February 2, 2023

Bob Maas
"And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.'"
Luke 15:5-6

In the teachings of Jesus Christ, there are two animals that He uses to contrast people of all different backgrounds. Those who are ruled by the Kingdom of Darkness are referred to as goats, and the people in His Kingdom are identified with sheep. He refers to Himself on numerous occasions as a shepherd and is identified as the Good Shepherd in John 10, and in Hebrews 13, Jesus is called the great Shepherd.

When God sent His Son into the world, He did not come to condemn it. He came to save it, and at the cross He paid the price for redemption. His death was the only event that has ever happened in the history of the world that can enable God to offer forgiveness to everyone. However, God requires that we do two things in order for that forgiveness to be effective in our lives. First, we have to believe that Jesus Christ died for us individually. Second, He requires that we forgive everyone just as He has. Failure to do that means that we retain baggage that will weigh us down and keep us from experiencing the abundant life that He freely offers.