Luke 15:4,8,20 NIV
[4] “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

[8] “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?
[20] So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

Observation:  Jesus’ triple stories of lost things being actively sought for and found reminds me not just that things/people get lost, but that God is the searching God who cannot let the lost stay lost. Like a text message from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, God is actively searching for those who are Missing and Endangered.
Application:  Am I actively searching for those who are Missing and Endangered? Do I care about lost sheep/coins/children? As much as the stories point to things once in the sheepfold/purse/family home that have been lost, I think this reminds me/us of those outside the church. The church is neither a home for saints, nor just a hospital for sinners, but a M.A.S.H. unit to fix us up and get us back out into the fray.
Prayer:  Lord, I forget about those who are doing life without You. For whatever reason, they are lost and endangered-sometimes by personal choice, sometimes by the circumstances of life which they have faced. For whatever reason, they are lost, and I act as if I don’t care. Often, I don’t. I am far too consumed with me-my wants, wishes, desires, problems-to care all that much about messy, dirty, stubborn, stupid sheep.
Sheep You died for. Sheep You gave up everything for. You are the God who is sheep-ish. And I am not. Not enough. And Your church is not. Not sheep-ish enough. Help me, Lord, be a true shepherd. Help me, Lord, be sheep-ish, just like Jesus. Break my heart for what and who breaks Yours. Help us, Lord. In Jesus’ name I pray.

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