“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” – Luke 15:4-7.

I think Dr. Seuss was right when he wrote, “a person’s a person no matter how small.” Every person matters to God regardless of size, shape, color, age, sex, or creed. John 3:16 (NLT) tells us that: “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” 

In a culture that idolizes the rich and famous, God has a different perspective. The Bible tells us that even the one who wanders away is important. In fact, the wandering one is so important that the shepherd leaves the other sheep in search of the one that is lost. And when the shepherd finds the one missing sheep, he kicks up his heels and celebrates.   

If that is how God thinks and operates, that is exactly how we should think and operate. If everyone matters to God, everyone should matter to us.  If God cares for every person, even the one who has lost his or her way and is far from the heart of God, then we should as well. Jesus had a passion for the lost. “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) Shouldn’t we imitate Jesus and have that same passion? 

The answer is yes. We do want to capture Christ’s passion for the spiritually lost. God’s heart beats for people who are living without a personal relationship with the risen Savior. God so wants people restored to a right relationship with him that He gave his one and only Son to die just so that relationship could be possible. 

While he lived on earth some 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ modeled for us a passion to seek and save the lost. He kept nothing back, and He gave everything up to see to it that he is able to complete His mission.

You and I are also called by God to imitate His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us imitate Him by passionately seeking those who are far from the heart of God. 

Discussion Questions:

  1. What are you most passionate about in 2016?
  2. Read Romans 9:1-4: What is Paul’s passion in this scripture passage?
  3. Have you ever felt like your life wasn’t important? What made you feel this way?
  4. Determine one concrete step you can take this week to develop more empathy and passion for the lost.