Friday, July 15, 2011

We Need to Be Found (1 of 2)

Have you ever heard someone say something like this? "_____ just needs to find God." Or maybe you've even said it as part of your testimony? "I was _____, but then I found God." I believe that not only is this theologically incorrect, but this thinking also causes us to miss the heart of Jesus.

Luke 15 contains three amazing parables, stories that Jesus taught that reveal His heart for us. I want to focus on the first two, which you can read here; (pointless to keep reading this post until you click on that link and read the parables).

In the first parable, Jesus is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep. A few observations about sheep...
- They're dumb, stupid, and they stink all the time
- They're constantly dirty and need the shepherd to keep them clean
- They're weak...they can't defend themselves and rely on the shepherd and the herd for protection
- They are helpless...without their shepherd they'd never find food or water

Sound like you and me?
- We think we're smart and in control, which only shows how dumb we are...we have NO control
- We sin constantly, and need forgiveness daily to keep us clean
- We're very weak, insecure, fearful, and constantly succumb to temptation
- We're helpless to save ourselves...our one chance is to live a perfect life and, well that didn't work out so well.

In steps Jesus, the Good Shepherd. What does He do? Hang on.

In the second parable, Jesus represents the woman, and we are the lost coins. One of us gets lost. What does the woman do? She searches high and low, inside and outside, lighting lamps and basically, not resting until she finds her lost coin. And when she finds it? It's a party! Let's stop there and make some observations.

1) JESUS FINDS US. We don't have to figure out how to find Him, He finds us. The sheep doesn't get hopelessly lost trying to figure out how to get back to the flock, the shepherd leaves the flock to find the sheep! When a sheep wanders off, the shepherd would leave the flock and go on a search. He may end up walking miles to find that 1 lost sheep. And what happens when he finally finds the sheep? He scoops up the hungry, scared, wounded sheep, places him on his shoulders, walks him all the way back to the flock. Same thing with the woman; she loses a coin and immediately drops everything until she finds that missing coin.

Notice what Jesus doesn't do...
- He doesn't send someone else to go after the sheep while he hangs out with the 99
- He doesn't "let it go" (I mean, after all, it's only 1 sheep/1 coin...I have many more)
- He doesn't sit tight and wait for that wandering sheep to figure out how to get back to the flock

In the same way, when we wander off, Jesus comes to find us. When we are lost, He finds us. We need to be found. He will go any distance, to any place to find one of His sheep. This should change a little bit how we pray for those who are "lost" - we don't pray that they find us, or find God, we pray that God finds them. They are lost, and they need to be found. And this is good news!

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post...

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