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dogJames Hagg was a shepherd, and his job was to care for 700 sheep which belonged to his employer. Every day he and his dog Sirrah herded the sheep from one pasture to another on the Scottish hills. They found the best grass for the flock and protected the sheep from harm and danger.

One evening something frightened the sheep, and in spite of Mr. Hagg's and Sirrah's efforts to keep them together, every single one of the sheep ran away. They scattered over the hills in three different directions.

"Sirrah," said the upset shepherd, "they're all gone!"

The Bible tells us that we are all like those 700 sheep. We want our own way, not God's way. He tells us that, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" (Isaiah 53:6). Some of those sheep went one way, some another, and some a third way, but not one of them stayed with their shepherd who loved them and cared for them. Every one of them ran away.

When Sirrah heard Mr. Hagg's words, he trotted off as though he knew exactly what Mr. Hagg wanted him to do. The poor shepherd spent the whole night wandering over the hills hunting for his lost sheep.

By morning Mr. Hagg had not found any sign of the sheep. Sadly he decided he would have to go to his employer and tell him that all 700 sheep were lost.

Just as Mr. Hagg spent all night hunting for his lost sheep, we also have a Shepherd who loves us and cares for us and is looking for us. The Bible tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is our Shepherd. He said, "I am the good Shepherd, and know My sheep" (John 10:14).

Mr. Hagg could not find even one of his sheep, but the Lord Jesus does not give up after only one night of looking for us. He keeps on until He can say, "Rejoice with Me; for I have found My sheep which was lost" (Luke 15:6).

As Mr. Hagg headed sadly toward his employer's home, he caught sight of Sirrah guarding some sheep at the bottom of a ravine. Climbing down into the ravine, he found, to his surprise and joy, that all 700 sheep were there. Somehow during the night Sirrah had found and rounded up every one of the lost sheep. Mr. Hagg counted them to make sure they were all there.

How the dog had managed to collect all of them, Mr. Hagg never found out. "But," he said, "I never felt so grateful to any living creature as I did to my faithful Sirrah that morning!"

Although Mr. Hagg could not find his lost sheep, Sirrah found them and guarded them safely all night long. Our good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus, has done more than that for us. He loved us so much that He died so that we could have our sins forgiven. He says, "I am the good Shepherd: the good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep" (John 10:11). He will take good care of His sheep until every one of them is safely home in heaven. Not one of His lambs will be missing when He gathers His flock safely home to heaven.

If you have accepted the Lord Jesus as your Saviour, you are one of His own sheep. He promises you that "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand" (John 10:27-29).

Isn't that a wonderful promise? He will never, ever lose us or let us go. Once you belong to Him you are His forever!

Are you one of His sheep?

Copied with permission from Messages of God's Love published by Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IL  60101.

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