“My Beloved Is Home!”


“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!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.” —Luke 15:4-7

One heart attack, two stents, and a three-day hospital stay later, I had the joy of putting the word out to family and friends: “My beloved is home!” Let me tell you, there was some kind of rejoicing going on in my little corner of the world that day! What could have been a totally different outcome brought my Ralph to full recovery and home again to me and to those who love him.

Similarly, today’s verse tells us there is great rejoicing in Heaven every time a sinner “comes home.” Every time a lost soul is found and rescued by Jesus Christ a grand celebration happens in Heaven! Jesus uses simple sheep and their faithful shepherds to beautifully illustrate this deep assurance.

I love sheep! Their sweet faces just do me in every time. I hear one little bleat, and my heart is a completely melted lump. Nothing comes close to the feel of a sheep’s warm, soft face pressed against the forehead. Sheep are an interesting lot though. Although they are so sweet and gentle, from all I’ve learned, they’re also pretty stupid—and very helpless. They cannot be left to their own devices for one minute.

Given the opportunity, they will eat poisonous plants, drink polluted water, or risk drowning by stubbornly traveling the same deep ruts, even when said ruts are flooded with heavy rains. Sheep can get hopelessly tangled in thorny thickets or run off a cliff before they can bleat to two. They easily fall down, trotters to the sky, until they die unless rescued. They sometimes drop dead of fright right where they stand. Sheep are notorious for wandering off and getting lost and can easily lead the herd astray. They desperately need a shepherd.

No wonder Jesus calls us sheep. We have the uncanny ability to get ourselves into all manner of trouble when left to our own devices. Just like sheep. And we desperately need a Shepherd.

Shepherds have a vested interest in each and every one of their sheep. They have been known to give their lives for their sheep if necessary. Many shepherds spend just about every waking and sleeping moment with them, continually calling and talking to the sheep to calm, reassure, and lead them. The shepherd is seldom out of view or out of earshot, and, if for some reason there’s a need to be, the other shepherds from accompanying flocks help to keep an eye on the ones remaining. Not one sheep is expendable. Each one is priceless to the shepherd and worth it all. When even one sheep is lost, its shepherd will move heaven and earth to find it. Doesn’t that sound an awful lot like our Wonderful Shepherd Savior Jesus?

There isn’t a thing a shepherd does for his sheep that Jesus our Chief Shepherd hasn’t already done for us—and much more. He did move Heaven and earth just to find us. He was not only willing to lay down His life for us—He did lay down His life for us.If you want to know more about sheep and shepherds and how they picture well our relationship with Jesus Christ, I highly recommend the books, A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23 and Lessons from a Sheepdog by Phillip Keller.

I love this quote from author and pastor Chad Bird about the goodness and mercy of God who pursues us like a shepherd after a lost sheep:

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.” The verb for “follow” is radaph. But the translation of this Hebrew verb as “follow” is far too weak and bloodless. Radaph means to chase after, to pursue. The goodness and mercy of God do not follow us like a good little puppy dog, trailing along behind us. Rather, they gallop after us like a celestial stallion. As in the famous poem by Francis Thompson, the Lord’s goodness and mercy chase us down labyrinthine paths like the Hound of Heaven. They stay hot on our heels. The divine love and grace of our shepherd radaph us all the way to heaven’s gate and into the arms of our waiting Father. We are pursued by mercy. We are chased by grace. We are not merely followed. —from DailyChristianQuote.com

Isn’t that beautiful? Now that’s a lost sheep found! And oh! The rejoicing.

The old hymn “A New Name Written Down in Glory” comes to my mind. Yet there’s one part that’s not quite accurate. Our names are not written down because we “got saved.” It is because our names are already written down that God chases us down, finds us, and rescues us for all eternity. Oh, how Our Shepherd loves His sheep! Oh, how sweet to be found.

Thank You, Father, for moving Heaven and earth to find me. Teach me to follow close behind You all the days of my life. Thank You for the assurance of the promise that I have the privilege of dwelling in Your Sheepfold forever. You are my Shepherd. I have no want—and I am found. All praise be to You. I love You, Lord!

There’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
And the white robed angels sing the story,
“A sinner has come home.”
For there’s a new name written down in glory,
And it’s mine, O yes, it’s mine!
With my sins forgiven I am bound for heaven,
Never more to roam.
—C. Austin Miles

Safe in His care,
Donna Perkins




Sweet Selah Ministries

To inspire a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth of God’s Word that stillness and knowing
Him matter most—and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer biblical resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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