by Pastor Tim Burt
Jesus tells us a story. In this story He illustrates just how important the lost—someone who has not accepted Jesus as Savior—is to God. He tells the story of “The Lost Coin.’ In Luke 15:8-10 we read this story. Jesus said, “Suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” If you’d stop and meditate on this story, you’d know that Jesus wants you to climb into this woman’s shoes and feel what she feels.
You may have something you greatly treasure. When it’s in a secure place you are content and at peace about it. But imagine something you greatly treasured getting misplaced or lost. The value of it immediately climbs and you go on the hunt until you’ve found it. Then you experience that wave of relief that sweeps over you when you do find it. I can relate to this woman because I’ve lived this experience. Have you?
Jesus is trying to tell us something here. He is revealing the heart of God toward the lost in telling this story. God passionately loves all those that have become His children through faith in Jesus. He has placed great value upon us and He will always take care of us. But Jesus is always working to reveal Himself and His love to the lost. He assigns His angels to assist Him. Though people are lost and possibly living like the devil, they are also a part of mankind—His creation, who Jesus died for. Satan has lied and worked to pervert every truth of God in order to draw them away from God and into his own misery and destiny including Hell. That’s not God’s plan for them. As Jesus said in John 10:10, “He wants to give them life and give it more abundantly.” That means a life of blessing on this earth as well as the gift of eternal life in Heaven with Him!
If the story Jesus told wasn’t powerful enough, He tells us something more: not a story or analogy and definitely not an exaggeration. He reveals a picture of an ongoing event in Heaven. He said, “In the same way,” (speaking of the found coin,) “I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) Imagine this. There is a continuous rejoicing of the angels that ripples through Heaven because there are always people being saved. Could it be like the sound of an excited crowd in a full 100,000 seat stadium only at a volume level we can’t imagine? The joy in Heaven and the sound must be majestic and like a symphony beyond our comprehension!
To the Lord, every single person matters and that’s why Jesus told the story! He wants us to capture that part of His heart and His passion for the lost as our own. Because we love Him, He wants us to be an extension of Him by presenting the love, mercy, kindness, and grace of Jesus to those around us—even those who act like the devil because it’s all they know to do.
We can’t have an expectation of the lost to act or think godly or civil—whether they are our own loved ones or strangers around us. They have to receive Jesus to truly be able to act in a biblical and godly manner. They can’t grasp the truths of God’s words without the Holy Spirit. And so to get disgusted with them is to have an expectation for something they are incapable of. The Bible says the secret things of God are hidden from their blinded eyes. 2 Corinthians 4:4 says, “Satan—the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Some of their worldly behaviors or attitudes may disgust us but we can’t abandon them. They may be tough to be around and I’m not suggesting we be in continuous fellowship with them. But we must remember they are God’s lost coin and so they become our lost coin also.
Jesus taught us that the first thing in ‘caring for the lost’ is to pray! These were Jesus’ instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.” (Luke 10:2)
Let me tell you a secret! Pray for the lost and your own compassion for the lost will grow! When they disgust you, turn that disgust into prayer. Your prayers move Heaven and earth. Angels respond because it is the will of God. Labors—others like you are strengthened with compassion and courage when you pray. Some may reach out to your unsaved loved ones and you might do the same for theirs. Through your prayers, demons will be bound, and the eyes of the lost will be open. Many will be saved and the roar of joy will continue to ripple throughout Heaven. Your prayers and your willingness to be the touch of God’s love and light in their lives will result in many being found! If we develop the heart of God for the lost like Jesus showed us, then we’ll be that prayer covering for them while God works to reach their hearts and draw them unto Himself. And the angels will rejoice….
Hebrews 1:14 (NIV) “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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