Father, thank You that Your heart is seeking all those who are lost. Thank You that You found me.
Read LUKE 15:1–10
 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”  Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders  and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’  I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.  “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?  And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’  In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is revealed about God’s heart?
Jesus was well-known for mixing with the wrong sort of people. The Pharisees and teachers believed that mixing with sinners made them unclean, so that they would not be able to attend worship. They would go to great lengths to avoid any contact which would have this result. Jesus doesn’t see it that way. He was prepared to meet—and eat—with anyone. He accepted those whom others would have done anything to avoid. And this didn’t go down well (2). It is in response to this criticism that Jesus tells the stories about a lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son. His point is that God cares for the broken, the lost and the excluded; cares enough to come searching for them in Jesus. Jesus left the glory of heaven and stepped into the uncomfortable, messy, confused, broken and hurting places of this world. He expects his followers to do the same, going where others might not go. We are to be open, welcoming and inclusive. We are to long for others to find God. The Pharisees and teachers failed on this count. If there is rejoicing in heaven (7,10) when those who are far from God turn to him, then surely we should join in.
Think about your church. What does it do to search out those who are lost? What more might you be doing?
Jesus, You gave all to save those who are lost. Help me to join You in Your pursuit.
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