How Do You Think?

By: Woody Godbey

Matthew 18: 12-13 “How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go into the mountains, and seek that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoice more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.”

Shepherds from the Middle East continue to tend to their sheep the way their ancestors have done for thousands of years. A shepherd looks out for the well-being of his sheep. A shepherd leads his sheep to green pastures and takes them beside the still waters. But in spite of all his protection and care, the sheep have a distinguishing characteristic that really does resemble Christians. Sheep have this tendency to go astray.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone to his own way
— Isaiah 53:6

You would think that anyone under the care of the Good Shepherd would never go astray or need to be restored. If you know anything about sheep, you know that is not the case. Sheep are stupid. I’ve had the bad pleasure of watching over flocks of sheep when I was a youngster. Mr. Spradley had hundreds of those stupid critters and he would hire me to watch over his sheep while they grazed outside the fenced pasture. Those stupid sheep went on the rail road tracks, on the highway and everywhere they weren’t supposed to go. They would stress me out. But thank God, Mr. Spradley had a sheep dog who helped tremendously. Jesus said that people are just like sheep. For example, why do we go where we’re not supposed to or why do we run from God? Why do we ignore or disregard His plan for our life? Hey, lets just admit that we can be pretty stupid too. It’s amazing that we will break God's commandments and ignore His Word. Then when we begin to reap what we sow, we will actually get angry at God for a spiritual valley that we created ourselves.

I cannot count the number of times I have ignored God’s Word and plan for my life. Why? Stupid! The good news is that the Bible speaks of how God will restore us. Psalm 23:3 says "He restores my soul." I must ask the question, do you need restoration today? I may be talking to someone who has strayed into sin or gotten yourself into trouble. Maybe you have this image that God is going to hunt you down and punish you for what you have done. That is not how the Good Shepherd tends His sheep. When you stray, God loves you and misses you. Just as Jesus told the story of the shepherd who left the 99 sheep to go after that one stray sheep, God is seeking you out, wanting to put you back on your feet. God Bless!