Whilst we are all lost at some point, the Lord will not give up until he finds us.
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering round to hear Jesus. 2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners, and eats with them.’
3 Then Jesus told them this parable: 4 ‘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? 5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.” 7 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 people who do not need to repent.
8 ‘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? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbours together and says, “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.” 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’
I have to admit; I admire the dedication of the woman who lost a coin. When I lose a coin, I tend to just shrug my shoulders and not really care. If it was a $100 note, it would be a different story. But a $2 coin? Who cares?
What really struck me in the story was the dedication of the woman with the coin, as well as the man with the sheep. The woman lights the lamp, sweeps the house and searches carefully until she finds it. She really wants this coin. And the shepherd also really wants his sheep, which is why he leaves the 99 behind in open country to go and find them.
I wish I could show the same level of commitment and dedication that the woman and the shepherd show. Instead I find myself being more like the lost coin and sheep. Lately, I’ve been consistently straying far from God. I’ve been looking to find myself in the things from this world. The only way I can truly find myself is in the cross of Jesus. Because the message of the cross tells me who I really am- a sinner saved by grace. And I’m a very undisciplined sinner at that. I find that I do more of what I would rather not do and less of what I rather do- would read the Bible, pray and seek God’s counsel.
The good news for both you and I is that God is the woman/shepherd in the story. God will constantly keep looking for us until we find him. He is always waiting for us to repent of our sins and turn back to him. He will rejoice more over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous people who don’t. Healthy people don’t need a doctor, sick people do. Jesus came to heal us from our sins with his crucifixion and resurrection. All we have to do is turn back to him whenever we are far away. Start running towards Jesus!!
Head: There are 2 ways to be lost. You can be lost far away (Gentiles/Sinners) or lost right at home (Jews/Righteous). Are you lost? If yes, in what ways are you lost like the coin and the sheep?
Heart: God will go to amazing lengths to find just one sinner who repents. Rejoice in the fact that we have a merciful and loving God who will seek us out until we find him.
Hands: What practical measures can we take to show God’s heart to the lost? Who can we reach out to? Is there someone we need to talk to?
Prayer: Father, thank you so much for never giving up on us when we are lost. We’re sorry for the times when we do stray far from you. We often don’t realize it, but sometimes the distractions of this life can consume us to the point where they are all we think about and we find our identity in them. Help us to remember that our true identity is in you and only you can find us, save us and redeem us. Amen
A song to listen to: You Alone Can Rescue
Mick Lather Living Church Creek Road