Key Verse: Luke 15:4-5
What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it, and when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
The lost sheep! The lost coin! The lost son! Do we get it? Our reading finishes with the story of the lost rich man, his lost brothers, and the salvation of the beggar Lazarus. Jesus really cares about lost people. We must recognize the infinite value of one precious person. If we want to be like Jesus, there is no other way than to focus our attention on finding the lost and bringing them to our Father in Heaven. Do we look for the prodigal as the father did in the story, or do we betray an essential selfishness like the older brother who had been faithful but uncaring for his lost brother? Chapter 16 introduces money into the mix. Giving time is equal to giving money. We need to do both!!! Are our priorities right before God and before people?
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, in today’s reading, You are getting through to me. There are lost souls all around me. Help me to bring the lost back home to You today and every day. Help me, and help my church and the ministries I support, to constantly find opportunities to reach out to those lost in the maze of man-made philosophies, self-centred goals, and all the traps set by the enemy of our souls. I pray this, determined to look for the lost, in Your Name, Lord Jesus. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
One tool that the Crossroads ministry has used to find the lost and bring them to Jesus has been to encourage Christian pavilions at World Expos. The last Expo in which we were involved was Germany’s first…Expo 2000 in Hanover. The great fish, sketched out on the dining room table of our home, designed by architect Rob Adsett of Australia and pictured below, was voted the “Icon of the Expo” by the German people. The content of the pavilion in Hanover, Germany, was a movie based on the story of the prodigal son and the story of Jonah, written and produced by Bruce Stacey. Out of the millions who visited the pavilions in four Expos, at least 100,000 lost souls were found and brought home to our Father God. Names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, were recorded. They signed up for a Bible correspondence course and they were followed up by Scripture Union and churches around the world. I’ve learned that while these great efforts are important, they are not to be considered a substitute for my personal, one-to-one, soul winning.
Yours for finding lost people and bringing them home with us,
P.S. For several days now I’ve been writing here about the reliability of the Scriptures. Yesterday I referenced Tacitus, a primary historian of the Roman Empire (Annals 15:44). Today it’s Josephus, the most prominent Jewish historian. Josephus writes of James, whom we know as “the brother of our Lord” and author of the epistle of James. Josephus tells us of a trial before the Jewish Sanhedrin of “a man named James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ” (Antiquities 20:198-202).