The Youth’s Instructor


May 4, 1886

The Joy Over the Sheep Found


“God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is the true Shepherd, who gave his life for the sheep he loved. This love that God has manifested to fallen man has called forth and aroused in human hearts intense opposition; for it is not an acceptable truth that all is lost unless the heart be changed. Imagined goodness, self-esteem, or self-righteousness are of no avail with God. The Scribes and Pharisees sought for flattery; they cultivated pride, and carefully cherished everything that would increase their importance; and they became the bitterest enemies of Christ because he did not fall in with their ideas. If he had, he would have left the lost sheep to perish, excluding himself in self-righteousness from those who needed light and knowledge, sympathy and help,—who needed it as much as the lost sheep needed the good shepherd to lift him tenderly out of the peril which would have been his sure death. YI May 4, 1886, par. 1

The very same interest shown for the lost sheep must be shown for deceived, sin-bound souls. You must not be satisfied with enjoying the society of those who think as you think, and who believe as you believe. In the souls of the impenitent you may see those for whom the Chief Shepherd has given his life. Your life, which you have given to Jesus, you are to employ in his work. You are to live humbly, not becoming self-important, but remembering that you are wholly dependent upon the mercy and pardon of Jesus for the salvation of your souls. YI May 4, 1886, par. 2

Jesus so loved man that at the cost of his own life he gave him another trial. There are many ways in which you can work to come close to hearts. If you ask the Saviour to give you the meekness and lowliness of his character, and teach you to work with wisdom, he will hear your prayers, and will answer them. Souls may be reclaimed, blinded and stubborn though they may now be. There is too little persevering, self-denying effort made to awaken their interest in their eternal welfare. Will the Instructor family examine themselves to see if they feel the necessity of increased knowledge of the Scriptures and of increased wisdom and spiritual discernment that they may be able to bring souls to Jesus? YI May 4, 1886, par. 3

Life is serious. You have a large field in which to work; and persevering search for the lost sheep will be the most successful way in which you can employ your time. The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost. Doth not the shepherd “leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which was lost until he find it?” If you can exert a saving influence over one soul, remember there is joy in heaven over the one that repented. You must guard against any indifference on your part. There may be things which you would prefer to do to please yourself; but remember that you may, by judicious effort, be the means of bringing back the lost sheep to Jesus’ fold. Although you may be young, you must work with Christ; with his spirit in your heart, you can do much more than it now seems possible for you to do. YI May 4, 1886, par. 4

The lives of some are without peace or gladness because they never get out of the range of self. They are ever reaching out for sympathy from others. If they would go to work to see how helpful they could be, and would speak words of love and courage, their souls, now dry and sorrowful, would become like a watered garden. YI May 4, 1886, par. 5

You must learn in the school of Christ precious lessons of patience. Do not become discouraged, but keep at the work in all humility. It will drive you to Jesus; it will lead you to study the Pattern. You want to work as Jesus worked. Do not neglect to lay the whole matter before him; in humble, earnest prayer, plead for his grace to co-operate with your efforts. Jesus will surely hear you; and when that soul yields to the influence of the Spirit of God, you may rejoice, for you have gained that which is of more value to you than silver or gold,—an experience in bringing souls to Christ. YI May 4, 1886, par. 6

Mrs. E. G. White