While I was searching for the calf and later when I had found it, the parable of the lost sheep kept running though my mind. I understood that parable in a new way that day and it taught me a lesson. The parable is found in Luke 15:1-7. Jesus wanted to teach the Pharisees that God joyfully seeks and saves sinners. The story Jesus tells is like this: A shepherd has lost one sheep from his flock of one hundred. So he goes out to look for the one sheep. When he finds the lost sheep, he takes it home rejoicing. Then he has a party with friends and neighbors to celebrate the finding of the sheep. So it is in heaven when one sinner repents. The angels rejoice. God rejoices. The question is: Do we rejoice when sinners repent? Do we share the same joy that God has in the salvation of sinners? Since people will not seek God, God seeks sinners. It brings Him great joy to bring one home. Do we seek sinners? Do we reach out to them with the good news of salvation? Do we struggle and sacrifice to tell others of the riches of God's grace.
Evangelism is one of the main reasons God has left His people on this earth. He uses His people to bring the light of the gospel to the dark world. Do we as individuals and churches realize how important this is. Often the church gets distracted by other issues. These may be good and right, but they end up taking people away from the simple task of reaching the lost with the gospel and teaching the gospel to those who believe. People spend more time, energy, money, and effort on these side issues rather than on evangelism. These things could be saving children from poverty, political activism, ending abortion, and feeding the hungry and homeless. These are good pursuits, but when they eclipse our passion for reaching the lost with the gospel, then they need to be put into their proper place. Let us share in God's joy by seeking the lost with the gospel. Let us pray sinners will repent and believe. Then we who are on earth can celebrate with those in heaven over the salvation of a sinner.