“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost,
what will he do?
Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness
and go to search for the one that is lost
until he finds it?
And when he has found it,
he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders.
When he arrives,
he will call together his friends and neighbors,
‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
In the same way,
there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner
who repents and returns to God
than over ninety-nine others who are righteous
and haven’t strayed away!”
And so I tell you, keep on asking
and you will receive what you ask for.
Keep on seeking, and you will find.
Keep on knocking,
and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks, receives.
Everyone who seeks, finds.
And to everyone who knocks,
the door will be opened.
“If anyone is ashamed of me and my message,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person
when he returns in his glory
and in the glory of the Father
and the holy angels.”
(Arlington National Cemetery)
“If any of you wants to be my follower,
you must give up your own way,
take up your cross daily,
and follow me.
If you try to hang on to your life,
you will lose it.
But if you give up your life for my sake,
you will save it.
And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world
but are yourself lost or destroyed?”
One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone.
Only his disciples were with him,
and he asked them,
“Who do people say I am?”
“Well, they replied,
“some say John the Baptist,
some say Elijah,
and others say you are one of the other ancient prophets
risen from the dead.”
Then he asked them,
“But who do you say I am?”
“You are the Messiah sent from God!”
“I, the LORD,
define the ocean’s sandy shoreline
as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross.
The waves may toss and roar,
but they can never pass the boundaries I set.
But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts.
They have turned away and abandoned me.
They do not say from the heart,
‘Let us live in awe of the LORD our God,
for he gives us rain each spring and fall,
assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.’
Your wickedness has deprived you
of these wonderful blessings.
Your sin has robbed you off all these good things.
…what will you do when the end comes?”
Jeremiah 5:22-25, 31
This is what the LORD says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path,
and you will find rest for your souls…
The LORD replied,
“you must go wherever I send you
and say whatever I tell you.
And don’t be afraid of the people,
for I will be with you and will protect you.
I, the LORD, have spoken!”
Then the LORD reached out
and touched my mouth and said,
“Look, I have put my words in your mouth!”
“I knew you before I formed you
in your mother’s womb.
Before you were born I set you apart…”
I will answer them before they even call to me.
While they are still talking about their needs,
I will go ahead and answer their prayers!