“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
Luke 15:8-10 ESV
God's heart yearns for the ones who do not know Him. He absolutely loves and rejoices over his obedient followers, but he even more so rejoices when someone who has been lost is then found. This parable is funny when held up against American culture. Because we look at the 9 coins and think that's a pretty good investment. I would probably look around a bit if I lost one coin but I certainly wouldn't throw a party and invite all my friends over if I found it. And that is a matter of value. But God sees that the one missing coin has just as much value as the nine that he has in his hand.
This matters to us because it gives us a right understanding of God. Not only is he a good and loving Father to the people who follow him, but he longs for the people who don't know him to be adopted into his family. He is not okay with people being in sin and darkness, he wants them to come to the knowledge of him and to come into freedom and love. He sees ALL people as having infinite worth and value, enough to die for. And he has already gone to the greatest lengths to be able to have relationship with them.
This should get us up out of our seat and out into relationship with people who don't know God. Because when we know what God has for those who follow him, freedom, love, forgiveness, eternal life, grace, truth, the abundant life- and then realize that he wants that for all people, we should then be moved into action. We should look through eyes that see immense value in the people around us. If we believe that one person who is trapped in struggle and sin matters immensely to God, that he will search everywhere and throw a party when they come home, they should matter that much to us. We are called to have a mind shift - to actually value people, to see them, to care, to love the people that are overlooked, discounted and different from us. It should move us to actively look for and love those people in our lives. From your roommate, to your mom, to the person sitting alone in the dining hall, love should push us to do something about the fact that that person matters to God, and that he wants them to be living abundantly in relationship with him.
Father thank you that you are good. Thank you that you care so deeply and that your love is reckless. Please shift my heart to see people the way you do, with immense value and worth. Teach me how to search for the one and how to do something about it. God please put people in my life that I can share your love with. Give me courage and teach me how to be bold. I ask that you would Give me practically next steps and strategy on how to love this people in my life. Come and encounter me with your reckless love and teach me how to love others that severely. I love you God, thank you that you are with me. Amen.