One Sheep Program

The Parable of the Lost Sheep is a wonderful story told by Jesus to illustrate the love and compassion that God has for every single person. There is not one person to be left out. The story is found in Matthew 18:10-14. The lost sheep represents the man who had been gone from God for a long time. No one knew where he was and they were afraid he would never return to them. The Shepherd in the story is God. The Shepherd knew that these lost sheep needed to be found before he became stray from the flock forever.

 

The Shepherd in the story was not concerned about the quality of each sheep. He only cares about them being found and he does not first look to see or ask around if they were worthy of the rest of the flock. He knows that they are. Finding them and bringing them back is the first step. Showing them how not to be lost is second.

 

Lady and Lion Ministry has often left the flock of society to go after the one lost sheep. Deliverance and redemption is important, so we first seek out those who others may have given up hope for, or to be believed by people, that they deserve to be and stay lost forever. Sadly we live in a society where we have "levels" of forgiveness and redemption. In God's Kingdom there are no levels, just forgiveness for all.

 

It states in God's word: Matthew 6:14-15

" For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

 

The parable is found in Gospels of Matthew and Luke, and is in response to Jesus being criticized and attacked by the religious leaders for "eating with sinners". The Pharisees, who were the religious leaders of that day, were filled with wrong motives and prejudice towards anyone they were displeased with, or that they felt were beneath them. They were shocked that Jesus would associate with these types of people. Jesus stops the crowd and begins to tell a story of how a shepherd left his flock of 99 sheep to go find one lost sheep.

 

This parable displays the loving meaning of God seeking out the lost sinner and rejoicing when they are found. God cares about all of us equally and sees us not as our sins, and will stop at nothing to find us and care for us. We serve a Good Shepherd Whose heart is for us to be found, rescued, and restored. The parable of the lost sheep is meant to teach us how we should care for others regardless of how they look or act or what "level" of sin we think others want to judge them by. We have been called to love and care for the lost! God does not discriminate on who may be saved. He offers forgiveness for everyone, everywhere! That includes even the people we may be afraid of or ones that have committed the most heinous acts towards others. 

 

What happens, when we live by our flesh, is that society lessens itself to being under God due to these choices. When we judge how forgiveness should be granted then we become our own god, our own idol. The world has become a land of little "gods" and a bazillion idols. So many of the idols, many follow or live by or use as distractions from truth, are creating sinners in every relatable and also unthinkable ways and convincing people that it is acceptable to be your own god. We are beginning to see a generation believing that this way of life is good. Thankfully there is only one true God and in Him and through Him is what matters.

 

The final word on forgiveness comes from Jesus Himself. I know how hard it is to forgive and  to get over the hurt, but the Bible says that you must forgive. It is not easy, but God will give you strength if you ask Him in prayer. Forgiveness is not a feeling, it is an act. One of love and courage and if we want forgiveness then we can never hold it back from another. It does not mean you condone it or like the sin or the person, it is an act of love that we must come to in order to be in Christ entirely. Stay of hope. God promises to create beauty from the ashes. He says we can find good in times of evil, loss, sorrow, hurt and desperation. He doesn't allow us to remain there. He promises to take our hurts and pains and create positive purpose.

 

Isaiah 61:3 "To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”


 

So no matter who has become lost and in any way, we choose to follow Jesus and find, rescue and restore. We know that it is a priority for Jesus.  As John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. That means everyone has the opportunity to surrender their life to Jesus and because our society looks down upon the "least of these", we make an extra effort through our ministry to reach them.

Matthew 25:40-45

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me."

In our experience, not everyone makes that choice and some we seek to rescue will refuse it. Some however, repent and accept Jesus. Some work to seek forgiveness from those they have hurt. Some have a fresh start and go on to live normal lives that are positive and life giving. Some have even given back to their communities through services, inspiring others to not follow the path they had chosen, and some even began their own ministries. The ones who accept grace and forgiveness through Jesus share their testimony and the good news about Him.

The ones that continue to wander away from the flock are reminded through us, through prayer and outreach that God is showing up for them, He is their Good Shepherd and is keeping watch for them and waiting.

The One Sheep  Program is confidential and on an referral basis. If you have someone you know who is lost and would like us to contact please contact us via email, with detailed info and consideration.