Read Luke 15:1-32
Luke 15 is full of stories Jesus shares that remind us of the love and forgiveness we receive from God. It starts with people being upset that Jesus is not only welcoming but spending time with sinners. Jesus responds beautifully and with love in His words. Verses 4-7 speak to me specifically. I think of the days where I was a lost “sheep”, wandering around doing whatever I wanted. Then, without hesitation, Jesus sought after me as I was lost in my ways. We often say that we “found Jesus” but the truth is, He was never lost. We were the lost ones and eventually found our way back home.
God is standing there with arms wide open, waiting for us to return home so He can say:
“For this child of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”
When we decide to turn around from going our own way and go back home, God is holding out forgiveness for us to receive, and the only thing we need to do is accept it. Have you ever accepted the love and forgiveness that God is so freely willing to give you? If not, maybe today is your day. All you need to do is admit that you have messed up and gone your own way and that you’re a sinner (we all are, so don’t feel bad). When you believe that Jesus died to pay the price for your sins, and commit your life to living for Him, you will receive the grace God is waiting to give you. When you decide to commit to living your life for Jesus and begin being transformed by His love, you will soon see why Jesus spent His time with sinners.
Maybe you’ve already given your life to Jesus and you’re wondering why this applies to you. The story starts with Jesus sharing WHY He is spending His time with sinners. He’s explaining that, though there are 99 other sheep out there, there is one that is lost, and He is willing to leave the 99 to find the ONE! Why? Because each number matters. Every number has a name, every name has a story, and EVERY story matters to God. As a follower of Christ, we’re called to live and love like Jesus did. This means that God is going to use us to be a light to those around us and help them see that He is waiting for them to return home. We’ve got this amazing opportunity to love people who are broken, lost, and hurting. I don’t know more of a beautiful picture of representing the Gospel than to sit with sinners, meet them where they are, and simply love them, while sharing the gift of grace that is waiting for them.
We often get this feeling that it’s our job to save the lost. Nowhere in the Bible does God put that on us. He simply asks us to love those around us and to be a light to them by being a light to people who haven’t found their way home. We cannot carry them and return them home; we can only help to guide them.
I don’t know about you but I am thankful for that.
I don’t want the pressure of having to save the lost, because I can’t even save myself. Nothing I do is good enough to get to God, only Jesus can get us there. I am thankful for the chance God gives us to help be a guide in others’ lives, and I pray this week that God would give you boldness to share the gospel with someone in your space!