“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “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? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 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 persons who do not need to repent.” [Luke 15:1-7]
This parable is everyone’s starting point with God. Our relationship with our Creator doesn’t start with us presenting ourselves to Him as we attempt to convince Him of why we are worthy, but instead it starts with God seeking us out. The love of God is one which seeks out those who are not with Him. If you’re not with God then He is seeking you out. If you’re not with God that doesn’t sit well with Him. It’s never been God’s desire to be separated from the very people He created.
As you read the rest of Luke 15 the parables continue to reflect this reality. It starts with the Parable of the Lost Sheep, then Jesus tells the Parable of the Lost Coin and then He proceeds to tell the Parable of the Lost Son. With each parable Jesus is revealing the heart of God the Father. You are a lost sheep and God wants you back with His flock. You are a lost coin which God will look for endlessly because you’re a treasure to Him. You are a lost son or daughter whom God longs for and eagerly awaits your return. However you want to spin it, Jesus’ message is inescapable. You are living in one of two realities: You are lost or you are found. And God desperately wants for you to be found.
I think sometimes we kid ourselves into believing there’s some middle ground. We think that we can be found by God but we’re not really loved and accepted. This scripture totally wipes that out. When you’re found by Jesus He throws you over His shoulders and brings you home to celebrate with all of His friends. There is an EXPLOSIVE celebration every single time somebody is born again in Jesus Christ! You’re not the exception. If you’ve given your life to Jesus, God celebrated your return just as much as He’s celebrated any other person’s return. He doesn’t want the perfect person, He wants you. Jesus was telling this story to the rejects of Jewish society. They received the invitation to God’s love with thankful hearts while the Pharisees scoffed at His message and they completely missed out. If you’ve never given your life to Jesus, why would you refuse such an invitation? To be loved and known by God is what every human soul longs for. So if you’re not convinced that you’ve ever given all of your life to Jesus, then find someone and ask them to pray with you. Jesus is waiting to carry you home!
Jesus, I ask that every person reading this belong would believe that you are the God who seeks eternal relationship with His people. I pray that any beliefs of abandonment would be done away with for those who are in Christ Jesus. And for those who are not in you, I ask for the conviction of the Holy Spirit to fall on them and reveal to them the invitation to your Love.