“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’” – Luke 15:4-6
In probably the most famous parable Jesus ever told, He shows us why if we have the heart of God, we will have a heart for one - for that one person who doesn’t know God, for that one person who needs to hear the gospel, for that one person who is lost and needs to be found.
The problem at the time of Jesus’ ministry was that the religious crowd only cared about the people who were in the temple while on the other hand, Jesus cared about the one that was outside the temple.
The religious crowd built walls; Jesus built bridges. The religious crowd locked the doors to the church. Jesus took the doors out because Jesus was looking out for number one, except number one was not Himself. Number one was others. I want to challenge you today to begin looking out for number one like Jesus did. I believe there are three specific ways we can do this according to Scripture. Let’s look at the first today and we’ll look at the other two tomorrow.
The first thing we can do to look out for the one is to properly visualize our one. The reason why the Pharisees didn’t understand why Jesus hung around sinners and welcomed sinners is not only because they didn’t see themselves as sinners, but they didn’t see sinners the way God sees sinners.
God sees everyone who doesn’t know Him as someone who is lost. You need to begin to see a person far from God the same way you see a child of yours who is lost, and you will see your one in a totally different light.
It’s not about what they’ve done to mess up or all the ways they’ve fallen short. At the end of the day, if they don’t know Jesus, they’re lost, which means they’re far from God. That’s what we need to see when we look at those who are lost. We need to see them as people who are far from God and who are in need of a Savior. When we begin to see them like God sees them, we will not only have compassion and grace for them, but we will experience a sense of urgency in sharing our faith with them so they can come to know Jesus like we know Jesus.
Dear Lord, help me to see other people the way you see them. I don’t want to have the same outlook on others as the Pharisees. I want to see people like Jesus saw people. Give me your eyes to see those who are far from you and give me strength and courage to share the gospel with them when the time comes. In Jesus’ name, amen.