, Sundays and every day. Thanks.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 26, 2020:

Olga, Congratulations! Sometimes, believers stray even while in perfect church attendance. Good to know that God seeks for us in and outside the church.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 26, 2020:

True, Mavis. We should never feel afraid or helpless if we remember how much God cares for us.

Olga Richards on April 25, 2020:

Thanks Dora. Thanks for sending me back to my Bible and hymnal. I did the quiz about four at five times before scoring 100 percent. I thought of the parable as referring to believers. Thank God for caring for us all.

Mavis on April 25, 2020:

Its great comfort to know that God cares for everyone of his sheep and he knows us by name

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on September 10, 2018:

Anthony, thanks for your contribution. "When the attitude is right, God will do the leading." I totally agree with that.

Anthony Georgio on September 08, 2018:

Sometimes people within churches and congregations can be the very cause of individuals becoming a lost sheep. The only person who truly understands themselves is the person themself, and for that reason a person can become a lost sheep "Both" within the congregation, and outside of it.

I would say under them circumstances, a person needs to truly find themselves first, either within, or outside of the congregation depending on how much of a "stumbling block" the people within the church are to you at "that point in time" nobody is a master over another persons faith.

God really don't care to much about church attendances by going through the motions, he's only interested in whats going on inside you. When the attitude is right, God will do the leading.

( Romans 14:4 ) "Who are you to judge someone else's servant ? To his own master he stands or falls" If God is able to make a person stand, he will stand, but it all starts with the death of Jesus verse 9.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 18, 2014:

Jerry, I understand. Please be careful, especially on the road.

Jerry W Hulse from Kingsport, Tennessee on May 18, 2014:

voted up, very well written wish I had time to comment but I don't right now.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 18, 2014:

Nell, what a Good Shepherd to care when we stray. Thanks for your input.

Nell Rose from England on May 18, 2014:

Beautiful words and meaning MsDora, and yes sometimes we can forget what we should be really thinking and believing in, its good to find the right path again, nell

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 18, 2014:

Demas, thank you for your input. Glad you were encouraged; in turn you encourage me.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 18, 2014:

Like UABI. My Sunday morning read this Sunday, and I have been well fed spiritually. Great imagery just as was intended in the lesson of the lost sheep, and so wise that you include those who are lost within the churched. May we all give God the joy of loving us at our best.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on May 18, 2014:

Thank you, lcbebefield, for reading and commenting. A blessed day and week to you, too.

lcbenefield on May 18, 2014:

Beautiful, encouraging words this morning. Thanks for leading me in worship. Have a beautiful day in Jesus.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 24, 2012:

Thanks, for your comment, glmclendon. We're truly blessed.

Cathleena, you touched the good part. Despite the fact that it is our fault, He loved us enough to come rescue us. Happy that you experienced it.!

Cathleena Beams from Tennessee on June 22, 2012:

How wonderful it is to be His sheep and so well loved that He does come after us when we need to be rescued because we have strayed unwisely away. I can also identify with how happy the lamb is to see Him when He arrives just at the right moment.

glmclendon on June 21, 2012:

MsDora, good writing. Many of us have been lost sheep and know how blessed we are , because we have been found.

Stay Well

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 20, 2012:

Thanks for your comment, skye2day. I share your joy that He came after me, too.

skye2day from Rocky Mountains on June 20, 2012:

ms dora Thank you for sharing the Love of Jesus Christ, amen. I thank the Lord it is not by works or by church attendance that we are saved or loved. Your hub is a reminder as well for the body of Christ to go after the lost sheep when one should stray.!!!!! In His glorious name.

I am so grateful the Lord came after this sheep, me. God Bless your works sister. Beautiful Keep going. U will Phil 4:13

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 19, 2012:

Thanks beverlyfaye. "The one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders. Comfort and compassion at best!

beverlyfaye on June 19, 2012:

I love the message of a Shepherd who lifts us gently and lets us rest on His shoulders. Also reminds me of Dueteronomy 33:12.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 19, 2012:

Thanks, Bob. We can never exhaust the supply of God's love. I appreciate your input.

BobMonger from Carlin, Nevada USA on June 19, 2012:

You've hit the nail on the head. God does so love us even when we forget who He is or where we are. It's a good thing, too! We all have a tendency to wander off the path from time to time, but He is an all merciful God and brings us back safe if we believe. Great hub!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 18, 2012:

It is indeed beautiful that God loves us enough to carry us on His shoulder even when our wounds are caused by our own straying.

Lori Colbo from United States on June 18, 2012:

What a beautiful message.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 18, 2012:

Dave, what matters is how God sees you. The rest of the family would do well to follow you, following Him. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Dave Mathews from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA on June 18, 2012:

MsDora: I have always been the one in my family seen as the "lost sheep", the "black sheep" because I love God and choose to follow Jesus.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on June 18, 2012:

Happy for you, unknown spy. What an awesome God! So glad you responded positively. Thanks for sharing.

Samanthajae, you got the message and you worded it beautifully. Thanks for your input.

Thanks, Deep. I love parables too. I think that metaphors on a whole are among the best teaching tools.

Agni Bose from India on June 18, 2012:

Parables always help bring out the best in us. Beautifully written.

samanthajae on June 18, 2012:

Hi MsDora, your hub is such a timely reminder to focus on the true condition of our hearts instead of mere outward appearances. It was a thought-provoking and soul-searching read. Thank you.

Life Under Construction from Neverland on June 18, 2012:

Amen. I love your hub Ms Dora. I used to be one but then God look for me into the wilderness.. I came back..

Voted uP

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