October 16, 2017

The Lord Comes Looking for Us

Luke 15:1-7

Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.

—  Luke 15:6

In business, a cost/benefit analysis involves weighing the overall costs of a commercial activity to achieve the highest profit. With all of the cost involved in retrieving his one lost sheep, shouldn’t the shepherd in Jesus’ parable have just cut his losses and moved on with the other ninety-nine?

Apparently cost/benefit analysis wasn’t used in tending sheep. In those days every single sheep was precious to the shepherd. A good shepherd would leave the other 99 to make a desperate search for one missing sheep. And in rescuing that one pathetic sheep, the shepherd would joyfully sling it over his shoulders to carry it home, gathering family and friends to celebrate when he got there.

In this parable of the lost sheep, the Reformers rediscovered a deep spiritual truth: God doesn’t cut his losses on those who have gone astray. No, he goes after the lost when they are wandering in their sins, heading straight down the path toward destruction.

Just like lost sheep who can’t find their way home, neither can sinners. God comes looking for us because we are helpless and hopeless, and because he is full of grace and mercy.

How should we respond to such amazing love? By giving ourselves completely to the one who has rescued us from sin and death.

Lord, you love me so much that you came looking for me. In the same way that your grace has found me, let me share your grace with those around me. Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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