Father, Son and Spirit, I thank you that you delight in this time I shre with you this morning.
“So Jesus told them this parable: “Which one of you, if he has a hundred sheep and loses one of them, would not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go look for the one that is lost until he finds it? Then when he has found it, he places it on his shoulders, rejoicing. Returning home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, telling them, ʻRejoice with me, because I have found my sheep that was lost.ʼ I tell you, in the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent.” (Luke 15:3-7)
Jesus, as I read this parable and the one that follows in vs. 8-10, I see that to you the lost, those that are caught up in sinful lifestyles and don’t know you as Lord, have extreme value to you. They are a treasure so great to you that you leave behind all that you have to go seek them and find them. You went and hung out at places they hung out, invited them to share meals at your table, and proclaiming the good news of deliverance to them was at the heart of your ministry. You loved them. You even said “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
I do not see that value for the lost as a treasure to be sought out in the church today. The “lost” are something to avoid and stay away from and people use the term “lost” towards others in a derogatory way or gossip about them in parking lots or small groups. We desire to be in a “Sanctuary”apart from the lost.
Jesus, if you had one day to physically come back to earth, you would not visit my church, or any church, however you would visit prisoners in jail. You would not want to hear a church choir practice, but the hear stories of the homeless and addicted in the streets. You would not share a meal a Wednesday night church gathering, but at the happy hour of a bar with those who have no church family. We in the church, we read the stories like these in Luke 15, we know that is what you did, we know we are called to imitate our lives after yours, so why don’t we value and seek out the lost like you did? When was the last time you planned a day or activity that was centered around seeking, finding, and sharing the Gospel with your brothers and sisters that do not know Christ? When was the last time you valued a co-worker, neighbor, classmate, or anyone who does not love Jesus enough to have a conversation about Jesus with them? When was the last time your heart truly broke and mourned for the lost, that you spent time on your knees praying for them? When was the last time you shouted with joy and rejoiced because you had led someone into the saving grace of Jesus Christ? Earlier this week? Last week? Last month? Last Year? 5 Years ago?
I would truly rather no one who attends a church service on Sunday show up and instead; goes visit their local jail, hangs out and prays with people in the Emergency waiting room of a hospital, goes into a bar, walks the street with the homeless, walks the mall praying over and with people and workers, or in some other way actively seeks “lost” treasure. And so would Jesus.
My family, I pray today your heart will brake and mourn in prayer over your brothers and sisters who are perishing without Christ. I pray today you will intentionally and actively plan out, set a date, time, and place when you will leave your “99”; (your routine and comfort) and imitate Jesus and go out seeking lost treasure. What else would be a better gift to Jesus this Christmas? In Jesus’ name. Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your reflections and prayers with us on this blog in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
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