The Ninety-Nine

“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. 12″What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13″If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.… (Matthew 18:11-13)

This passage of scripture has been a reoccurring theme in my life recently so I wanted to share it with you all. I love the illustration that Jesus gives here in the “parable of the lost sheep.” The life of that one sheep is worth leaving the other ninety-nine. That sheep is only 1% of the entire flock, but Jesus wants us to know that it’s life is worth leaving the other 99% of the flock.

This is such a sweet reminder of what ministry is all about. SO many times I get caught up with the numbers, the time I’m spending doing things, and the other statistics of what I’m doing that I forget what this is all about. If it takes talking to hundreds of people to develop a support team to allow me to be in full-time ministry, when the reality is only a small portion will join, it is worth it. If it takes handing out thousands of water bottles to bring in ONE student that needs to hear the gospel, it is worth it. If it takes thousands of snow-cones to make ONE person feel unconditional love, it is worth it. If it takes serving 20 hours in a single day for ONE girl to know that she has a heavenly father that loves her, it is worth it. If it takes a game of volleyball or ultimate frisbee for ONE guy to know good community and friends, it is worth it. If it takes, hundreds of posters and advertisements for our campus to know that God is real and wants a relationship with them, IT IS SO WORTH IT.

Support raising is not easy, but knowing that my efforts could end up effecting someone else’s life makes it worth it. Whether that is seen during the process of it all or when I finally return to full-time ministry, it is worth the time and effort that support raising takes.

The time and effort it takes to save the ONE lost lamb is worth leaving the other ninety-nine. The joy of knowing the lamb is safe and loved is worth the risk of it all. Christ died for us. He died knowing not everyone in the world would be saved. He made that sacrifice knowing it was worth it for those few who did accept salvation.

Christ loves us so much that he made the ultimate sacrifice. He chose to leave the ninety-nine to save us, the lost lamb. What a beautiful picture of unconditional love.

If you take away anything from my rambling, take away this: You are so loved.

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