"How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? "
(Matthew 18:12 KJV)
We have heard this parable many times, especially in sermons as Christians, but have you heard this version? When the one sheep (person) strayed away (from Our Awesome God), God knew he would stray so He decided to use this straying as a training ground on earth for His Christian shepherd. So our Christian shepherd starts out to find this straying person who has found some rocky ground (such as the local bar and the women found there) where he has sampled, "the good life." Our stray is now very sick from his "night on the town" and he listens with a queasy stomach and aching head as the Christian shepherd tells him what he needs to do to have Our Awesome God forgive him. He repents and returns to the fold (God) but we need to encourage him to stay in the fold. God is merciful and forgiving, so he is forgiven.
Our Awesome God has taught one person (the stray) that sinning reaps some sorrows and consequences while He has shown another (the shepherd) the wonders of helping someone to return to God. The rest of the sheep (Christians) have watched this happen while they pray. WOW, at least, two stronger Christians!
When the next person strays from Our Awesome God and His safety (the fold), they are ready to go together (the stray and the shepherd) as they walk into the lion's den (drugs) and circumvent Satan. This battle is harder to overcome so they lean heavily on Our Awesome God and His mercy again learning. God permits this battle to allow them experience in telling about Jesus Christ and give them a purpose in life and a way to strengthen their faith in God. They are also shown how degrading and addicting sin can make a person. When they bring their brother or sister back to God and His fold, they are "glowing" with contentment and love for God, whom they now serve.
The Christians or congregation see what has been done for them. Our Awesome God now has a possible hundred Christian people to tell others about Jesus Christ or help others who need to repent. This hypothetical example demonstrates how God uses life to train you for heaven and eternity! Are you in training or just watching?
Come join us as we work in Our Awesome God's vineyard, telling others about His story, Jesus Christ's Salvation, and our eternal home with Him, trying to help them to understand Our Creator better. Our church starts with small groups on Sunday at 9:30 AM and a Worship Service at 10:30 AM. On Sunday evening at 6:00 PM, a Bible Study meets along with a program for children called AWANA which goes until 7:30 PM (September through May). We have a Prayer Meeting that meets at 7:00 PM on Wednesday. Learn with us how to use and invest your time with wisdom for Our Awesome God
Flo & Bill