by Nick and Brian Schwarz
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See that you do not despise one of these little ones (Matthew 18:10).
We humans have a tendency to rank other people according to what we think they are worth. We rank highly those who are rich, powerful, learned or famous. And we rank lowly those who are poor, unimportant, uneducated or insignificant. And the way we treat them reflects their ranking. We show a lot of respect and care for those who are highly ranked and much less to those who are lowly ranked.
Not so with God. All people have great value in God’s eyes. He made them all. He gave his one and only Son, Jesus, to redeem them all. So when anyone turns away from God and does their own thing, God’s heart grieves. And like a loving shepherd, he goes looking for his lost sheep to restore them to his flock.
God wants those of us who know him as Father to act like caring shepherds to brothers and sisters who stray from him. Rather than ignoring them or giving them the cold shoulder, God wants us to pray for them, lovingly approach them and seek to draw them back to their Good Shepherd.
When any one of the lost is found and returns to God’s flock, all of heaven rejoices. And when you play a part in bringing one of the lost ones back home, you will have great joy too.
Dear God, help us to see others as you see them, as people to be loved. Please help us to bring followers who have strayed back home, and to bring people who have never known you into your loving embrace. Amen.