Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lost worlds discovered

The news headlines today highlighted the excitement of scientists exploring Antarctica and Mars. A "lost world" of crabs, octopi, and starfish live near geothermal vents near the South Pole. There's not just one or two animals, either. There are "massive colonies" that have eluded discovery until now. Researchers are beside themselves with enthusiasm to know more.

Meanwhile, on Mars, Canadian and American technology is roaming the planet to analyze soil and make discoveries about our neighbor in the sky.

We're created to look for things, to examine and seek out the things God has hidden. With what enthusiasm humans build entire careers around theories and explorations. "It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter," says Proverbs 25:2

The cool thing is that God is searching for us as well. Jesus told the story of a sheep that was lost, and the shepherd who roamed the hills until he found it. If you're feeling lost today, listen for the Shepherd's voice. Just like the scientists who are overjoyed by their discoveries, all of heaven waits to cheer you on.

Jesus talked about his unending quest to find us, thousands of years after he lived and died. He said his heavenly Father had purposed that we would belong to his flock. Jesus told people of his day, “And I have other sheep who do not belong to this fold. I must lead these also, and they will hear my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd. This is the reason why the Father loves me—that I lay down my life, and I lay it down to take it up again! No one is taking it from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up again. This is an order that I have received from my Father.” John 10:16-18 Phillips

Like a flock that mills around the legs of its shepherd, going in and out to safe pasture, let's stay close to Jesus. Let's follow him, letting him choose provision for this day. He promised green pastures and still waters, that he would guard us from wolves and ravaging predators. I can find security in a leader like that!

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*“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one wanders away from the rest, won’t he leave the ninety-nine on the hill-side and set out to look for the one who has wandered away? Yes, and if he should chance to find it I assure you he is more delighted over that one than he is over the ninety-nine who never wandered away. You can understand then that it is never the will of your Father in Heaven that a single one of these little ones should be lost.” Matthew 18: 12-14 Phillips

*So Jesus spoke to them, using this parable: “Wouldn’t any man among you who owned a hundred sheep, and lost one of them, leave the ninety-nine to themselves in the open, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will put it on his shoulders with great joy, and as soon as he gets home, he will call his friends and neighbours together.

‘Come and celebrate with me,’ he will say, ‘for I have found that sheep of mine which was lost.’

I tell you that it is the same in Heaven—there is more joy over one sinner whose heart is changed than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need for repentance. Luke 15:3-7 Phillips

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