E100 Devotion – Day 60

July 4, 2012

Reading: Luke 15:1-32

Chapter 15 of Luke is called the “lost chapter.” Jesus gives examples of how people are lost. The sheep got lost naturally; the coin got lost accidentally; and the son got lost willfully. In each case someone went out to look for what was lost.

Though often criticized for eating and drinking with sinners by religious leaders, Jesus underscores God’s passion for reaching the lost regardless of the reason they were lost. In all three stories there was celebration and joy in heaven and on earth when only one sinner repented and got saved!

There was a culture of celebration when the lost were found and brought back home in each example. Friends, neighbors and family were all included in the celebration. We know we’re in sync with heaven when we celebrate the same priorities. Worship services are full of celebration when the lost are reborn or come back home to the Father’s House.

Jesus tells these stories to those who had forsaken their mission to reach the lost because they had become hard-hearted and judgmental. Don’t think that this hasn’t happened to many Christians.

We can reach out to the lost at work, in our neighborhoods and communities, and especially our families. We can invite the lost to our homes, small groups, gatherings and church services. We can come up with new, creative ways to serve the lost and show them that God loves them.

Our worship services must be inclusive of the lost and not just exclusively what we want. We can build a culture of love and hospitality toward the lost in our churches. Opportunity must be given to reach the lost in every worship service as well as in small groups, gatherings and individual meetings. The Holy Spirit will guide us if we’ll make it our priority and focus – just like Jesus did.

Do we need to restore our focus on reaching the lost or have we become hard-hearted and self-centered like the prodigal’s brother? Has offense quenched our passion?

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