“Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” (Luke 15:6)
Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems backwards? All of your guesses are wrong and the right answers are exactly the opposite? That’s the way math seemed to me in school. If I was lucky enough to narrow down my choices to only two options, I always seemed to guess wrong. Maybe if I had just made my guess, and then written down the opposite, I would have done better.
Jesus seems this way. You want to be great? Then humble yourself. Want to be first? Then go last. The creator of all came not to be served, but to serve. Makes about as much sense to me at times as math…
In his parable of the lost sheep, Jesus speaks of a person with 100 sheep. 1 gets lost. Know what I would say? “That’s cool. I still have 99 sheep left. One missing sheep is just the cost of doing business.”
Wrong answer. For Jesus leaves the 99 to pursue the 1 lost sheep. And then when he found it, he rejoiced and celebrated!
Let me get this straight. Although Jesus loves and appreciates a church full of his followers, he pursues the one who is not yet his. And when one enemy of God becomes a follower? All of heaven rejoices. Apparently Jesus has as his No. 1 priority the man, woman or child who has yet to turn to him. And he doesn’t sit back and wait for them… he pursues them. He seeks. He knocks. He finds them.
You know where this is headed. If we are truly his disciples, then we must do as he does. And what he does is zealously pursue lost, broken, and distant people who need his love and forgiveness. Even if it means leaving behind 99 folks who are already convinced that he is the One.
Personal Application: Do you struggle with the idea that Jesus expects us to pursue lost folks, rather than merely tending to those already in the family of God? Are you in a relationship with any non-believers?
Family Application: As a family, who are you pursuing? A neighbor? A coach or teacher? Pray as a family for God to identify one person far from him. And then pursue that person with the good news of Jesus.
Written by Clay Barton
What keeps us from actively pursuing people far from God?