A lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son.
If you are familiar with this text, your mind is probably already running to the images that these stories conjure up. Perhaps you are picturing the shepherd roaming the mountainside at night or the woman painstakingly sweeping every cranny of her kitchen or the heartbroken father looking down a long road, waiting for a glimpse of his son.
Christ isn’t telling this story for the sake of sheep, coins or kids. This is about people, lost people, whom He loves dearly.
Perhaps, at one time, this story was about you. You were that lost person that God relentlessly pursued. The angels may even still remember the celebration that day when you were found. But the search doesn’t end with you or me. God is still searching, sweeping and running toward those who are lost, a world filled with people who have no idea they are dearly loved by Him. But God doesn’t just love mankind or every ethnic group among mankind. He loves every single person, of every single ethnicity within the entire human race.
God’s astounding love for each person doesn’t end with just finding them but in indwelling and empowering them to live out His purpose! Imagine the potential of the coin in the hands of the widow (even a mite!) or the livelihood of the sheep under the care of the shepherd or the son’s wise management of the household guided by the Father! God not only loves every single person but longs to produce fruitful and meaningful lives through every single person. Sadly, many of those who have been found still don’t fully comprehend the reason God sought them out.
The found ones are invited to join not only in the celebration but also in the search. God doesn’t simply celebrate when a lost one is rescued; but He rejoices to see that one grow in grace, living a life brimming with meaning and purpose. Each found one, no matter where they are from or what language they speak, is invited to join the ranks of the search party. We are an ever-growing search party!
But the search is difficult: the open country, the dark and cobwebby rooms, the seemingly endless roads give way to fatigue and discouragement before the lost are found. Today, there are many without access to God’s precious, life-giving story. These lost ones remain isolated through culture, language and proximity to those who already have God’s Word. These hurdles will not dissuade God’s tireless pursuit of those whom He loves, though at times we are shaking in our boots. God never sends His searchers out alone; we can be fully assured that He is in us and with us each step of the way.
In what ways am I, today, now, searching with God for what is most precious to Him?
What is it that causes us to abandon the search?
What is it that makes us put down the broom, turn off the search lights and walk back home?
It certainly can’t be because all the lost ones are found.
One day the found ones from every people, ethnicity and nation will join in the party of all parties in the throne room of God, not to congratulate themselves for being such great finders, but to celebrate the Finder who gave everything in pursuit of the lost. So, let’s continue to celebrate and search until He brings the search to its joyful conclusion.
— Dan Falls, Ethnos360 USA
Executive Leadership Team
Dan and his wife, Casie, are also ministering with Global Equipping.