So Jesus told them this parable. What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the 99 in the open country and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 righteous persons who need no repentance.
I remember sharing this story in the middle of nowhere, way far out with a shepherd. With a shepherd who had sheep. A real shepherd. This was his livelihood. And as I told this story, so this is a non-believer, not someone who’s a follower of Christ. In fact, it’s someone in the unreached people group where most people in this area of this country have never heard the Gospel. And so I’m looking for opportunities to share the Gospel as I’m sitting out there drinking I don’t know what I’ve been served and eating I don’t know what that I’ve been served. And I’m sharing this story with him, and his eyes light up. And he says, “That’s exactly what I would do. If I had one sheep out of all of them that was missing, I would do everything I could to find, to rescue, that one sheep.”
Praise God that he pursued us. He has thrown a joyful celebration in heaven over our salvation. May we be faithful to proclaim the good news that Jesus seeks and saves the lost.
And as he shared that with me, I looked at him and I said, “I want to share with you that this is the way God perceives you. God loves you like this. He wants you to know His love for you.” And I began to share the Gospel. And I want to encourage you today, wherever you are, whatever is going on in your life, that God loves you like this. God loves you so much that He has sent His son Jesus to die on the cross for you, for your sins. And just think of it, God has come searching after you. God has thrown a joyful celebration in heaven over you, over your salvation. Let that soak in. His love for you, His joy in you. And then, as you soak that in, think, “He doesn’t just love me this way. He loves the people around me this way and He loves people around the world in the middle of nowhere like this.”
So God, we praise you for your love for us. We praise you for searching after us. God, I shudder to think of where I would be if you did not come searching after me. Thank you for pursuing me with your love. Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I pray alongside my brothers and sisters who are joining me in this prayer right now. We thank you for your love for us. Thank you for pursuing us. Thank you for caring for us. Thank you for the celebration that happened in heaven when we by your grace, because of your pursuit, your loving pursuit of us, you saved us. All glory be to your name.
And so we pray. We pray that you would use our lives to make your love known among all kinds of ones around us, Lord, for family members and friends who don’t know you and your love in Christ. We pray for this moment of rejoicing. God, we pray that the lost would be found. God, we pray this for people right around us and people far from us. As we pray for unreached people groups. God, we pray for the Khatri in Pakistan, over a million of them, this high-caste, high-class part of Pakistan, God that you would draw them by your grace, by your mercy. Pursue them, raise them. Harvesters, as we’ve been praying, according to Luke 10, raise up laborers who will go and make the Gospel known among the Khatri in Pakistan.
Help us to be a reflection of your pursuing love and the lives of people right around us and people far from us. And we pray that you would spend our lives so that there might be rejoicing in heaven over sinners who are repenting and receiving your love and your grace and your salvation. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.