“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” – Luke 15: 4-7.
There is a story of two brothers that is hard to believe. After years of trying to find each other, two long-lost Newfoundland brothers discovered they live just yards apart. Tommy Larkin, 30, and his brother, Stephen Goosney, 29, were adopted as children by separate families. Both Larkin and Goosney spent years searching for their biological family but had no luck. Little did they know, they had spent the past seven months living almost directly across the street from each other. The unusual thing was, despite living across the road from each, they couldn’t really ever remember seeing or speaking to each other, until an unlikely encounter. Since reconnecting, the brothers said they have been spending a lot of time together.
Jesus and His Word makes our mandate pretty clear. Our mission, the driving force, the thing that should get us up and keep us up and that we should be expending our energy on is people who are far from the heart of God whether they are across the street or across the planet. Matthew 28:19-29 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you…” He reveals that our understanding must be that found people find people.
Jesus drives this home with words, but also His actions! Jesus was constantly on a mission to find people. In John 1:43-45 He found Philip. The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” Philip, like Andrew and Peter, were from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
He found Philip. Jesus was about finding people. And then He expects us to in turn find others.
So the question is who are we finding? Who have we gone out of our way, purposely set out, planned, to find? It is impossible to really love Jesus and not be concerned about people who are lost and haven’t come to Christ!
Are you found? Who will you find?
- Do we have a willingness to find others?
- What does finding others mean to you?
- What is preventing us from inviting others to church? Is it our schedule? Is it fear? Is it comfort? Is it apathy?
- Read Romans 2: 6-11: What does Paul mean when he states, “For God shows no partiality.”
- Pray and ask God for the courage and the opportunity to invite people to church and to talk about your faith.