Take a Next Step

Daily Devotionals

The Gap: Week 1 - Friday

So Jesus told them this story: "If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it?" Luke 15:3-4

What was the last thing that you lost? How long did you spend looking for it? I'm willing to bet that the longer you searched for it, the more valuable it was. After all, if you lost a pen or pencil, you may not have looked very long. For car keys, however, you would probably have looked for much, much longer.

Scripture teaches that when we are lost, Jesus will go to extraordinary lengths to pursue us. In fact, in Luke 15, Jesus tells a story about a lost sheep to demonstrate this truth. In this story, the shepherd of the lost sheep went to great lengths to find this beloved sheep. This story was told in order to show how God searches for and pursues those who are lost. Even when we are turning to other things for fulfillment, He is seeking and pursuing our hearts, ready for us to turn back to Him. And He does not just search for a few minutes. His search for us is long and exhaustive because we are so valuable to Him. In Jesus' story of the lost sheep, the shepherd rejoiced when his sheep was found. This represents the celebration that occurs when those who are lost return to Him. When lost people turn to God, He celebrates! He rejoices because we are important and valuable to Him, even when we mess up and look to other things in this world to fill our desire for meaning and purpose, and even when we live recklessly.

Do you feel a little bit like the sheep today? Maybe you are so enamored with the latest technology you have purchased that time with that technology has replaced time with God. Perhaps a relationship with another person has become the most important thing in your life. Or maybe you have been living for yourself, and you are sure that God has given up on you. There is good news! God is searching, waiting for you to turn back to Him. And when you return to Him, you better believe that He is going to celebrate! What are you waiting for? Turn back to Him.

Moving Toward Action

When God saves our lives, we get to be a part of spreading His message to those who are still lost. How has God been working in your life? He wants to use you to help others who are lost turn back to Him. Do you know your two-minute story, the story of how God has worked in your life? If you need to, practice telling it. Next, find someone today to share your two-minute story with. Tell them how God has changed your life and how He wants to change theirs, too.

Going Deeper

Read Luke 15:1-7 (NLT)

Tax collectors and other notorious sinners often came to listen to Jesus teach. This made the Pharisees and teachers of religious law complain that he was associating with such sinful people—even eating with them!

So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!