Jesus Seeks the Lost in this World
“Or what woman who has ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? “When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost! ’ “I tell you, in the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10
Have you ever accidentally lost an item that was very valuable to you? Byron came to CCDC Wednesday evening distraught over his situation of losing his debit card. He really was panicked as anyone would be if we lost our debit card. If someone else used it, we could lose all our money. Byron was very anxious to get his debit card back before someone took all his money. He pleaded with us to pray for him to find it.
The next day I was handing out sack lunches at the Westminster food pantry when Byron came up to me all excited. He couldn’t wait to tell me that he found his debit card. We celebrated and thanked God that his debit card was found so quickly and no one had used it to take his money.
Like the woman in Jesus’ story who found her lost coin and wanted to rejoice with her friends, Byron and I wanted to rejoice over his finding his debit card. Jesus uses this story along with the stories of the lost sheep and the lost son to illustrate God’s willingness to seek out the lost individuals with the same deep concern that a poor woman or shepherd, or wealthy father has who have lost something precious. Jesus demonstrated in his stories how God values each person as precious. Every individual has importance in God’s eyes. God not only loves the world; he loves the individual. God sees each human being as significant and endowed with infinite worth. No other religion or ideology has this view of the individual’s value. God loves the world, meaning he loves every nation, every race, every ethnic group, but he goes further to love every man and woman.
God does not divide up people according to skin color or social status. He does not play favorites. He does not place more value on one race over another. He does not value the good church person over the homeless alcoholic. Jesus said, “there is joy in the presence of God’s angels over one sinner who repents.”
When I serve the people in the Near Eastside community, I feel the presence of Jesus reaching out to them. I feel Jesus standing with me, especially when there is a person in need. An older man came Wednesday evening to CCDC and said he wanted to commit suicide. I invited him to come inside the building to talk in private. He shared that his wife and he had argued, and she wanted a divorce. As I sought to comfort him and encourage him to see the hope Jesus gives him, I sensed Jesus was sitting there with us.
A young man who was homeless came for a sack lunch this past Tuesday. I gave him a sack lunch but he wanted something even more. He wanted a Bible which I gladly gave him. When I prayed with him, I felt Jesus was reaching out to his heart to draw him near.
CCDC is not a large ministry. It’s not a mega-church reaching thousands. Our ministry is to individuals who are not being reached by the traditional church. We cannot laud ourselves over great numbers. But we can rejoice that Jesus is with us to reach out to those lost in poverty and discouragement. We feel Heaven is rejoicing with us.
Come join us in reaching those who need to know that Jesus is reaching out to them no matter who they are.
May God’s peace be with you,
Pastor Jim and Debby Riley