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01 The Lost Sheep

David Wright

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David Wright

Lead/Senior Pastor, Hendersonville SDA Church

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  • September 20, 2020
    8:00 AM

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I'm starting a new mini series here this series we're going to be doing just 3 parts into last last seep the last corn and the Last Son and we're going to take on all 3 of those today we're just going to deal with the 1st one but in this 1st one every time I think of La sheep I think of this little children's book that we have some very good Australian friends and they gave us this Australian book and so that means when you read an Australian book from Australian friends how do you have to read it in Australia and I'm glad you think the same way so this one is Cecil the last seat and children I know you already had one story but you're going to get another one today you're ready alright let's see if I can find my accent if I lose it just pretend I haven't that's the 1st page I guess it is Cecil the lost sheep what sort of animals does this man add rabbit noise he doesn't have rabbits giraffes No he doesn't have to rats or they don't get any mention in this story but she yes he has sheep. $100.00 sheep including Cecil one day Cecil was daydreaming boring boring boring all I do is hang around with sheep eat grass wander down to the river for a bit of a drink and eat more breath maybe I could run away and get a bike or join a band see who looked right Cecil look left he jumped over his rock and he hid from behind the rock he snuck behind the tree and from behind the tree he ran over the hills and to the mountains yes. It was all capitals I have to read it that way. He reached the mountains and discovered they were hard and steep Cecil was not deterred he began climbing higher and higher and it got steeper and steeper and steeper he climb and climb until he couldn't climb up and he couldn't climb down Cecil was stuck Crikey night he said on the edge of the ledge and started thinking I could shout for help but what would happen if the ship would find me he might whack me with a big stick crack then grab me by the leg and drag my own bump bump bump in time in a tree without me dinner back on the ship it was carrying the sheep one Terri to Kevin Brown for Lucy dear 96 Meredith 97 the other Mary is not a non Amir. Seizo Cecil was missing. The ship and ran to the rock and found Prince leaving behind the tree he ran behind the tree and found hoof prints leading over the hills to the mountains yes. The Capitals again the mountains were hard and steep the ship had climbed higher and higher and it got steeper and steeper and when he thought he couldn't climb any further he wasn't sure if he could climb back down he heard a noise. That's how the sound Australian. Cecil was saying. What of the ship he cracked Cecil with his stick crack. The grand season by the like and dragging down the mountain bump bump bump. He was so glad that he found his lost sheep that he put Cecil only shoulders and carried him on when they got to the shepherd toy Caesar the tree without any didn't know. Instead he threw a huge party and everyone stayed away past their bed time cease all the lost sheep had been. I found. We like that little story. And the pictures are pretty pretty fun to go along with it but really gets the main gist of the story quite quite well and as we think about this story and sheep and shepherds I can't help but think in John 10 verse 11 where Jesus says I am what kind of shepherd the Good Shepherd. Which tells me there must be some bad shepherds that do whack with the stick and drag them home and all these things but he says I am the Good Shepherd says the good shepherd gives his life for his sheep and if you read the rest of that it talks about the Good Shepherd versus the higher line means somebody who really doesn't care about the sheep they're just one in some pay in their pocket but when something big comes along in the verse talks about a wall that comes along the hireling flees But the good shepherd will not flee What does the Good Shepherd do he protects and guards the heard from the wolf I think of some 23 verse 2 I guess it begins in verse one the Lord is my shepherd I'm in want of nothing why because he makes me lie down in green pastures He leads me beside still waters he restores my soul he leads me in pass of righteous mists That's the good shepherd providing and taking care of all the needs maybe you remember some of these pictures as well we read these to our kids and I remember as a kid this picture in particular there was one thing I was always looking for can you find it on this page. Here's the good Shepherd's damming up this fast flowing creek to make it nice and slow and here's the sheep off to the side they're all behaving themselves and together but there's one sheep that is starting to stray can you find it I'm so disappointed yes you see it is right up here there it goes what's happening now. Is he being distracted is he trying to be obstinate does he just want to get away what's going. To shape. Come. And all of that to set up the idea of a good shepherd in this story that goes by awfully fast and just a few verses I think is just 7 verses I know it's part of 3 different parables but we're going to break them down in pieces because I know you like lunch so do I We're going to pick up this story of the parable of the lost sheep that Jesus told is a Luke Tapper 15 and we're beginning in verse one and it says that all the tax collectors who are the tax collectors these are the traders of the Jews right they decided to play for the other team if you will and collect taxes for the Romans the hated Romans Yeah we don't like tax collectors at all they have a special place a special category for us so that all the tax collectors and sinners who are the sinners Well you know the type those people Suffice to say we're all sinners but in the context of this story no no no those were the tax collectors and sinners they're also a subcategory a subset of society and we don't like to associate with them how come well they do things we don't approve of. They inhale things they shouldn't inhale they eat things they shouldn't eat they go places they good shouldn't go and they spend time at people's houses over night they shouldn't know these are sinners will be very careful. Not to associate with that kind and sources and all the tax collectors all the sinners drew nearer to Him And Jesus to hear him isn't that interesting we'll come back to that and the fair season scribes complain saying this man receives sinners and eats with them and so it's in that context that he speaks the parable. And so here you have church leadership that is in the sense that Jesus is hanging out with the wrong crowd tax collectors and sinners of all things I mean this is bad press especially for the one who thinks and is claiming to be the Messiah. You got to be kidding me. Now some like to paint the picture that of Jesus is there with them and he's eating with them then he must be smoking joints with them and drinking alcohol with them no not at all Jesus was not participate in their lifestyle but rather he was compassionate towards this group of people there's a difference yet somehow they didn't feel judged they didn't feel condemned they didn't feel pushed to the side or marginalized because what happens they're the ones that are drawing near to him to hear him you know sometimes we don't we think that we're really sly in our ways that we just kind of turn a shoulder to certain ones that we don't want to be part of the conversation or we say things that really can't be pinned back you said this No I didn't Oh yes you did very plainly Well I disguised it you know I'm talking about. And people get the hint real quickly Oh I guess this isn't the place for me. I guess I'm not welcome here I guess maybe I should just leave. But somehow this is different isn't it not only does he know the Scriptures but he seems to know them better than the scribes in the fair seas he's not judge mental He's not condemning I mean after all as a sinner I don't need anybody else to point out my own faults and failings and shortcomings I know them very well thank you very much but here's somebody who speaks hope to my situation who tries to bring me from where I am to a higher place and he does it with grace he does it with love he does it with kindness I like this guy I want to hang out with this guy. And the church doesn't know how to handle this and they're just incensed they're angry they're frustrated they're upset it reminds me of another story earlier in this Gospel Luke Chapter 7 when Simon the fair city was thinking the very same thing as Mary the prostitute brought the alabaster jar and anointed Jesus' feet remember that story. And what was his thought in his head he said this man if he were a profit doubt would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching him for she is a sinner. She's one of those oh how can he allow to know if you are a prophet no way this is not possible same mentality and so the scribes in the fair seas again are incense they're offended and Jesus being as gracious as he always is isn't just seeking after the tax collectors and the sinners but he extends the sinner umbrella to include the scribes and Pharisees and so instead of just blasting them he says let me tell you a story. A parable 3 in fact and so that's the context with which we move forward but before we get there we had this comment on these 1st few verses how was it then that the publicans and sinners were drawn to Jesus fair question they knew that the explanation lay in the very words that had uttered as scornful charge this man receive this sinners this was their church. You're doing a bad thing you're receiving sinners and why were they drawn for that very same reason this man was receiving sinners the souls who came to Jesus felt in his presence that even for them there was a scape from the pit of sin. Now don't misunderstand we need to call sin by its right name I'm not saying that we should just invite sin into our living room and let's just get cozy with sin no that's not what I'm saying but there's a difference between sin and sinners all of us are sinners all of us are God's kids some are involved in a lot more than others and the Bible talks about how they need more grace don't they but Jesus is not trying to encourage their sin he's offering them a way out of their sin again I don't imagine he's condemning I don't imagine a way in the finger in their face you should know better of course they should know better we all should know better shouldn't we then we find ourselves in the category of sinner and sometimes I think in fact I was reading on something else it talked about the greatest witness is not with words but when they see your life your example how you live and that not itself convicts their heart Lord give me the right words to say so they will understand and just hit their head on the foot of the cross and know that there's a problem and change their ways and come back to church and repent and everything will be just right so give me the words. I would have Jesus is trying to tell us so many times over and over there's no words quit with the words you've said anough Wertz maybe just live it maybe live a little more love and grace and compassion however they're going to think no they know good and well you've made it very plain and very clear how you feel you have raised these children for how many years now they know where you stand on the issues you need to remind them yet again just love them be gracious towards them and when you have opportunity tell them how wonderful Jesus is. Really what we find throughout the Gospels is the more degraded by sand the more they were objects of Jesus' compassion do you see that when you read through the more they wandered from him the more earnest the longing the greater the sacrifice to bring about their rescue Sometimes we get this picture of Jesus that when I do a bad thing he steps back Dave you knew better than that you should know you're going to. I don't you know that I don't know but we just imagine God stepping back when really when we do wrong he steps forward he pursues but I'm getting ahead of myself Micah 7 verse 18 who is a God like you pardoning anybody passing over the transgression of the remnant of his heritage he does not retain his anger forever because he delights in what's the word mercy what's a better motivator anger or mercy. Mercy and so Jesus again addresses their concerns with this story continuing on verse for one man of you having a 100 sheep if he loses one of them. Most sheep would have maybe 2 more lambs a year you know all things happen there's an infection on the leg or some something might take place and well you know that's just that's part of the business you know I hate to lose any of them but sometimes things just happen you know if he loses one of them does not leave the 99 in the wilderness and go after the one which is lost until he finds it and so again I'm going back to this story book that I grew up with here this shepherd is put oil on maybe some some way places that they got scratched up or whatever and he's counting the sheep I like the idea that he knows them by name right and he goes through and he counts and there's 991 is missing. There's this knot in my back I'm hungry my feet hurt it looks like another one of these daily afternoon storms coming in I'm just going to you know maybe I'll google How easy can cheat find their way home maybe I'll just you know leave some little side bar and thing open with a little food and I'll say a prayer good luck little buddy. Is that what the Good Shepherd does just 199 there safe in the pen he leaves the 99 yes the light this torch if you will to search until he finds it circle that word in your bible until he goes after the one which is lost until he finds that little word until encompasses and eternity of determination at any cost I will find you Jesus says I'm not going to give up I'm going to keep searching and searching and looking and looking until I find you. Some of us might say well who looked old 1030 that little Bob doesn't show up these Bye Bye bye. Stupid little sheep What was he thinking anyway wandering off I told him I told him how many times I tell him I must a told him a 100 times steady when the herd don't go out there is danger rock goes off tired my back hurts I'm hungry I'm hankering little Bob I want to go off a little over to the field on the other side is that the Good Shepherd not a little verse 5 and when he has found it he lays it on his shoulders read joy see and when he comes home he calls together his friends they were trying to sleep. On the sea bass here. He calls his friends neighbors and says Rejoice with me for I have found my sheep which was lost and then verse 7 I say to you that Likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 just persons who need no repentance now will come back to that. But he read Joy says he searches for the last until he finds and then he plucks up that one he doesn't whack it with his stick his and drag him home he doesn't tell him off he says No Come with me I will carry you home this parable reveals to us 3 beautiful Probably more but at least 3 beautiful characteristics of God the 1st God always initiate the seeking don't forget that I believe the divine purpose of God is that all people might be reconciled to Him I don't believe God waits for fallen humanity to search for him I believe God searches for us. In the beginning we say God search for lost people Genesis 3 we see the fall of man as they eat the fruit Genesis 3 Verse $89.00 God come seeking after Adam and Eve God could have said Clean up your act get your life straightened out then I'll come down and see you no God came after them and said Adam. Where are you where are you and we see this same for this same theme if you will echoing throughout the Old and New Testament Moses trying to mind his own business out in the field and the same where are you Moses it was in the desert that God came down to Mose in search of him in the form of a burning bush you remember the story. Mose was not trying all sorts of means and methods to search for God God came to him. We could talk about children Israel is through Moses that God is seeking after the children of Israel to restore them again who's the initiator God we could talk about Jonah God is seeking after Jonah and Jonah tries to run the other way doesn't it yet we see God give up and say well never mind no he continually seeks after Jonah and through Jonah we see God seeking after the Ninevites I mean it's just replete throughout Scripture we could talk about never Knesset or I mean who is this guy anyway never can as Or I mean he's one of the worst of the worst of all time he was arrogant self-centered morally corrupt debased leader of the world I mean everyone hated never can as Or he would kill you want to win and not care is there any hope for such a man we might ask. But again we see God seeking after never can as Or why because he gave him the dream he could have given any number of people the dream but he gave it to never can as are sure it's because he had power and influence in other things but I think it was because he was seeking after the heart of never can as Or what does he say later and Daniel 3 verse 2128 the never never said Praise be to the God of Chadrick me shack and Abednego later in chapter 4 he says It's my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the most high God has performed for me just now because those are the I praise the most high on it and glorified him who lives forever his the main is eternal Dominion his kingdom endures from generation to generation this horrible individual has the privilege of writing in scripture and how did it happen God initiated God sought after this man it's really nothing new we see it throughout Scripture God is continually seeking after last humanity in fact we could even make the point that in this cosmic universe that we find ourselves in there is one planet that has sinned and 99 perhaps others have not and God says I'm going to seek and save that last system there called Earth and he keeps using Person after person after person let him put their pictures up here you have an imagination your fun there's Jonah there's no mechanism but he can't hold themselves back any further and he has to come himself wide to seek and to save that which was lost that's why he came the heart of who he is he can't contain himself no God always initiate the seeking. And not one of us here have responded to God out of our own accord it is only out of response to him seeking us that we're here today God always initiate the seeking crisis object lessons 187 says the shepherd goes out to search for one sheep the very least that can be numbered is the true Yeah just one so if there had been but one lost soul Christ would have died for that one. I mean that's about as cliched as they come we've heard it our whole lives but stop and think about that you're the only person that needs what he has to offer put your name in the blank I'm not worthy that I can look out here and see people worthy of that but I'm not worthy that you would go through all of that for me absolutely I did I did to seek and to save that which was lost Dave you were lost again a quote from Christ object lessons no sooner does the sheep go astray than the shepherd is filled with grief and anxiety over one he counts and recounts the flock and when he was sure that one sheep is last name is cow Let's try again 12349901 more time now that one sort of move maybe I just made a mistake and you get a 100 this time and you recount and he recounts No I missing just one and you go with grief and anxiety he slumbers not he leaves the $99.00 within the fold and goes in search of the strange sheep the darker and more tempestuous the night and the more perilous the way the greater is the shepherds anxiety and the more earnest his search he makes every effort to find the one lost sheep every effort. Every possible means every avenue there will not be one rock left on turn and that was for you and that was for me friends if this is the character of Christ if this is how Jesus responds to one that is lost and if we're to have his character then we as a church need to respond in kind but sadly this is not the way we typically respond as I heard the statistic that 2 percent of Christians share their faith on a regular basis 2 percent and what's the excuse Well Pastor is not my gift I'm sorry but you look up the gifts. And sharing your faith is not listed as one of the gifts that's standard equipment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is standard equipment that means I will go where he wants me to go I will say what he wants me to say to whom he wants me to say it you know what standard equipment is right. You go and you purchase a car all the options you better be careful husband how many options you let your wife pick because it all add up and tally the bottom sunroof check power door locks check power windows check some sound system navigation tek tek tek I have yet to see a dealership where they say do you want the steering wheel and the tires for the car. Why would that be so funny because it's standard equipment how are you going to drive it off the Law Yes I'm looking for a car with the steering wheel and tires Oh sure look around all of them have a standard equipment. For a disciple of Jesus Christ it's standard yet we think oh no it's a spiritual gift and therefore it's somebody else's gift and so there's Can you think of one last time that he can think of several. You mean pry had to go outside your own household or or family circle or this church and there's somebody the Holy Spirit has brought to your mind my question for you and for me is very simple is this the attitude am I going to make every effort and my fill with grief and anxiety or do I just sleep it off sometimes our response is Well I mean they know we're here the sign still down by the road we're still in the same building they can come back when they want to come back it's kind of basic but you're missing it here the sheep is lost maybe you've never been lost before it's all a bit scary I get lost often enough I have an expression I've learned I think we're lost why do you say that honey because I've been lost before and this is what it looks like. I don't know where I am I don't know which turn to tell unless they'll come back when they're ready to come back I who. Where. I don't even practice that. We think the last will just find their way on their own but if that were the case they wouldn't be lost are we as tenacious in seeking the lost as Jesus is continuing on says he climbs the time of the Good Shepherd the steepest heights he goes to the very edge of the precipice at the risk of his own life thus he searches while the cry growing fainter tells him to his sheep is ready to die at last his effort is rewarded and the lost is found how many sheep would we find if we would looking they're stuck there in a rut they don't know which way is up and they need somebody to come and say you're a sinner no they know. Just be caring just be compassionate bring them some food when church I pastored. Not a very large church I got the whole directory of members and I didn't know be in the new guy who was a member and attended regularly and who hadn't been in 20 years I didn't know I just went down to the list and it was before g.p.s. is so I was lost most of the day but I'd find a few people and I would knock on their door I'd introduce myself on the new pastor of the such and such and they have this church and at 1st they're like Montreal what I do know I just wanted to say hello introduce myself and you had a beautiful yard make a few comments and try and get them to be at ease low beds anything I can pray with the bit about before I leave Yeah sure Ok and then I would go I know nothing of their background sometimes they would share but most the time they wouldn't lo and behold what would happen the following Sabbath not just once or twice it happened many times somebody comes back to church and they say was this person doing here they haven't been here for ever I don't know I just visited with him this last week I was 20 years this person's been last thought nobody cared you get the picture and it's not rocket science just go looking for them knock on their door say some nice things give them something and say we're thinking about you. That in love itself can be enough but it does not keep pursuing how many laws She could we find. My fear is far more than we want to admit far far more better keep going we're going to be here all day maybe someone's here today maybe someone's watching online if they can and they're lost and they don't know how to get back to God but friends not one of God's sheep not one of God's kids is overlooked. Not one is too insignificant for him to risk it all and go after yes you may have made mistakes you may have made huge mistakes and you're wondering if there's any hope for the likes of you but this story shows us that God takes the initiative 1st while you were in rebellion to him even he went forth to seek you and too often like the scribes and Pharisees we had the idea that I 1st must repent and clean myself up 1st this is too embarrassing I can't let him see me like this so I have to figure this out on my own good luck with that without the grace of Christ in your life good luck with that we think that my repentance I somehow earn my favor back with heaven but in the parable of the lost sheep Christ teaches that salvation is not come come through our seeking after God but through God seeking after us we just respond we do not repent in order that God may love us but he reveals to us His love that we may repent for he said I don't know. Let me say it again we do not repent in order that God may love us he's not stand there like this have you repented yet or are you sorry are you really sorry prove it that's not the posture we cannot repent nor that God may love us but he reveals to us His love in order that we may repent is that parent that keeps loving and loving and loving and loving and till there is a breakthrough how can you keep loving me when I'm just so terrible to you because you're my son you're my daughter. I don't care how you treat me I'm always going to love you it's not how I got is how we treat him badly absolutely we can because our block is Love It doesn't he keeps pursuing and pursuing and seeking. Romans 5 or say But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us and it's that reality that melts the heart and brings about repentance we gotta keep rolling here God always an issue to the seeking is one of the characteristics of God Secondly God is so gracious so often it seems that the only people were gracious with his ourself we can make a mistake and we have a reason to justify ourselves but we have little or no grace for anybody else they have to be perfect for often we assume the role of the scribes and Pharisees and what do we do it says in verse 2 we complain we complain. And what do we often say about the last hour he went to the going to keep moving another quote here when one who is wondered wondered far in sin seeks to return to God he will encounter Now this is sad to me but you know it's true so once wandered off far in sin seeks to return to God he will encounter criticism and distrust there are those who will doubt whether his repentance is genuine or will whisper he has no stability I don't believe that he will hold out. These persons are not doing the work of God but the work of Satan who is the accuser of the brother and out so somebody comes back to church and we say. We've seen this before they're talking the talk let's see you walk the walk buddy this isn't for real this isn't genuine you'll never last and we say that from our pious position as a church elder a pastor or whatever and in that moment who are we playing we want to say it. We're playing Satan the accuser of the brother in where's the open arm that comes around and says I'm so glad that you're here welcome Will you sit with me know they're sitting with me no we're going to have sit together because they're said with me every soul whom crisis wrecked rescued is called to work in his name for the saving of the last every soul when you turn from those who seem on promising and unattractive Do you realize that you are neglecting the souls for whom Christ is seeking your working opposite of Jesus at that moment at the very time when you turn from them they may be in the greatest needs of your compassion and every assembly of worship Does that include here this morning. There are souls longing for rest and peace are you going to give it to them Well a cold shoulder is just easier you have a hike planned for today honestly that kind of ruin it is still rough around the edges bad example the list goes on so. Not today but the lost sheep is not brought back to the fold it wanders until it perishes. And many souls go down to ruin for want of a hand stretched out to say. I don't know what to do just stretch out your hand but it's coven that's real cute. Do somethin that's it show that you care about them it meant the fact I don't know what to do but I want to do something for you how about this don't ask if you can do something just do it just do it I wonder if they'd like of course they would just do it they may hate the thing but they'll be touched by the fact that you did it and that's the point. This is another said quote angels weep while human eyes are dry and hard you're close to pity Oh the lack of deep soul touching sympathy for the tempted and the air in oh for more of Christ spirit and for less far less of self and angels are weeping for these people and we just can't be bothered they're in the way yeah yeah yeah Diamond doesn't have mercy on us no Jesus is quite the opposite he's very gracious Here's a description of how Jesus handles he does not scold because it has caused him so much trouble he does not drive it with a whip he does not even try to lead it home in his joy he takes that trembling creature upon his shoulders if its bruised and wounded he gathers it in his arms pressing it close to his bosom that the warmth of his own heart and they give it life. With gratitude that his search has not been in vain but bears it back to the fold that's beautiful and it's not complicated pretty simple actually. And it should be standard equipment. And his grace he seeks after us and rescues us. He bears astonish olders he brings as close as heart restores us as His Child lastly God loves to celebrate for some this is a hard picture of God. God doesn't smile Are you kidding me he invented the smile his idea. And he loves to celebrate what are we going to celebrate anything find something let's celebrate it I'm so glad you came back to church today come on over whatever we were planned all we got we got all worked out you're going to come we're going to have your favorite food well I already came with these people as well they can come to we're going to celebrate you can leave out the last in the founded but celebrate Jesus loves to celebrate we don't I'm convince We don't celebrate enough we'll work our tail off for this huge initiative and then when it's done we just go oh in the here we go who glad that's over where is the celebration of a job well done by God's grace look what we've been able to achieve praise the Lord celebration every Sabbath morning should be a celebration of who God it is for how he's worked for what he's done what he is doing I believe God loves to celebrate and what's heaven going to be besides a big celebration Well there's going to be some serious times of course or will but don't you think for a minute there's not going to be celebration and these last few verses I just have a hard time put it wrapping my mind around it and when he comes home he calls together as friends and neighbors saying to them rejoice with me for I have found my sheep which was lost and I say to you likewise there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents Let's go back now just think about yourself just you in your own experience. When you go through your party when did you make that decision. When was it real for you when did you say the prayer who God didn't tell me a party you better believe he threw you a party is this 1st line he threw a huge party and all of Heaven was rejoicing over Little David right and then I turn my back on him and I do all this other stuff and then I come back another party David's Barack. And you sit there and think I'm not worthy to party you're not and these are my but he gives them anyway the God of the universe you have it that's one of my kids see and he was lost and now he's found and I don't think I can contain myself we're having a party. The pair parable challenges us if you haven't got all right to live God's character today by tenaciously pursuing the last they're everywhere by abundantly being gracious with people and by celebrating Well this family I share this with their permission our conference President elder Louis and his wife this is his daughter Katherine the mother in the picture and her husband Greg and this is this last Christmas and this is a special Christmas because they decided everything was just right is time for us to get another family pet I think they already had a dog but they were going to get this puppy and so they chose this particular dog and they had it all secret and so it was a little bit early it wasn't quite on Christmas but they surprised the girls with this puppy named her Belle and she's a cute little puppy there she is meeting the other family pet but I mean that just looks like a teddy bear it and then it doesn't look real and so they love on Belle all since last Christmas and then this summer came only just about a month ago and they went to visit Greg family grave the family lives in California so they all hopped in an airplane they traveled all the way there they had just gotten there more or less still trying to get over jetlag and then 4th of July comes which was on a Sabbath this year and since so many of the big firework displays were nixed a lot of people were doing their own thing and so apparently there was enough of that going on here back home with the dog sitter that was watching over Bill. That is they were trying to take her out to do her business some boom boom boom I heard them a lighthouse maybe that yours will Bell took off gone and they looked and they looked and they called and called but it doesn't help and then boom boom boom and no sign of this dog anywhere the dreaded phone call. Catherine you know everything Ok Well not exactly what happened well Bell is gone gone what do you mean she's gone when you take off how long has she been away and after processing this it didn't take long for cabin to say I gotta go back no one's going to search for this dog like I'm going to search for this dog and Greg agreed he said Ok got of the 1st flight they could find she got the red eye and it wasn't quite the red all day Sunday but she got here very late on Sunday night into Greenville her mother picked her up and starting Monday they're back up in Canada where this dog was being watched they don't live in Canada but that's where they were boarding their dog and so they're up looking talking to the neighbors they talk to people they did all kinds of searches if you hang some of your clothes out for your scent Nabi some bed sheets they've got permission they're doing all this research in the woods across on the other side nothing nothing's changed they're putting signs up and hoping people will see and call and report Tuesday comes they're getting more nervous they hire a professional tracker with the dogs and the whole thing and you know smell the the bad here and I want to go in and try and find and as much as they try to transfer that smell and these people came very highly recommended somehow they weren't finding anything at the end of Tuesday still discouraged the tracker says you know I saw like one sign but on the other side of town in Ca You need to put up more signs lots of signs people are going to be the way we're going to find this dog because my tractors can't do anything. So that's what they did they start making signs signs signs signs put them up and were put into a door to door campaign knocking on doors I think they were doing this already but they just kept looking and looking and pursuing putting up more things that was on Facebook maybe you saw anybody see this bell missing if you did they were talking about Elizabeth's work then who's on Wednesday Katharine got a call somebody has cited the dog a little puppy by Interstate 40 by the way station. The interstate she rushes over there she looks and looks and looks and looks nothing but they find in the covert some little puppy tracks could this be Belle is she here somewhere they keep looking they keep searching still nothing the tracker to also give the advice don't keep calling for bail because she's so scared at this point you will scare her away you're going to just have to find her day after day they keep waiting keep waiting keep waiting amazingly God keep sending rainbows though as they would see a rainbow and say well there's still hope let's keep looking finally on Thursday they feel we just didn't go out to the woods keep looking in the woods a couple people hiking the trail there started to help look in the woods at this point they heard about it they were already out looking actually she's on the phone with Greg maybe mill the day or late morning I don't know which and they've been praying and praying Lord send us your angels guide us to where Belle is you know exactly where Belle is take us to where this dog is you know the kids keep asking Mommy Have you found the dog yet not yet honey crying on the phone so she tells her husband Greg on Thursday she says if we find this dog it's going to be nothing short of a miracle no sooner had she said those words her phone rings Hey great Somebody Qana got to go Hello. Yeah there is a sighting in our neighborhood. My son has seen and he's autistic and he said to begin the day that he was absolutely certain that he would find your dog he's been seeing the window all day looking and we were all kind of skeptical but he claims to seeing your dog What's your son's name Gabriel. Are you anywhere in the area yes we are only 5 minutes away we'll be there boom Ok they're there they're looking they're looking they're looking for spouses downwards Bell can't find her well we think she went that way often the words they go they're still praying they're still looking they're still searching and then Catherine's mom is Louis she whispers Catherine. And she looks and she sees Belle. In the woods scared shaking if they don't find her in a big group Ok. And she didn't want to approach the dog too much for fear it would run away she don't want to call the dog for the same reason so she went just a little ways and she said them and Greg and read some one line if you sing they can remember the songs and so on they used to sing lullabies to their girls that night the price still do and the dog was there so she sits on the ground and she sing a lullaby trying to sing Love. And bells starts to come just a timid step waiting timid step waiting until finally Bell gets up close enough to Catherine that she takes the leash or the leash and clips it on the collar and she says when I heard it go click she said I just cry I just cry because we looked so hard for this dog but it was at that moment that her last puppy was found. And I heard that story and thought what a perfect example of the love of our heavenly Father that left Heaven and makes every effort to bring us home frenzies as the Good Shepherd and he's in pursuit this morn of all of his kids and if one is lost he doesn't draw back no he pushes more forward all the more he doesn't sleep he doesn't slumber until he finds out lost sheep until he finds you and brings you home to which heaven throws a party because that which was lost has been found 1st John 3 Verse one behold what manner of Love The Father has bestowed on us that we should be called children of God isn't God good isn't he gracious to seek after us their Heavenly Father all of us have been lost at one point or another but you chose to pursue and to seek after us and in your grace and your mercy and your forgiveness you have redeemed us you have called us your child you throwing a party for us now Lord May we seek after the lost by your power by your help by your strength may we be your hands and feet and may we not be indifferent to those around us. But use every means at our disposal. To seek. And to say to have the character of Jesus we pray. In your name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more sermon a little visit w w w audio verse or.

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