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From the Pastor's Desk

"If a man has 100 sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won't he leave the 99 others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?" (Mt. 18:12 NLT). There can be verses we wrestle to understand. We would want Jesus to come after us. It sounds selfish, but do you ever wonder why He would leave the 99? They represent those who have been following Jesus faithfully year after year.

Notice, He does not leave them in danger. He positions them on the hills. From there, they can graze safely, and they can see when the Shepherd is coming back with the lost one. We have felt like God left us in the last year. Where was He in the middle of everything going on? He may have left us, but He needed to go after the lost, get their attention, and position the church to see Him coming again.

The number 100 represents the bride of Christ, and Jesus wants His bride complete. We should be bothered by the number 99. Something is missing. The harvest is ripe. It is easy for us to get anxious, trying to bring in the multitude in what feels more and more like the Last Days. Scripture is clear that we will reach them one at a time (Mt. 18:13-14).

The Shepherd rejoices when a lost one is found. Perhaps we are entering a season of rejoicing and revival, when we see prodigals come home. Perhaps for the 99 who have been faithful, a time of refreshing is coming. We can graze on the hilltops!

Pastors Mark and Jennifer

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