“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10, NKJV).

Have you ever had one of “those days” when things just don’t go smoothly? Of course. We all do. And I have today. As I sit writing this, since morning I have lost a notebook, lost my dishtowel, and lost a document on my computer. I think I need to set up my own personal Lost and Found at home—except I haven’t found any of the missing items yet. I still have hope I eventually will.

In Luke 15 Jesus talked about lost things: a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost son. Each story told of the anguish the loss caused and of the rejoicing when the item was found. The shepherd found the missing sheep. The housewife found her lost coin. The lost son, however, had to “come to himself” (verse 17) before he was restored to his father. It wasn’t that the father didn’t love the son and desire his return. He passionately did. But he understood that since the young man had deliberately walked away, he would have to make his own decision to return home. It could not be forced.

And so it is with us. Some, like the foolish sheep, unknowingly wander away, not realizing we are straying. Some, like the coin, are unaware they are lost. But some must choose to return home, as the prodigal did. The wonderful thing is, regardless of the circumstances, there can be a happy ending to our story. The whole purpose of Jesus coming was “to seek and to save that which was lost.” His desire is for all who are lost to be found.

And when that lost soul is found, all heaven rejoices. “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10, ESV). Doesn’t that sound exciting? It happened for me, and it will happen for you if you have not yet made your way to the Father.

Thank You, Lord, for loving all of us enough to come to earth to seek and to save us. No matter our circumstances, Your greatest desire is to see us saved and restored to fellowship with You.

Devotion by Mary Loudermilk

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