Jump Start # 2362
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Our verse today reminds us of the divine mission of Jesus Christ. He came for the purpose to save us from our sins. All other beneficial things that He accomplished pale under this mission. Had He built bridges between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, yet He failed to be the sacrifice for our sins, this would have of little importance. Had he showed us how to be nice to strangers and love our enemies, yet He failed to redeem us from our sins, this too, would have been of little importance. Had He brought world peace, yet failed to bring mankind in peace with God, this would have been of little importance. It seems that some want Jesus to be everything but what He really came to do, be a Savior for mankind. Without the precious blood of Jesus, all hope is lost.
This passage in Luke reminds us that Jesus wasn’t simply available for salvation, but that He was the drive, the motive, the engine that sought the lost. Jesus came looking for the lost. The Gospels reveal many who came to Jesus for healings, but He came for the divine healing of the soul. He wasn’t stationary, sitting behind a desk, waiting for people to line up in the mornings for salvation. He was in the villages. He traveled from place to place. In a crowded home, as a man is lowered through the roof, Jesus offers salvation. That’s what He came to do. In the home of little Zaccheaus, Jesus declared that “salvation has come” to his home. Even, in the final minutes of His life, while on the cross, Jesus tells the penitent thief, “today, you’ll be with Me in paradise.” Salvation.
And, after Jesus returned to Heaven, the search was on. He scattered the apostles into all the world. The Holy Spirit guided these men to preach and write God’s holy word. Just another means of searching for the lost. God would never give up. When the prodigal finally came back to home, the father came running. He’d been waiting, hoping and looking.
And, today, the search continues. Jesus still seeks the lost. Here is a few ways this is done:
First, it’s through active Christians who are sowing the seed of the kingdom. They are inviting, looking, helping and connecting with all sorts of people. The conversations at work, turn into invitations to come to worship. The brief encounter in a restaurant with a server, turns into an opportunity to pray, share a passage and invite. The table talk at home with the family, becomes opportunities to teach the saving message of Jesus Christ. Character is built. Hearts are changed. Attitudes are molded. The Gospel is powerful. God’s people become the feet, the hands, and the voice of God today.
Second, there are intersections in our lives that bring us to meet Jesus. A young man and a young girl start dating. She is a Christian, he’s not. He’s never thought about those things very much. As they date, she impresses upon him how important the Lord is to her. So he attends worship. He sees things that he’s never thought of before. He hears the Gospel preached. And, in this simple manner, Jesus has sought that which is lost. There are all kinds of intersections in our lives. There at a funeral, the preacher shows how death is viewed from Heaven’s perspective and how that death is not the end. Some in the audience have never given any of this much thought. But at this time and on this day, their hearts are opened to the something that they now realize is a reality in life. Their lives have intersected with someone who showed them Jesus.
Third, there are little reminders here and there. I don’t necessarily think that these things are divine, Heaven sent or if God is even behind them, but there they are. You are driving down the highway and painted on a sign post is “Trust Jesus.” You see that. It makes you think. Off in a field, is a small white church building and three crosses are standing nearby. You see. You notice. You think. You pass a truck, and you notice on it’s back trailer a sign, “Jesus loves you.” You see. You notice. You think. At a hotel, as you settle in and put your things away, you open a desk drawer and there is a Bible. You see. You notice. You think. You flip through TV channels looking for something to watch and there is a movie about Jesus. You see. You notice. You think. Little reminders. A quote on Facebook. An email. A Jump Start sent to you. Little hints. The Lord is seeking you.
Fourth, there are those words from family members. You call dad, and in the conversation he asks if you’ve been to worship in a while. Grandma gets on you about your attitude. Someone in the family hands you a church bulletin article that they feel would help you. Reminders. There is a source that is trying to get you back to the Lord.
It’s as if the doors of Heaven have been opened and God sent out the hounds looking for you. Some how they find you. Some how they know right where you are. They may irritate you and bug you. They may make you feel guilty. They may hound you to do what you ought to be doing. And, even though you may try to put all of this out of your mind, some how the hounds of Heaven find you. Little reminders. Little thoughts. All of these things are means to get you back to the Lord. God is seeking. He won’t let go of you. He can’t forget you. He’ll chase you all of your life, until you finally see the truth and bow before Him, or else, you’ll simply run out of life.
The more connections your family, friends and life has had with the Lord, the greater these reminders will be. God wants you to be saved. Sometimes these divine irritations are just what we need to get back. Sometimes it takes us becoming friendless, helpless and hopeless, like the prodigal before we come to our senses. But what did the prodigal do? He returned home. He didn’t take his life. He didn’t give up thinking that there was no hope. He remembered. How his father’s servants were treated was something that stuck in his mind. For us, it may be a comment a preacher made in a sermon. It may be a card that was mailed to us. It may be a song from a funeral. It may be the kindness that someone has shown us. It may be an old Bible tucked away in a box that we stumble across one day. It may be a memory of a Bible class teacher long ago. It’s there. It’s in our minds. Every once in a while, those memories surface. They remind us of what we know. They remind us of what we ought to do. The hounds of Heaven have found us.
Jesus came to seek that which is lost. He’ll use every tool in Heaven to accomplish this. He’s using things right now to reach us. Isn’t it time? Won’t you come back home to the Lord? Maybe you’ve had a bad experience in the past. Jesus has never hurt you. Maybe you were taught some things that aren’t true to the Scriptures. Maybe those things got you all confused and fuzzy. Maybe you got so busy that you didn’t have time for God. Maybe, life just hasn’t turned out the way you thought it should have. And, maybe you’ve been angry with God for a long time. He hasn’t quit on you. He never will.
Isn’t it time?
(Share this with someone that you think could be helped with these words)