Jesus called a small child over to him and put the child among them. Then he said, I assure you, unless you turn from your sins and become as little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Mat. 18:2-4
If a shepherd has one hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Wont he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? And if he finds it, he will surely rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didnt wander away! In the same way, it is not my heavenly Fathers will that even one of these little ones should perish. Mat. 18:12-14
If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that our God is a loving, caring and merciful God. He cares deeply about every person whom He has created and placed on this Earth. He cares so much that He himself came to us as one of us, lived among us, and finally paid the ultimate price for our sins himself. Jesus Christ was the most amazing person who has ever lived and walked on this planet because he really was who he claimed to be; the Son of the living God. And the lessons he taught were about the Kingdom of God and the very nature of God. He himself demonstrated Gods nature with everything he did, especially when he healed the sick, raised the dead, and forgave people of their sins. Especially when he forgave people.
In my life I have made many, many mistakes. Most of the time because of a particular addiction to alcohol. I can testify to the fact that the shepherd will always come and find the one sheep who is lost, because I have been that sheep many times in my life. And even though other sheep may not be alcoholic, they can often become lost in lifes other hazards, for there are many ways we can stray from our path and from the flock. It isnt difficult at all, and God knows this. Indeed, we are all like sheep and like little children compared to God, and like sheep or little children, we need to be constantly watched and tended to. And He does because He is the good shepherd and the very best Father. I know this as a fact in my own life.
Do you sometimes feel that the God of the Bible is some kind of tyrant; just waiting to condemn people to Hell so He can enjoy watching them burn for eternity? I used to feel that way, that God was out to get me. My life was so filled with problems (of my own making) that I felt God must hate me and was just waiting to get rid of me for good. I felt that my drinking and sexual attraction to young boys was certainly enough excuse for God to give up on me forever. Today I thank God that I was wrong. Not only did he never give up on me, He gave me the tools to be able to quit drinking and showed me how I can be a useful Christian in spite of my sexual attraction. My drinking and sinful living drove me to the kind of humility that a young child would have; and THAT is the kind of thing that God can use. Humility leads to child-like faith, and that is exactly what God needs us to have. Humility tells me that I am not perfect and never will be until I go to be with God. And just as alcohol gave this gift to me, other life circumstances can give it to you or anyone. We are his sheep and his little children, to be carefully watched over and cherished by Him forever.
Dear Father, I know I am not perfect. And quite often I have gone my own way, walking away from your flock like a simple-minded sheep. I know what I am a flawed human being but I also know that you see in me the greatness that you intend me to have. Please help me to never lose heart or to be discouraged by the misgivings of life, but to always trust in you as a young child trusts in his father. Because you ARE my Father and I praise your Holy name forever! Amen.