The Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This Man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2
We hear a lot these days about lost children – children who are kidnapped or who mysteriously disappear. The parents are broken-hearted.
United States history knows of other disappearances. In 1587, on Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina, Sir Walter Raleigh founded the third of his colonies. Belonging to that group was Virginia Dare, said to have been the first white child born in the new world. Three years after the founding, a ship came to bring supplies, but no trace of the colonists could be found.
Earlier in history an entire people disappeared: the lost ten tribes of Israel that were carried away into the Assyrian captivity in 722 B.C. They were undoubtedly absorbed into the general population and lost their identity. Missing children, missing tribes, missing people represent a human tragedy, especially if foul play was involved.
The Bible testifies to the greater tragedy of Adam and Eve and all their descendants lost in sin and subject to eternal death. But God wanted the missing to be found and to be restored to fellowship with Him. He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to be the Good Shepherd seeking the lost sheep. That was the purpose of His mission as the Savior Himsef said: “The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost” (Luke 19:10).
By laying down His life, Jesus paid the price for everyone’s salvation. He loved the world – the total human race of all times and places – and for it He died. It is therefore a matter of great concern to Him when one person goes astray. He wants to have a one-on-one relationship with each one of us. His love is not impersonal, not an en masse concern, although it is all-inclusive. He loves each person and wants each one to love Him. He searches for individuals. There is joy in heaven and on earth when the missing person is found and has returned home.
PRAYER: Dear Savior, lead me to a lost soul and give me the right words to speak and the right things to do to bring that soul back to You. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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