Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 30, 2017
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. Luke 15:4-7
A first world issue: when an iPhone is lost, it can be retrieved with a feature on the Apple watch which releases a screeching alarm on your device. Crisis averted, universal calm restored. There is, of course, a more significant situation of “lostness.” I heard recently about a high school friend who was the life of the party, who did not know the Lord and did not live for the Lord. I saw recently on Facebook his new found faith and I can’t wait to celebrate with him at our upcoming class reunion. Lost souls. Jesus finds great joy when they are found and brought back to Him!
The context for Christ’s comments on the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son were due to the Pharisees disregard for the desperate condition of a sinner’s lostness, and the significance of their salvation. They “muttered” because the lost mattered much more to the Lord than their religious self-righteousness. Spiritual pride riled up a rebuke from Jesus, but a lost soul found was cause for raucous celebration. Like Christ, we are called to seek out the lost and help them find faith. And when sinners are converted, it’s time to party. Joy is birthed when the lost experience rebirth!
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
How do you intentionally seek out those who need to be saved? Perhaps you start with a prayer asking the Lord to give you favor with people who are open to faith. Pray your quiet generosity, honest words, hard work, content lifestyle and grateful attitude all become of intriguing interest for a seeking soul to ask you about the reason for the hope you have. Also be alert to those experiencing a life transition: marriage, divorce, birth, illness, death, loss and job change. Look for ways to show them the way to Jesus. The gospel is the power of God for salvation.
Those lost in their sins need to know and admit they are lost before they can be saved. The work of the Holy Spirit in a heart is what convinces, not our clever arguments. As they read, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) the Spirit will prick their pride. Once the lost repent of their sin and embrace Jesus to save them–they move from darkness into the light of the Lord’s love. Just as an infant requires intense nurture and love, so we who are more mature in the faith are called to teach, train and care for new babes in Christ. With even more intensity than a baby’s birth, with joy we celebrate spiritual births and help them grow in grace!
“Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation” (Isaiah 25:9).
PrayerHeavenly Father, I pray the joy of my salvation causes me to seek out those who are lost and lack Your joy, in Jesus’ name, amen.
ApplicationWho needs my attention as a new babe in Christ or as one who is open to finding faith in Christ?
Related ReadingPsalm 13:5; Isaiah 61:10; Colossians 4:6; 2 Timothy 1:8
Post/Tweet todayPray for ways to show people the way to Jesus. #WisdomHunters #Jesusjoy
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