“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” (Luke 15:7 ESV).
In Luke 15, Jesus told a parable about a shepherd and his flock of 100 sheep. He related that one of the sheep got separated from the flock; and the shepherd left the remaining 99 sheep to find the one that was lost. Jesus’ response, our verse for the day, demonstrates His great love for the lost.
It got me thinking. What if the 99 were as concerned about the one as Jesus is?
It’s only natural for us to be more concerned about our own needs, and those of our family and friends, than others. It’s only natural for us to fill our “free” time with activities centered around them instead of seeking to find and care for the one sinner. I’m as guilty as anyone.
But when did God ever ask us to spend all of our time caring for our own needs? When did He tell us that we need to be focused on ourselves?
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:31-33 ESV).
If we are trusting God with our lives and those of our family and friends, if we are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, then shouldn’t our concerns be aligned with those of Jesus? Shouldn’t our hearts be crying out, our arms be reaching out, and our voices be speaking out to find those in need of the life which we have found in Christ Jesus?
Shouldn’t the 99 be concerned with the one? Didn’t the resurrected Messiah say, “Go ye”?
Obviously we are not all called to be missionaries in the sense that we use the word today. But we are all called to be about the mission of finding the lost and sharing Jesus with them.
The Gospel isn’t meant to be kept secret. We don’t learn a secret handshake designed to keep people out when we come to faith in Jesus! The Gospel is life-giving and life-sustaining water that we are meant to share with everyone who is thirsty!
“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price” (Revelation 22:17 ESV).
What do you say, 99?
Blessings on your day and week! Watch for oportunites to offer someone a drink!