Seeking For That Which Is Lost
All of us have lost something at one time or another. Sometimes the lost item is of little consequence so we might spend only a minute or two looking for it. If we do not find the article then we resume our business with the assumption that we may find it later, but if not, "No big deal." On the other hand, we will make an exhaustive search when we have lost something of great value to us. I remember on one occasion I lost a hundred dollar bill. For several hours, I scoured our house and car from top to bottom seeking my lost money. The money was never found. This caused me a great deal of anxiety because it was a substantial loss. Jesus spoke about lost sheep and a lost coin as He addressed the scribes and Pharisees because they complained that He was receiving sinners.
So He spoke this parable to them, saying: "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? "And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. "And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!' "I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:3-7 NKJV)
"Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? "And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!' "Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:8-10 NKJV)
The lesson of each of these parables was to show the tremendous value that God places on one lost soul. Jesus emphasized this point when He was scorned for going home with Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10 NKJV) Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) The value that God places upon each of us prompted Him to offer His only Son on the cross of Calvary to save mankind from their sins. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 NKJV)
There are two very important lessons to be derived from these texts:
1) Everyone, including you, is of such value to God that He went to great lengths to make possible our salvation from sin. God didn't just sit up in heaven and wait for us to come to Him, rather He sought us out for salvation because of the deep love that He has for each of us. Don't allow yourself to be deceived into buying into the devil's lie, "I am of no value." God values you enough to allow His Son, Jesus Christ, to suffer unimaginable pain in order to make it possible for you to be in His presence for all eternity.
2) Christians, like God, are to place an equally high value on those who are lost in sin. True disciples of Christ will understand the value that each individual possesses, therefore will not be complacent when it comes to trying to retrieve these lost souls. We will see beyond ethnic, educational, and social differences and recognize the intrinsic value of each soul. An unquenchable fervor to share the gospel message of Jesus will pervade in the lives of those who understand the worth of each soul that needs to be saved. As a disciple of Christ, are you exhibiting this same zeal in searching for those who need the saving message of the gospel?
God is lovingly seeking those who are lost. If you are one of those whom He seeks, will you answer His call?