Devotions By Jan

Black Sheep

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Scripture for Today: Matthew 18:12 “What do you think? If a man own a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?”

We enjoyed meeting our friend’s small herd of sheep in the German countryside.  I found it odd that most of them were black as normally they are more rare.  Back in the day, the black sheep was less valuable as their fleece could not be dyed.  Being the “black sheep” of the family could have been a phrase originating with this in mind, denoting a member who was worthless, or a non-conformist, wandering away from the group.

Today’s verse describes that individual sheep who unlike the rest of the herd, wanders off and goes his own way.  I love how the shepherd goes after that one who is different and does not conform to the behavior of the group.  To our Good Shepherd, each sheep is valuable and worthwhile.  The following verses describe the joy of the shepherd in finding that non-conformist sheep.  There may be disapproval and disdain from the other sheep, but to the Shepherd, there is unconditional love and acceptance!

How do I see my fleece?  Is it black or white and does it matter?  All are sheep and all have wandered off from the Shepherd (Is. 53:6).  How silly of me to think that I am any better or any worse than the other sheep around me.  I was lost and He cared enough to go after me and find me.  He has brought me into the fold as He has done with each of us who have responded to Him in faith.  We are all the same, in need of being found!

Lord, forgive my critical spirit when looking at other sheep.

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