What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
The LORD Himself goes before you; He will be with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.
Think of what truly matters. Do you dwell on the petty? Do you worry about public acclaim or notoriety? Do your thoughts linger on the fleeting desires of your flesh and the outcry for more pointless trinkets and possessions? Look what the world would have you focused upon. But when the Son of Man returns to claim His throne, what then will matter? I caution you: before you ask what your prize is, ask where you must seek it first. When you come to the place where your treasure lies you will know without being told, but until you know where you should seek to obtain that which you know not, will you scavenge in graveyards and trash heaps, discovering only the dead and decrepit- then will the treasures which you have longed for be lost. For I speak of the treasure of Heaven and not of Earth. We only have so much time to pursue these things and I tell you that our treasure is God.
John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
The road is set before you, it is straight and narrow but with an insurmountable number of paths at its sides marked with “dead end”. At many points will you be alone on the road, and at your sides will be extravagant markets and stores, with thousands enticing you to join them. You desire purpose, but you fear pain and rejection. You desire pleasure, yet once your sins are consummated your pleasures flee from you, you know your guilt. You desire to be whole, yet you fill yourself with empty things, you know there is no end to this cycle. And it is because the ruler of this world has conditioned you and lied to you, saying, “It is your destiny, it is what you were born into, there is no escaping it.” a sense of normalcy accompanies it, yet a stinging conviction proceeds it. when you begin to stray from your dependency on his vices he destroys your esteem, and strokes your ego while sinking you into an endless pit of oblivion. As you approach the cusp of a forest, “Come here”, he says, “Look I have the answer to your question!” “But I see it not?”, you reply “Come deeper into the darkness and you will see the light you have desired”, the voice echoes. Walking into a wilderness of false promise he culls the lost sheep to their slaughter.
This is the end you have felt. You heard your master and His shepherds cry from the distance, but as the winds around you grew and your fear increased, you went deep into those woods for cover and in the hope of discovery. But I tell you the one who calls you into the forest has hated you, and the one you have fled from has given you his life. Yet even now, and for as long as you breath you can still turn back. REPENT, and seek the one who has sought you! As you draw near to Him He will hear your lost and fearful cries, and hearken unto you and return you to the fold with inconceivable care and compassion. Once you bear witness to the full breadth of reality within His eyes, you will know- it was this that you had searched for in the dark places and could not find. Being lost, yet now found, follow the Shepherd to the greenest of pastures that lie ahead, and cry out to those on the sides of the road going astray, that if they might just hear and listen, they too should be saved. Follow Him to the end. For it is written, “He will never leave you nor forsake you”, for-
He is alone the Good Shepherd and the treasure of Heaven