Admit it, there have been times you found something and upon finding it your reaction would have been YouTube viral worthy if it had been caught on camera. We’ve been there right? Ever lost your keys only to do the happy dance upon finding them? How about a credit card? Or as a teenager did you ever lose something your parents care deeply about or didn’t want you to mess with? Ya, you did the happy dance. Many of you even yelled to your spouse or roommate- I FOUND IT!
Have you ever lost a child at a sporting event? I have. It’s that weird moment when you want to yell at your kid but you’re too busy crying because you’re so relieved you found them!
Deep down if we care about something enough, we are relieved to find it/them when they had been lost. We do and so does Jesus.
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “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 15:1-7
Tell me Jesus doesn’t care about the lost! He cares deeply. Jesus is eating with people who at that time society would consider the worst of the worst. The ‘worst’ of society, did you catch it? They LOVED JESUS. They wanted to be around Him!
I have to pause from time to time and ask, “Do people far from living like Jesus hate being around me? Why?”
Who hated the fact that ‘bad people’ loved Jesus?
The religious. They grumbled and complained. As a Pastor of a church who cares deeply about lost people, I can tell you first hand stories of religious people who hate what we do. In fact, three hours ago I was bombarded by a religious person who thought it was unacceptable that I would baptize a Christian still living in sin. Oh geesh, I’m thankful that I value Endless Growth because I’m not perfect either! ...But I digress.
So Jesus, knowing they are complaining about the people He is hanging with, tells this story. A shepherd has 100 sheep. A good shepherd loves his sheep. So when one goes missing, he leaves the 99 to go find the one lost sheep. When he finds the lost sheep, he celebrates, he throws a party, and get this, he gives of himself to help this lost sheep.
Do we care enough to party when a lost person is found?
Do we care enough to search? How many lost people or brand new believers are we willing to put on our shoulders? Church, we may have 99 problems but one ain’t one. The one is never the problem! So as a church we PRAY FOR ONE. We are in relentless pursuit of ONE.
I want to wake up each morning and pray for people who are far from God. I want to live in such a way that makes them crave Jesus. I pray for the opportunity to share God’s love. Will you join us in praying for one? How far are you willing to go for your lost friends? Are you willing to at least pray?
Now, here is where the religious people start opening up a new email.
“You’re seeker sensitive”, they will say and “You don’t care about people in the church”. Go fly a kite. P.S. my email is jason@wellspring.ONE. Yup, I am seeker sensitive. By that I mean, why should we make it hard for people to come to Jesus? I think that is said in the book of Acts, right?! Should we not seek lost people? Is the church actually going to burn down if “that” person is inside? NO!!!! Jesus WANTS ‘that’ person in the church!
I’m convinced that my job as a follower of Jesus is to seek people who don’t know Jesus. Why? Because I’m so in love with Jesus that I want to tell others about Him! I want others to know about Him. So when it comes to Christians, I’m not ignoring you at all. Together, I want us to grow so in love with Jesus that we can’t help but talk about Him. We grow in love and love spurs us to action. I need Jesus just as much today as I did at the start. May I never have the attitude that I don’t need Jesus or that others don’t either.
"We exist to ignite a craving for Jesus by relentlessly loving our community."
Will you join me in this? Will you pray for one? Let’s go church. Let’s fall more in love with Jesus and as we do, let’s seek those that don’t know Him!
In relentless pursuit of ONE,
Pastor Jason Coache