Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.  Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them." So He told them this parable, saying, "What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!  I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. The Lost Coin "Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!' In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" Luke15:1-10

Becoming a disciple means imitating, conforming ourselves to the complete image of Jesus Christ. This includes our heart.   To have a heart that beats in rhythm with Christ.  Do you have a heart that breaks for the lost?  Have you ever been brought to tears over a person or people who do not know Christ? Do you begin your day praying over those outside of a saving relationship with Christ, and make it you heartfelt goal to do something about it? Do the lost have value to you?  They did to Jesus.  He had, no he has a heart that breaks for those who do not know him.     

  When we read passages like the one above from Luke, we see that here, and all throughout the Scriptures,  and when we look at the early church, the lost had extreme value, They are a lost treasure that is desperately searched for and angels rejoice when they are found.  Paul’s whole life journey and martyrdom after his conversion was driven by reaching people with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  I do not see that same value on the lost in the church today.  I do not see hearts in Sunday gatherings that break for the lost.  People leaving its doors compassionately compelled to seek and find those who don’t know Christ.  The “lost” have become a derogatory term.  We use the word “lost” frequently to cast a negative view on someone, “Oh that Steve, he is lost.”  Followed by, “Bless his heart.”

In Luke 16:19-31 we find the story of the rich man and Lazarus.  The rich man, after he finds himself in hell cries out to Abraham, “And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him (Lazarus) to my father's house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment”(v.27”). I read here that those in hell have something that I believe many of those in church do not have, compassion for the lost.  They are desperate not to have their loved ones and neighbors enter the eternal torment they are in. They cry out in prayer over the lost.  Today’s church is missing something hell has.  True compassion that cries out to God for those who don’t know Christ.  If we in the church cannot have the heart of Jesus for the lost, at least let us have the compassion of hell for them!

Read Luke 15:1-10, 11-32, 16:19-31.  Then spend time with God reflecting on my same questions from above; Do you have a heart that breaks for the lost?  Have you ever been brought to tears over a person or people who do not know Christ? Do you begin your day praying over those outside of a saving relationship with Christ, and make it you heartfelt goal to do something about it? Do the lost have value to you?  Ask God to give you a heart that breaks for the lost.

Please share any thoughts, questions, or prayers over persons who are lost in the comment box below.

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