God loves the sinner so much that he died to save him.
Seek and Save
Every parent knows that we will do anything to seek and save the people that we value. We don’t care what we look like or what people are thinking. We throw protocol out the window and do whatever it takes to find those we love.
If we are to seek and save the lost in our world, we must see every person as a precious son or daughter of God, who Jesus has sent us to go out and find. We don’t have to look very hard to discover how much emphasis Jesus put on finding the lost. In fact, the very last words Jesus spoke to his disciples related to exactly this: “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’” (Mark 16:15). If we are to become Christlike, then we, too, will seek the lost.
In Luke 15, Jesus teaches about the lost in three parables. He was clearly passionate about the topic, because nowhere else in Scripture does he do this. Through these parables, Jesus reveals to us the principle that when we have lost something of great value, we’ll stop at nothing to find it.
In the first parable—concerning lost sheep—Jesus says, “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?” (see Luke 15:4). When the shepherd loses one sheep, Jesus tells us he will leave all the others who are safe in the fold to search for the one that is lost. This man lives from the inside out—he leaves the ninety-nine sheep on the inside because he realizes the one that is outside the safety of the herd is in harm’s way.
He also knows that the sheep did not get lost on purpose; it had probably found a ridge with some super tasty grass. Similarly, people do not get lost on purpose; often they simply get caught up in the turmoil of day-to-day life—just trying to survive, pay the bills, and raise their kids. We need to be like the shepherd, willing to do whatever it takes to find those lost sheep.
When we seek out that which is lost, we are loving our neighbors as we love ourselves and valuing people as God values them. We will be so occupied and fulfilled with doing what the Church was placed on this earth to do—taking what is inside the Church out into a broken world—that our doors will never close.
Point to Ponder
Do you value the same things God values? If so, he can use you to reach out to those he loves.