Lost and Found
I tell you that in the same way [the same as in this parable] there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance . . .
In Luke 15:1-7 Jesus tells the story of a shepherd who has 100 sheep and 1 has gone missing. The shepherd leaves the 99 to go and find the 1. It can sound crazy to some, but if you have ever owned livestock, you know how valuable 1 can be.
Before I was in ministry, one of the jobs that helped me to make a living, was going after strays. I was hired to ride through big pastures and find the steers or cows that got left behind when they gathered the herd. Most of the time, there was a reason that they didn't make it with the rest of the herd. They were the difficult and stubborn ones that refused to be caught. This process would usually take most a day (if I was lucky) or it could take several to track them down. They most of the time did not want to be found, and they would even resist the gentle guidance back. It took time and effort, and most of all patience to find and bring back the 1. Usually, with some "gentle" persuasion, I could get them back to their owner.
You and I are that 1. Jesus came looking for us and at different times he has used different people to help draws us back into the fold. Jesus came because YOU are valued by him, far more than you will ever understand. He came on a rescue mission for us, and when we know that, we should be willing to go after others. All of us have people in our lives who have pointed us to Jesus. Think back to who has impacted your walk with Jesus the most. Where would you be in your walk of faith without them pointing you to Jesus?
Our mission as a church is: To Grow God's Kingdom 1 person at a time, teaching them to worship Jesus, walk with Jesus, and work for Jesus! Our mission is to find the 1 that we need to point to Jesus! That might be time over coffee every week, time walking or talking. That might be an invite to church so you can jump start the conversation. It could be praying for a neighbor who just found out some life changing news. You don't have to have ONLY 1, the bigger picture is that we must be willing to PRAY and ASK God to OPEN our eyes, so that we might SEE people like Jesus did! It will of course take time, effort, and patience. But things that matter, usually do.
We need to be followers of Jesus who believe in the power of the gospel and are willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that people SEE come to KNOW Jesus!
How many people will be in eternity because you went looking for them?