Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Jesus and the Lost”
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So he told them this parable: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
“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? 9 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.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
I read an unbelievable Newsweek article about an elderly couple from Knoxville, Tennessee – Tony and Delores Amaral. After being released from the hospital, they attempted to make their way home, which was supposed to be a short trip back. Instead, they got lost and were found two states over and five days later near Atlanta, Georgia! They had embarked on an unlikely journey crisscrossing through Kentucky to Atlanta, Georgia, where police finally found them. During the time they went missing, their daughter went into frantic desperation, and with the help of police, the family tracked the elderly couple to Atlanta using bank transactions, and were safely returned home.
In today’s parable Jesus also talks about the agony of something being lost and the joy of being found. First, Jesus talks about a lost sheep and how a shepherd would do anything to get that one sheep back. Then he talks about a lost coin and how this woman would go on a frantic search to find it. So what do we learn from these stories?
- We must have God’s heart to seek out those who are lost – Jesus is clearly addressing those who do not have a relationship with Him and how He longs to find them. And we are called to share this burden. How about you? Do you also have that kind of heart for the lost?
- There is uncontrollable joy when one is found – Jesus wants us to know that there is a certain joy that He wants to share with us when we participate in His search to find the lost. That is why it’s important that we continue to be salt and light and His witnesses so that others would come to know Christ through our lives.
- Let us be fueled by God’s amazing grace. For those of us who are in Christ, we ought to be reminded that Christ found us even when we were not looking for Him. In order for us to have a burden for the lost, we must also remember that the gospel shows us that we were once lost and by His sheer grace – He found us.
Prayer: Lord, gives us heart for lost people. Forgive us because we often ignore or do not take advantage of opportunities to share the gospel with people around us. Gives us love, boldness and humility and we declare Christ to this world. Amen!
Bible Reading: 1 John 4
Lunch Break Study
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Questions to Consider
- What do you think it means to walk in wisdom towards outsiders?
- How can our speech be gracious and seasoned with salt?
- How do these verses apply to you personally?
- The basic gospel message is easy to learn, but it takes wisdom to present it in a way that will not unnecessarily create obstacles to its truth in the hearts and minds of unbelievers. Warning people of the judgment due to their sin with honesty, love, and humility can be difficult. We can fall into the trap either of being so concerned about sounding judgmental that we never talk about sin or of being so self-righteous that we forget the grace shown to us and treat people as if they are so unclean that Jesus could never forgive them and welcome them into His kingdom
- The Greek words that are behind “speech,” “gracious,” and “salt” are used together in the first-century literature to refer to speech that is gracious and attractive — winsome, even witty words that are also spoken in a humble manner. In other words, the apostle wants the presentation of the gospel to the outside world done in a manner that captures the gospel’s excitement and that is able to answer the unbeliever’s legitimate questions.
- Personal response.
Spend some time in personal prayer. Ask the Lord to speak to you on the things you read and meditated on today.