Why I cannot count the number of times I have ignored God’s Word

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.
— Matthew 18: 12-13

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 despite all his protection and care, the sheep have a distinguishing characteristic that really does resemble Christians.  Sheep have this tendency to go astray. Isaiah 53:6 says, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, everyone, to his own way.”

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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, let’s just admit that we can be 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 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!