One afternoon, a father went to pick up his son from school. He was eager to ask about his son’s day because there were always animated stories about playground life, cafeteria food, and even the occasional heartbreak. He was quickly learning that the life of a 3rd grader was extremely complex. But today seemed a little different. When his son got in the car his usually excited face seemed a little more reserved and thoughtful. Not wanting to jump right into an interrogation, the father let the conversation unfold naturally. Sure enough it wasn’t long before the thoughts behind the solemn face came to the surface.
With a sad but inquisitive tone the son said, “Dad, I found out that my best friend doesn’t go to church.” The dad responded with what he felt was an adequate response. “Well, there are some people that don’t really believe in God, or they might believe but they don’t go to or belong to a church.” Again, the son expressed his concern. “But dad, I’ve invited her to church several times and she never comes. I’m just so worried that she doesn’t have Jesus and she needs Him to go to Heaven.” Starting to feel a little uneasy and guilty about his own complacency on the topic, the dad tried to encourage his son by saying, “Well that’s great that you feel that way, but you just keep inviting her and maybe someday she will come with you!” After a few moments of silence, the son made a declaration, “I’m going to start praying for her. I’m going to pray that she will come to church with me and learn about God and Heaven.”
The father’s heart felt like it was going to burst as his own conscience began to stir. How many times had he prayed for his coworkers and unsaved friends? Had he invited them to church? Did they even know he went to church? Why didn’t the thought of lost souls burden him like they did the 8-year-old sitting in the backseat?
Has God ever used a situation, like a conversation with a child, to remind you of your purpose in this life? Maybe it’s in the words of a Pastor, reminding us that if we do not reach for the lost and hurting, who will? We may come to church week after week and feel the presence of the Almighty, but are we fulfilling his calling?
We must remind ourselves every day that there is a field of harvest, and it must take precedence in our lives!
Luke 15:3-7 (NIV)
3 Then Jesus told them this parable:
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?
5 And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders
6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’
7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
- Help me to recognize my role and responsibility in creating a God centered church that reaches for lost souls.
- That I actively seek opportunities to reach for the lost and not simply wait for them to find me.
- I pray that every day I make the act of “search and rescue” a priority in my life.
- That my eyes will be opened to the importance of just one lost soul coming to salvation.
- Help me to have the determination mentioned in scripture. That I will search until…they are found!