Lost and Found

Do you know a friend or relative – anyone that people call a “black sheep”? Maybe that’s even how some refer to you. Jesus was crucified as a common criminal, identifying with the most wayward of us. However, He never sinned, unlike any of us. Let’s take a look at what God thinks of wayward sheep.

First of all, they are loved extravagantly.  

God isn’t Santa Claus. He doesn’t love us any more when we’re “good”, or any less when we’re not. He loves because He is love. “…For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”Matthew 5:45b NLT

Secondly, He goes looking for the one that got lost.

Were you ever lost as a child? Can you still remember what it was like when the adult you were with came looking for you, and the relief you felt at seeing that familiar face? If you have lost your way, rest assured Someone is looking for you.

Long ago, the psalmist said, “I have wandered away like a lost sheep; come and find me, for I have not forgotten your commands.”
Psalms 119:176

Or maybe you are running from God? Repentance is His mercy toward us because it allows us to be forgiven and accepted. God will not bring the rebellious  into His family.  He wants to bless us; but we must repent of our sin to enjoy the goodness He has for us.

Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
Romans 2:4 NLT

But if all His kindness doesn’t bring us to Him, then in His love, He has other means of pursuing us. He knows He is our only hope for avoiding an eternity in hell. If we will not listen to anything else, He will do whatever it takes to get our attention, the same as we would if we saw a beloved child running toward a cliff.

So how do we know Someone is looking for us?

Jesus said, “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost?
Matthew 18:12 NLT

Thirdly, heaven throws a party when one sinner turns from his sin and comes home to the Father.

… Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons. “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’ “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. ’ “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
Luke 15:10‭-‬24 NLT

One day, in the twinkling of an eye, He will appear in the skies to call His children home. Have you made yourself ready by surrendering to Him and His will? “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” 2 Peter 3:9

RememberChrist proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly!
Romans 5:8 TPT

If He had not loved us even in our sin, we would have no hope, because we cannot make ourselves good enough for God and heaven.

Love alone isn’t enough to get us into heaven. We are sinful, and on our way to hell, needing a rescue! God made the way, when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, Who is the only way (John 14:6).

For this is how much God loved the world—he gave his one and only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge and condemn the world, but to be its Savior and rescue it! So now there is no longer any condemnation for those who believe in him, but the unbeliever already lives under condemnation because they do not believe in the name of God’s beloved Son.
John 3:16‭-‬18

The Bible says we must repent. This is the u-turn that gets us going in the right direction, and is part of being born again. Once we realize our sinful condition, and that Jesus has made the way for us to be made right with God and out from under the load of sin we’ve been carrying, we run to Him with open arms, and from the evil that has been steadily destroying us.

Peter replied, “Repent and return to God, and each one of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus, the Anointed One, to have your sins removed. Then you may take hold of the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 TPT

The Holy Spirit is the gift given to us that validates what has happened between us and God, and that we have been born again. See John 3:3

Each Christian has at least one gift of the Spirit – a special anointing to accomplish the work God assigns to each of us. There is also the fruit of the Spirit, which is the Holy Spirit making Himself known through us as we yield to Him in obedience and devotion (Galatians 5:22-23).

Following Jesus is exciting and fulfilling when we are “all in”. That is really the only way  to follow Him since, if we aren’t “all in”, we aren’t really following.

He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Matthew 22:37‭-‬40 CSB

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