Thoughts on life and Scripture...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How God Used a Lost Calf to Teach Me About Evangelism

Last week, one of my calves escaped its pen. This calf was a very large red and white calf. Calves like that are very valuable these days. After his morning feeding he had pushed his door open and vanished into thin air. When I came back to the barn, he was no where to be seen. Normally calves stay around the barn when they escape. But not this time. All day as I did my work, I looked for the calf. I looked in all the tall grass. I looked through out the cow barn. I searched on foot and on the gator. Nothing! I was beginning to think someone stole the calf. I fretted over the disappearance of this calf. I had looked everywhere and now there was no more places to look.The work day was ending soon. I went out to feed the calves. As I looked about again for the calf, I saw a red and white calf off in the distance. As I ran closer I realized it was our lost calf. It must have walked out to the heifers out on pasture and then hid in the grass somewhere out in the field. As feeding time come around, it decided to try find that funny creature that gives it milk. The calf happily followed me back to its bottle and to its pen. Finding the calf was a huge relief. It brought me great joy to find this calf. I ran to tell my wife so she could rejoice with me.

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.

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