by Andrew Kinney
*Read Luke 15 first, then come back to read this.
“In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and turns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed!” Luke 15:7 NLT.
Jesus shows us the value of a lost soul in this chapter. He shows us how much He values those that are lost. Jesus goes to great lengths to describe how much effort, energy, and care went into finding what was lost in each parable. The shepherd leaving to go find 1% of his flock. The woman searching without ceasing until she found her lost coin. The father letting 1 of his 2 sons go, knowing he was going to waste his inheritance. But when the father saw his lost son coming back home from a distance, he ran to meet him where he was. The father helped his child the rest of the way home.
These 3 parables Jesus used, shows us how much God cares for those who don’t live in relationship with Jesus yet. If you have been struggling with your own personal value, if you have been doubting that God could save you, if you have been stuck in a rut for so long with no end is sight… God has what you need to move forward. God cared so much for you that He sent His 1 and only son, to be tempted, beaten, and killed in a brutal way… to pay for your sins. Jesus resurrected 3 days after his death and is with God now interceding on your behalf. God loves you and your life matters. He wants you to be apart of the body of Christ.
Each of us have different personality types, strengths and weaknesses. Paul asks God to take away his weaknesses in2 Corinthians 12, but Paul said that God told him that His strength is make perfect in Paul’s weaknesses. I know I’m suppose to be writing on Luke 15, hang in there! I have written this devotional 4 times now. My first attempt was to write something that was informative and a good example on how to write a devotion. The 2nd and 3rd attempts centered around how the church needs to make people that are lost a priority. But while holding my newborn son, I realized something. If I love this little boy as much as I do…(which is more than I can describe) how much more does God love me? And after reading this passage, how much rejoicing happens in heaven when someone that was lost gets found?! At the same time, how much does God’s heart break when someone thinks they don’t have any value or if they feel like their life is meaningless? If everything in your life has failed you, God won’t. If you feel like you don’t know what strengths you have, you could get discouraged and not try. When I meet someone who has no idea what their gifting or talent is, I see that as a perfect opportunity for God’s love and light to shine through that person. Because God has used broken and flawed people all over the Bible, and guess what He still does. I want to encourage the person that feels alone, God can be with you, just ask Him. Find someone that has been a christian for a while and ask them questions about God and about following Jesus. You have so much potential, you have so much to offer the world. Your life matters. Take one step towards Jesus today, and he will run to meet you.
I want to talk to the seasoned christians for a minute. We must have a sense of urgency and priority for those around us that don’t have a relationship with Jesus. We know what our lives looked like before we were saved, and we know God died for EVERYONE. We are his ambassadors to this world, we have a responsibility to spread the good news! I pray that theBridge Community church, and the church at large, goes all out to reach those who are lost. I hope to see people saved, and celebrations had when that happens. God has awoken something in me that can’t be quiet anymore, I hope he does the same for you.
Some questions to ask yourself…
“Do I value myself?”
“Do I find my identity as a son or daughter of God?”
“How can I reach that person who I know needs Jesus?”
“How can I better serve God with my gifts and talents?”
I encourage you to reach out to us if you need to talk, we are here for you!
- Andrew Kinney