Sheep, Not Cattle

Luke 15:3–7

EVER GET THAT cattle-in-the-corral feeling? Sure you have. Whether it’s sitting in morning traffic or standing in a long check-out line at Walmart-it’s easy to feel as if you’re only a blip on the radar of some cosmic force, herding people like cattle to their inevitable ends.

Aside from the physical and emotional discomfort of being shoved around like thick-skinned creatures with horns, there’s a subtle signal that goes off inside us with damaging results. Not being cattle, we hate feeling like them. We also resent what this shrill inner signal communicates. It’s something like this:

You are not important. You are an anonymous individual-only one among thousands. Therefore, no one really notices, needs, or cares about you. After all, how important can one be among so many.

Thankfully, God’s Word offers a life-transforming perspective to assure you of just how valuable each of us is to Him.

Jesus told them this story: “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, saying, ‘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!”

LUKE 15:3–7

Next time you begin feeling like you are unnoticed and unworthy-or struggling to believe how significant your contributions are to God-remember this story: you are worth more to God than you can possibly imagine. Every individual, including you, is of immense worth to Him. If you go astray, God goes active. And nothing else matters until you’re found.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at

Posted in Encouragement & Healing and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.