"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
September 11, 2019
Suppose that there were parents who had two children; a boy and a girl. Let's say that the boy was the "good" child; always seeming to excel at whatever he tried. He was talented, out-going, had lots of friends, and made good decisions.
On the other hand, the girl seemingly was the "bad" child. She made poor grades, didn't choose her friends wisely, had the heart of a rebel, and seemed to mess up over and over again. Therefore, she felt that she could never measure up to her brother, so thought that she might as well give up and stop trying. She wasn't a truly bad person and didn't really want to disappoint her parents, but felt like her life was too hard.
Would good parents say, "Oh sweetheart, you are so right! Life is just too hard for you, and hasn't been fair. We love your brother the most and he's our favorite; but we love you, because after all, we're your parents and have to. Go ahead and do your best and we're sure that you will get by someway, somehow. If you are ever desperate, we'll be here for you. But until then, hope for the best and get by as well as you can. We will lower our expectations for you."
Absolutely not! They would never let her slide by through life, excusing her behavior as life just being too hard and she can't do any better. They love both children the same, will offer them the same opportunities, will discipline when necessary, and let their daughter know that they have higher expectations in her than she is showing; while encouraging their son to continue growing and learning and doing whatever he can to be his very best. They will encourage, teach, love, and do everything possible to help both children succeed and be the very best that they can be!
Yet many people think that God treats them as an unloving Father; expecting too much of them, seeing them as a failure, and not loving them as much as He does others. They excuse their behavior and only do enough to try and ease their conscious and keep themselves out of hell. Then they think that God should be okay with what little effort that they make.
Why would God expect less of us than an earthly father expects of his children? Yet we human beings often act like rebellious teenagers who think that we shouldn't have to try hard, should be allowed to slide through life, should be allowed to make our own decisions and do whatever we want and never question His authority; and often act as if we know better than Him and try to figure out everything on our own, only going to Him when we are desperate.
Proverbs 3:11-12 says, "My child, don't reject the Lord's discipline, and don't be upset when He corrects you. For the Lord corrects those He loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights."
Hebrews 12:1 exhorts us to throw off everything, every weight, that hinders us and slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up that we are easily entangled. We are told to run with endurance and perseverance the race that God has set before us.
Verses 2-5 continue, "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. Think of all the hostility He endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as His children? He said, 'My child, don't make light of the Lord's discipline, and don't give up when He corrects you. For the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes each one He accepts as His child.'"
God loves each of us so very, very much and wants us all to be our very best that we can be. We are His sons and daughters and He's not willing to allow us to slide through life, thinking that we are inferior or failures. He disciplines us because He loves us. Let's choose to have higher expectations for ourselves and honor our Father, by allowing Him to correct us when needed and keep us on the path that is straight and narrow; until we finally reach our Home, where we'll live with Him for all eternity!
If you try something and fail... What's the saying? "Give it up and try something else. Or better yet, never try anything again."? No. It's "Try; try again."
It doesn't have to be the same thing. I tried learning to play the piano. It wasn't easy, and I'm sure I could never make a career of it. But I'm glad I tried. And now, I'll move on to doing something else, like computer programming.
I don't know if I'll ever try another musical instrument. In fact, I really doubt I do. I can play an MP3 player, and that's enough for me for now.
But I do need to keep on trying new things from time to time. Maybe I'll find something new that I love, and can excel in. Maybe you can, too.
1 bag shredded lettuce
1 can Ranch-Style beans (drained and rinsed)
1 bunch (about 4) green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1- 8 ounce bottle Catalina Dressing
2-3 cups Fritos
1 cup shredded cheese
1 small can Mexican corn (drained) - optional
Combine all ingredients together, except for the Catalina Dressing and Fritos. Fold those last two ingredients in right before serving.
I would like to thank all of those who are on Facebook who have liked my new page "Praying For Ewe". The response so far has exceeded any expectations which I could have had; which honestly, I didn't have any idea what to expect, because I knew that God was in it, so had no idea what He could do with my willingness to set this page up and obey. If you've not yet "liked" my page, you are invited to do so.
You may not have expected to be where you are today, but remember:
God has a plan and a purpose for it all! - Christine Caine
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
We love you!
Loretta & Jon