Jesus shares three consecutive stories about lost things in Luke 15. These stories share a plot line that centers not only on something that has been lost, but in each case it has such great value that an all-out search ensues to recover it. After the lost sheep, coin and son are returned to their rightful place, there is a great deal of rejoicing. Everyone celebrates that the lost has been found. Jesus is pointing to the fact that the lost, those who are far from God, matter. Every person is of immense value, and the Father will stop at nothing to find and bring home those who are lost. God loves people. He gave his only son so the lost might be found, no matter what the person has done or how far they’ve wandered, He has open arms and is searching and waiting for the lost to come to Him.
1 Cor 13:1-8, 13; 1 Jn 4:19; Jer 29:11-13; Lk 15
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. (1 Cor 13:13). We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
Christians are often stereotyped as judgmental and unloving. Many who are not followers of Christ may be more loving and gracious than some Christians. This certainly gives us a bad rap. As Christians we have received God’s love and now God calls us to go into the world and share His love with others so that they might come to him. We are His search and rescue team here on earth. There will be little desire to hear about Christ if we do not love people. It is far too easy to hate the person who does not behave or believe the same as we do, the person who does not look or talk like we do. However, God does not discriminate. He says we are to love everyone without question.
Who do you find hardest to love? How can we love the person and still disagree with their beliefs and values? How has our culture made it more difficult to be a Bible believing Christian? How well do you represent Christ’s love with those around you? (your family, friends, co-workers) How can you become better at loving people as God expects?
Draw closer to God by spending time reading the Bible, meditating on Scripture, praying, and sharing your faith with others. As you fill your heart and mind with God’s Word and build a closer relationship with Jesus Christ, you will love more. It’s a given!
Dear God help me to see others as you do and to love them as you do. May my life and your love in me draw people to Christ. Thank you for the great sacrifice you gave so the lost could find salvation through Jesus. Thank you for searching until you found me. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen!