Sundown Devotional: The Sheep on God's Shoulder
Sundown Devotional brings friends together as the sun sets on the workweek. Away from the hustle and bustle in the streets, we relax, reminisce, reflect and share inspiration from our peaceful meditation on a short Scripture passage. In this session, we focus on restoration. Christian or not, we will all be encouraged. Welcome!
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.
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Ten Restoration Quotes for Encouragement
- “The work of restoration cannot begin until a problem is fully faced.” ―Dan Allender
- “Jesus is God's way of refusing to give up his dream for the world.” ―Rob Bell
- “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
- “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
- “I recovered from every shock of life's despair because God was merciful enough to restore me.” ―Lailah Gifty Akita
- “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
- “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
- "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
- “But don't ever forget: adultery is also biblical grounds for forgiveness, healing, and restoration.” ―Craig Groeschel
- “Restoration and hope are available each time you return to God.” ―Jim George
- 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