This morning I was looking for a sheet of paper I needed. I looked upstairs and down, in the garage, the kitchen, even the bathrooms but with no success. Frustrated I set off for work. Upon arriving, I decided to look in a bag I had looked in before and there it was, wadded up at the bottom.
I’m like a lot of people and occasionally spend my time looking for things that I have lost. It might be my keys, my glasses, my coat….or a sheet of paper. If I’m persistent enough, I find them in their adopted hiding places.
Jesus also spends much of His time looking for the lost, but He persistently looks for things much more important than keys or glasses. Daily He searches for lost souls, those souls captured by the world, riddled with desperation and longing for what will fill their emptiness. He told Zacchaeus the tax collector in Luke 19:10, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Jesus said in Luke 15:4, “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?” It is Jesus’ passion to find lost souls and He will not stop looking until they are found. Those who have already put their hope and trust in Him need no rescuing, but the one who has strayed walks in danger and is in need of a Savior who cares.
Christ’s sense of urgency comes because He knows that there are ravenous wolves lurking around every corner ready to devour unguarded hearts. The devil is always on the lookout for those who have strayed from the flock. He looks for the perfect moment to pounce when your defenses are at their weakest. He tempts you with things that appear harmless but end up drawing you into his trap.
That is why God reminds all believers to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Because even the faithful can fall for His lies if their defenses are down. Even those who have given their lives to Christ face the temptations that the devil lays in our path.
During these times, God gives you everything you need to resist the devil’s unwanted advancements. His Word is given to guide us through the traps that the devil has set. His church provides the pack where we can find safety and His angels continue their watch, “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” (Psalm 91:11).
By faith we can count on the Lord to watch over us. By faith we can navigate through the pitfalls, frustrations and trials of life knowing that our Lord will never leave us or forsake us. By faith we can experience peace because we know that our Lord has already set our destination and has prepared a place for us devoid of the dangers we face in this life. In times of trepidation God continues to shower us with hope saying: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
With the assurance of God’s protection, we are also called to play a part in finding those who have become lost. It is not enough to rest in our salvation, we are asked to dedicate ourselves, as God’s representatives on earth, to find the lost even if we must look through every crevasse.
We see so many lost souls among us who are looking for the same salvation that we have found. Too often they search in all the wrong places, becoming lost in a world full of snares and enticements.
But we have the message that can bring them home. Our Savior has the call of the Shepherd that assures them peace and He will never stop crying out to the lost so that they might be filled with the same hope that other believers share. Only He can assure them a safe passage to heaven, their final destination where the grass is always sweet and green.
If you are one of the lost, I encourage you to listen for the Shepherds call. You don’t have to remain lost forever. God offers you shelter from the storms of life and peace in times of trial.
If you are one who knows and trusts in Christ. Keep your eyes open so that you might be able to help Him bring safety to those who have made themselves vulnerable. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for never stopping your search for the lost. Give us eyes to see and hearts to react to the lost we come upon so that through us You might bring them to safety. Amen.