Ellen G. White Writings

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Lift Him Up, Page 206

The Lost Sheep, July 11

Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost. Luke 15:6.

I was referred to the parable of the lost sheep. The ninety and nine sheep are left in the wilderness, and search is instituted for the one that has strayed. When the lost sheep is found, the shepherd elevates it to his shoulder and returns with rejoicing. He does not return murmuring and censuring the poor lost sheep for having made him so much trouble, but his return with the burden of the sheep is with rejoicing.

And a still greater demonstration of joy is demanded. Friends and neighbors are called to rejoice with the finder, “for I have found my sheep which was lost.” The finding was the theme of rejoicing; the straying was not dwelt upon; for the joy of finding overbalanced the sorrow of the loss and the care, the perplexity and the peril, incurred in searching for the lost sheep and restoring it to safety. “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance” (Luke 15:7) (Testimonies for the Church 3:99).

Jesus has given the parable of the lost sheep for our study. The true Shepherd leaves the ninety and nine, and goes into the desert at any expense and suffering to Himself.... How many of the wandering and lost sheep have you sought for, and brought back to the fold with a heart full of pitying tenderness, forgiveness, and love? How many words of encouragement have you spoken to the wandering sheep, that have cost you pain, anxiety, and much inconvenience? ... Have you spoken soothing words of hope, courage, and pardon, bearing the wanderer home on your shoulders, rejoicing at every step, and saying, “Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost”? ...

Study the life and character of Christ, and seek to imitate His example. The unconsecrated course of some of those who claim to be believers in the third angel's message has resulted in driving some of the poor sheep into the desert; and who is it that has manifested a shepherd's care for the lost and wandering? Is it not time to be Christians in practice as well as profession? What benevolence, what compassion, what tender sympathy, Jesus has manifested toward suffering humanity! The heart that beats in unison with His great heart of infinite love will give sympathy to every needy soul, and will make it manifest that he has the mind of Christ.... Every suffering soul has a claim upon the sympathy of others, and those who are imbued with the love of Christ, filled with His pity, tenderness, and compassion, will respond to every appeal to their sympathy.... Every soul who attempts to retrace his wanderings and return to God needs the help of those who have a tender, pitying heart of Christlike love (The Review and Herald, October 16, 1894).

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