For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
In 1950, the FBI began to publish their list of the "10 Most Wanted Criminals."
Since then, a whole host of especially nasty men and women have murdered and mayhemmed their way on to that infamous grouping. Although the list is always changing, you can be pretty sure the mug shot of 19-year old Rhyan Vasquez will never show up on any flyer in any post office.
Let me explain. Vasquez was spending time in the Marysville City Jail, north of Seattle. He was facing charges for a robbery. On September 22, when a group of inmates was coming back from a Bible study class, which had been held in a visitation area, Vasquez didn't go into the cells, he backed out into a corridor. He backed into a corridor and into freedom.
That was on September 22. Now here's the interesting part. Nobody noticed he was gone. Nobody noticed on the 22nd; nobody noticed on the 23rd, and he remained unnoticed on the 24th.
In fact, the only way authorities found out Vasquez was missing is when his lawyer came and asked to see him. Only when Vasquez couldn't be found, did the call go out for his re-arrest.
I guess that puts Vasquez on everybody's "Least Wanted List."
Are you wondering, when it comes to the Lord, which list you are on: the most or least wanted?
Looking at Scripture, the answer is pretty easy to discover:
* John 3:17 - "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him."
* 1 Timothy 2:3-4 - "This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
* Ezekiel 18:23 - "Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord GOD, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?"
* Titus 2:11 - "For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people."
Again and again, the Lord lets us know our salvation is of paramount importance to Him.
His commitment to saving us from the Law's condemnation was first made to Adam and Eve shortly after humankind's fall into sin. For thousands of years the Lord kept the promise alive and He fulfilled those prophecies in the Person of His only Son. Through Jesus' life, His suffering, death and resurrection, salvation is offered for all who believe.
This leaves us asking why would God go to such lengths to free and not punish sinners?
I pray you already know the answer: Ephesians 2:8 - "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is the gift of God."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks You found me when I didn't want to be found, that Jesus has saved me when I didn't know I needed saving. For my eternal rescue, accept my praises always. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries