THE SHEPHERD SEEKING HIS SHEEP

Intro: The Bible uses the term "sheep" dozens of times to describe God's people. The 23rd Psalm, Isa, is one of the most notable passages that comes to mind. 53:6 and 1 John We are referred to as sheep in the Bible for a number of good reasons, one of which is due to the characteristics of sheep. Sheep have three disadvantages by nature.
1. To put it another way, sheep are not the smartest animals on the planet. As a consequence of this, they are constantly in terrible situations. The same applies to people! Jer, those who are separated from the Lord lead lives that are frequently just plain stupid. 5:4! Unfortunately, the majority of the Lord's sheep have a distinct lack of comprehension even after salvation. 2. Sheep have no sense of direction. If a sheep wanders away from the rest of the herd, it will find it difficult, if not impossible, to return. They don't know where to go. The same is true for those who are not in the Lord; their lives simply lack a sense of spiritual direction. They are unable to reach the Lord on their own. 3. Sheep lack defense; bears and lions both have teeth and claws. Even the birds of the air have some kind of defense mechanism—snakes have fangs. Unlike sheep, however. They are completely without any means of avoiding danger. They have no recourse if they are attacked! Again, everyone is the same. There is no way for anyone to defend themselves from the evil one's attacks. We require another person to safeguard us. Sheep, by their very nature, require a shepherd, and I suppose this is another reason why God's people are depicted as sheep. Because the shepherd possesses numerous characteristics indicative of the Lord Jesus Christ. As a result, it becomes abundantly clear that this analogy of the shepherd and his flock is an appropriate one for describing the relationship that the Lord has with His people. We are shown a shepherd who has lost a sheep in this passage. He does everything in his power to locate it, and when he does, he brings it home to celebrate having located the missing sheep. The Lord Jesus is beautifully and clearly depicted in these verses. As we discuss the concept of The Shepherd Seeking His Sheep together, I would like us to see this picture. I. THE SHEPHERD'S SORROW A. A Personal Possession: The shepherd was the owner of this sheep; he had paid a hefty price to acquire it, and he was not going to sit by and watch as it was stolen. Ill. Calvary - 1 Cor. The price that Jesus paid for the sheep 6:19-20) B. A Prized Possession This sheep was unique to the shepherd, even though it was just another ordinary sheep. It was a prized possession for him. Ill. The Lord considers each one unique! He gave his life for the person! He died for you. Jesus would still have gone to Calvary just for you if you had been the only one to respond in faith!!) C. A Priceless Asset This shepherd did not differentiate between big and small sheep. He valued each and every sheep he owned highly. The Lord is the same way. He cares equally for each of His sheep. In His eyes, each one is priceless. We can never even begin to comprehend the significance of the human soul. Because the Lord values us so highly, He willingly gave up His son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross. He considers us to be valuable. I. The Shepherd's Anguish, Part II THE SHEPHERD'S SEARCH A. His motivation is love for rescue rather than rage for punishment. The shepherd does not pursue the sheep in an effort to retaliate against it for wandering off. His goal is to locate the sheep and bring it back into the fold. The Lord is the same way. He does not pursue the lost in order to exact punishment for their transgressions. In order to demonstrate His love for them and bring them back into a right relationship with the Lord, He pursues them. He doesn't want to punish them; rather, he wants to save them from it. B. His Approach No. 1 He Starts the Search: The sheep has no power to return to the flock or the shepherd. The sheep would perish in the wilderness if the shepherd waited for its own return. The shepherd pursues the sheep rather than waiting. The procedure is initiated by him. Ill. The same holds true for salvation! The lost are not the first to approach God. Eph. says they can't because they're dead. 2:1. John 6:44 says that the sinner is first approached by the Good Shepherd. In point of fact, the Lord must first approach a person before they can be saved. He always seeks us out, not the other way around!) Ill. He finds us rather than us.) 2. He Intensively Searches - The shepherd intensifies his search in this verse until he locates the sheep. He doesn't give up after a few minutes or hours of searching; rather, he continues working until the sheep is located. The Lord is the same way. Regarding the lost sheep, H never gives up. In the hope that they will come to Him before it is too late, he keeps calling, knocking, and waiting. Ill. The fact that the Lord did not give up on me is something I am thankful for! I should not be surprised because, after all, that is His business (Luke 19:10). I. The Shepherd's Sorrow II. I. The Shepherd's Sorrow II. I. The Shepherd's Sorrow II. The Third Shepherd's Search THE SHEPHERD'S SUCCESS A. He Finds the Sheep He locates the sheep. Ill God already knows the location of every stray sheep. He doesn't have to look for you because He already knows where you are! B. He Holds the Sheep In need, the shepherd reaches out to the sheep. He doesn't walk away from it and let it linger in its perilous location. The lost sheep are comforted and given hope when he tenderly touches it. Ill. When the Lord finds a lost sheep, He also touches it. He shows us that there is hope and that there is a loving God in heaven by getting right into the midst of the mess we are in. Thank God that when He comes alongside us, He does not condemn us. I am thankful that He comes to us in grace and mercy and gives everyone who believes in the shed blood of Christ hope, forgiveness, and a new beginning. C. He Lifts the Sheep: This shepherd does not simply touch the sheep. He lifts the sheep from its location after reaching down. He moves it away from where it could be dangerous. Ill. The Good Shepherd does the same thing for people who wander the sinful hills. When they respond to His touch, He frees them from their sin and rescues them from the danger they were in. He comes alongside them. We are saved from all danger when Jesus enters a person's heart and life, Rom. 5:9.) D. He Lugs the Sheep Home: According to the Bible, this shepherd carries the sheep home on his shoulders. I can picture him holding both the front and back feet in one hand. The shepherd can keep the sheep safe by wrapping it around his neck this way. The shepherd takes the sheep home, according to the Bible. It is important to note that the shepherd directs the sheep there instead of requiring it to do so on its own. Ill. This depicts how we will be saved. When Jesus reaches us in our sins and finds us there, He secures us in Himself and takes us home (Col. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:5; John 10:28. We won't be able to get to Heaven on our own, but if we do, we will do so only through Jesus! Ill. The Gospel is not like riding a bicycle!) I. The Shepherd's Anguish, Part II The Third Shepherd's Search The Shepherd's Fourth Success THE SHEPHERD'S SUCCESS A. There Is Joy - When the shepherd gets back to his house, he gathers the neighbors together, and everyone is happy that the shepherd has brought his sheep back into the fold. Again, this is an illustration of what occurs when a lost sheep joins the Lord's flock. In this chapter's verse 10, there is joy in the presence of the angels. It would appear that when a lost sheep is found, God the Father gets excited. Rejoicing ought to be celebrated on earth as well as in Heaven. The redemption of souls is the only thing worth celebrating, according to Luke 10:20.) B. The Sheep has been saved from the following: 1. Disuse: The shepherd had no use for it as long as it was lost. Ill. The Lord can't use a life that wanders. He asks for sacred vessels.) 2. Danger: This sheep would have remained in grave danger if the shepherd hadn't intervened. It would never have been able to save itself or defend itself. Ill. Men are in serious danger as long as they are not with the Lord Jesus Christ. They are facing hell and the end of the world, and they urgently require their deliverance. Sin was paid for only by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.) 3. Death: The sheep would have certainly perished in the wilderness if the shepherd hadn't come looking for it. However, the shepherd came looking to rescue a lost sheep, and it now lives. Ill. According to the Bible, "death is the price of sin." Rom. 6:23. The lost sinner has no hope and will end up in Hell if they do not receive help from the Good Shepherd. We must have a firm grasp on the fact that the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only means by which all men can be saved. No matter how well-intentioned, any other religion, method, or system of belief will fail. Acts 4:12 says that only Jesus can save a human soul; John 14:6; Acts 16:31; John 3:16.) Conc: Where are you this evening? Are you saved and secure in the Lord Jesus and part of the fold? Or, on your own, are you stumbling aimlessly through the wilderness of sin, at risk of eternal damnation and death? Where are you now? I would like to extend an invitation to you to come to Jesus tonight if you have never put your faith in Him as your Savior. After all, He is looking for you, and if you just ask, He will save you. It is so easy to be saved. Because you refused to invite Jesus into your heart and life, you should not allow the devil or a particular religion to send you to Hell. The time to seek the Lord is now if you require Him. Will you carry out your responsibilities tonight?

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