Every lamb in the flock matters to a compassionate shepherd. One evening in 1861, the famous Italian general Giuseppe Garibaldi and his men came across a poor, Sardinian shepherd in great distress. Somehow one of the shepherd’s sheep had been lost in the mountainous area. Garibaldi promised the distressed shepherd his lost lamb would be found, and he and his troops immediately combed the area in search of the creature.
The lost lamb could not be found. One by one, Garibaldi’s troops returned empty-handed. They ultimately abandoned their search and retired for the night.
In the morning, Garibaldi’s attendant found the general sleeping much later than usual. Surprised, the attendant awoke him. The general rubbed his eyes and brought out from his blanket the little lamb lost by the shepherd. Then he explained what had happened. Long after his soldiers had gone to bed, he had continued searching until the lost lamb had been recovered. His compassionate heart would not allow him to stop the search or go to sleep. The attendant spread the good news and carried the lamb back to the shepherd.
Giuseppe Garibaldi’s search-and-rescue mission parallels the passionate pursuit of God for lost sinners. God daily woos them with acts of love and mercy. He delivers them when they are in distress. He answers their prayers. He provides for their needs. He spares them from catastrophe. He desires to win them at any cost.
And what about you, Christian? Are you content to sleep peacefully while millions are perishing to a Christless eternity? Have you so quickly forgotten how passionately God pursued you so that you are now part of His fold? Seek out the lost in an effort to win them to Christ. They are not difficult to find. You will find them at the supermarket, the bank, the fitness club, your workplace, and in your neighborhood. Stop at nothing to bring them into the fold.
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Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.