The One Who Searches for Us

The One Who Searches for Us

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
—1 John 4:10

There are two common themes in the three parables Jesus tells in Luke 15. In all three parables, Jesus teaches us the value of lost things. We must never forget this fact: even though each of us is infected with sin the moment we are born, we are still of great value to God. In fact, we are of such value that God was willing to pay the ultimate price to redeem us in sending His own Son, Christ, to die for you. God values lost things.

The second theme in these parables is the activity of a loving God. Notice that in all three parables, it is the one who has lost something who takes the initiative to search for that lost thing. It is not the wandering sheep who one day awakens in a foreign pasture and says, “You know what? These surroundings are not familiar. I think I will go back home and reunite with the shepherd.” That is not how it works. It is the shepherd who takes the initiative in looking for the lost sheep. In the same way, the coin that is lost doesn’t awaken one day and say, “You know? It is kind of dark and moldy down here under the sofa cushion. I think I want to go back into the woman’s purse.” No, it’s the woman who has lost the coin who takes the initiative in searching for the lost coin. Even the father who has a lost son is the one who starts running toward the son.

And it’s the same way with us. We don’t wake up one day and say, “You know what? I am lost. I think I want to be saved.” It doesn’t work that way. We are not the ones who take the initiative in our salvation. It is God who always takes the first step. Romans 5:8 said, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

I have a friend with a very colorful past who became a Christian. In sharing his testimony with me, he said, “People are always coming up to me and saying, ‘I am so glad that you found Jesus.’ And I always say, ‘I didn’t find Jesus. Jesus found me.’” And that is the truth for all of us. We didn’t go searching for Jesus. God came running after us.

First John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” This idea that God loves sinners, that He searches for them, that He rejoices when He finds them, those ideas were completely lost on the Pharisees. You see, the Pharisees taught that God hates sinners. They taught that God was trying to keep as many people as possible out of heaven. Jesus said, “That is not true. God loves those who are lost. He searches for them and He rejoices when He finds them.”

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Value of Lost Things” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.