Together in Christ: 'Jesus' Love for Lost Sheep' — Luke 15:3-7

Saturday, June 1, 2024

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!"
— Luke 15:3-7 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus came because God loves the people in the world and wants all to be saved and none to be lost. [1] God has known each of us since we were conceived [2] and longs to have each of us — regardless of race, gender, social status, or any other characteristic [3] — to be re-born into His family by the Holy Spirit. [4]

To emotionally emphasize these longings in Jesus' heart, He told three parables — the lost sheep, lost coin, and lost son [5] — about the joy of God in finding those who are lost. Our relationship verses today call us to partner with God in two ways:

  1. If we have wandered away from God or have never been close to Him, He wants us to know He loves us and wants to find us and throw a party in our honor. No matter what we may have done, where we have done it, or how much time we wasted, we can come home to Him. He longs to welcome us home to a joyous party in our honor.
  2. For those of us who already enjoy a good relationship with the Father and recognize His purposes and holiness in our lives, He wants us to find those who are lost. He is talking about both those who have never been saved and brought into his family [6] and those who have wandered away, given their hearts to worldliness, and need to come home to our loving Father. [7] God wants to throw a party for those who come home to Him, and our job is to hand-deliver His invitation! [8]

Today's verses should speak to all of us. If you are away from God, come home. There's a party waiting. If we know lost, lonely, discouraged, and alienated people, we must go and offer God's invitation for them to come home to a party in their honor. God loves to see people saved, his children close to Him, and parties to celebrate salvation, grace, and spiritual family. Isn't it time you accepted the invitation to the party in your honor with God?

[1] John 3:16-17; 2 Peter 3:9.
[2] Psalm 139:13-16.
[3] Galatians 3:26-29.
[4] John 3:17; Titus 3:3-7.
[5] Luke 15:1-31.
[6] 1 Timothy 2:3-7.
[7] Luke 15:11-32.
[8] James 5:19-20; Matthew 28:18-20.

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, thank You for Your overwhelming love for me. Thank You for saving me and bringing me into Your forever family of grace. Use me, Father, to reach others who need to experience Your love, mercy, grace, and power. Help me know how best to invite them to know You and experience Your love and how best to invite them to the party You long to throw for them. In Jesus' name, I ask for this grace. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Luke 15:1-32
  • Matthew 28:18-20

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Illustration

Illustration of Luke 15:3-7 NLT — 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!"

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.