SHELBYVILLE, IL. — What does it mean to be ‘lost’?
Last year, we had some family friends from Chicago come and visit us. They had never ventured much outside the city and had never seen so much farmland. We gave them our address and they plugged it into the GPS in their car and took off.
When they didn’t arrive as expected, I called to see what was going on. They were obviously frustrated. When I asked where they were, they simply replied, “We don’t know!” I then asked them to give me some visual landmarks that might help. They said, “All we see is corn!” While their patience was growing thin, I just laughed, got them going in the right direction and we enjoyed the weekend together.
To those looking in at Christians and the church, they may think that we have our own language. We say things like “walk the isle,” “saved,” and “lost” in our conversations and although it makes perfect sense to us, others might think we are speaking in code. The use of the word ‘lost’ comes from the Bible, and has nothing to do with a geographic direction, but rather a spiritual one.
Jesus says in the gospel of Luke that he came to seek and save the lost (19:10). This does not mean he has a map of Israel and he travels around giving great directions. This means that he was sent to the earth to save those who do not have a spiritual direction or are going in the wrong spiritual direction. The person who is lost is a person who needs to be found. The person who needs to be found needs to be found by Christ.
Jesus in Luke 15 gives three parables about losing and finding. The first is about a lost sheep. The shepherd leaves the rest of his sheep to find just one that is lost. The second parable concerns a lost coin. The house is literally turned upside down looking for this special coin! The third example is of a wayward son (also called the prodigal son), who leaves home but later comes back to a father who welcomes him with open arms. All three of these parables have one thing in common: something of value is lost and when it is found there is much rejoicing.
People are of value to Christ. You are of value to Christ. If you do not have a relationship with Christ then you are lost, and he wants so desperately for you to be His. Every time a person repents and comes to Christ, angels in heaven rejoice (Luke 15:10). This is a new year; give the angels something to rejoice about, be found by Christ!
Chase Smith is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in Shelbyville. For more information from Chase or the church call 774-3636 or visit www.fellowshipinshelbyville.com.