“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. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” - Matthew 18:12, 13, 14
The shepherd, when counting his sheep, discovers that one is missing and gone astray. His concern for that one sheep causes him to leave the 99 and go and search for the lost one. He cares little about the dangers he may incur in his search in a rugged mountainous region, as long as he can find that one lost sheep. When finding the sheep he returns with great joy.
Jesus describes his mission in this way, as a good shepherd who places importance upon one who has gone astray and is in danger of perishing. Those in the fold are safe but his concern for that one that is lost drives him to search until they are found. God is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.
How concerned am I today about those who are lost and outside of the safety of His fold? The importance of one soul can never be over estimated as we reach out to bring the lost into the kingdom of God.
Dear Lord Jesus shepherd of my soul You are forever seeking those who are lost and in danger of eternal damnation to bring them into the safety of the Church. Forgive me for my lack of concern for those who are lost. Help me to feel Your heart and fill me with Your compassion to seek those who are lost.