Luke 15:4:“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?”

Jesus told us a story about lost sheep. Here is His story:

A man owning a hundred sheep performed a head count and found that one of his sheep went missing. Looking everywhere, the shepherd went out of his way to trace its steps. After much effort he finally found it. Profoundly relieved he carried the sheep home on his shoulders. As he went, He shared with all of his friends and family what had just happened, and everybody was glad to hear the good news.

I have always wondered about the ninety nine sheep that were left behind in search for the one that got lost. Hypothetically speaking, what if the sheep owner later returns to the camp to find out that his other sheep took off in the meantime? With ninety nine sheep scattered all over the place the crisis would have gone from bad to worse – or maybe not? Jesus did not specify a number. Perhaps the story of one lost sheep in all reality is the story of one hundred lost sheep.

Case in point: We crossed a threshold when we left the Garden of Eden a long time ago; ever since, whether consciously or subconsciously, we have striven to find our way back to Paradise. Unfortunately, there is a million ways we can get lost on the way, and this is where Jesus comes in. He is mankind’s Shepherd. He is the good Shepherd actively helping the lost – although He has a hard time finding certain strays that have no idea they are lost.

Have you ever gone along for a ride and the driver of the car was overly confident? No asking for directions in the middle of a foggy night in a strange town … Still driving in circles hours later, we know this is due to a driver in denial.

Spiritually, we may just as well run in circles, and we will stay lost if we are too proud to ask for directions. From the good Shepherd’s point of view, there is little or nothing He can do for sheep in denial. On the other hand, everything changes as soon as we ask for His help; Jesus will personally come to our rescue. Wherever we are, He will pick us up and bring us home.

Note that Jesus carries His rescued sheep on His shoulders, close to His heart. Close to Jesus, we stop straying and start walking with a purpose – and we are headed towards a beautiful destination called Heaven.

Luke 19:10: “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Isaiah 55:6: “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near.”

Call on Him now means call on Him always.  There’s always now. Right now is now. And here’s another now. If we missed an opportunity to call on the Lord, here is another now. You can do it every moment of the day.

Seeking an audition with the Lord becomes a problem when audition isn’t granted. Prophet Isaiah seems to have experienced this issue because he writes (Isaiah 55:6):

“Seek the Lord while you can find him.”

In other words, time is precious, and if we waste opportunities to meet with the Lord, there might be a day when we look for Him and He’s unavailable. To me that is quite disconcerting.

On the other hand, we all know we are mortal.

As much as our days are numbered so are our opportunities to see God come through in our lives. Waiting until we are on our death bed to have a conversation with the Lord is definitely a gamble with high stakes. How do we know that we have that luxury to contemplate before taking our last breath? We don’t really – because we don’t know the exact circumstances of our death. I believe we are best advised to seize the moment and check in with the Lord right now.

And if not now, then how about right now?

“Oh God you are my God and I will ever praise you. I will seek you in the morning and I will learn to walk in your ways and step by step you’ll lead and I will follow you all of my days.” (Rich Mullins)

The Lord is near.