By Lane Corley
MADISONVILLE, La. – In Luke 15, Jesus gives us a glimpse of the Father’s heart for the lost.
1. Those far from God liked Jesus and he liked them (verse 1).
Is that true of me? When was the last time someone far from God approached me? Am I available to them? Building relationships with them?
2. Jesus welcomed and ate with disreputable characters (verse 2).
When was the last meal I had with someone far from God? Do I welcome or repel those far from God?
3. Jesus advocated leaving the crowd to “go after the lost one,” celebrating when the one is found (verse 4).
Who’s the one that I’m going after right now? Do I celebrate one sinner’s repentance or only the crowd’s faithful participation?
4. Jesus advocated for “carefully” searching for the lost until found (verse 8).
Can I say that my search for the lost is careful, deliberate, and diligent?
5. The lost, dishonorable son was met by a heart “filled with compassion” (verse 20).
Do I have compassion or contempt for those far from God?
Jesus’ words in Luke 15, remind us that following the Father’s heart may mean…
–Focusing on fewer people, rather than large crowds
–Careful, diligent, time consuming work
–Laying aside our contempt for sin, to throw our arms around sinners
And also, celebrations in Heaven and on earth, as lives are transformed by the Father’s who loves the lost.
Lane Corley is a church planting strategist for Louisiana Baptists and pastor of the Bridge Church in Madisonville. This editorial first appeared on his blog.