Friday, September 14, 2012
no one left behind...an opportunity
"...Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." Luke 15:6-7
I was driving a friend's car the other day and on her dashboard was a little green army man. A few years ago, she used little green army men to present a message to a group of teenagers. I don't remember all of her message, but she gave each teen a little green army guy to carry around with them to remind them they are responsible to the others in their group and they should take care of each other. They shouldn't leave one of their group alone or behind. That little green guy came to mind this morning as I read my devotional.
Jesus tells three parables in Luke 15 about lost items...lost sheep, a lost coin and a lost son. These stories were told to help us understand that God loves each and every one of us and wants each of us with him. He gives those of us who are not lost to him OPPORTUNITIES to help him bring the lost back to him.
I looked up the definition of opportunity - a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. DO SOMETHING. God gives us the circumstances and instructs us to DO SOMETHING good for him. God is powerful enough to make something happen himself, but it means more to him if the lost come back to him on their own, so he places us in situations that allow us to lead the lost in the right direction. God gives us the responsibility to help him leave no one behind
At work - wherever you work, you come in contact with people who are lost. They don't know God. Perhaps they were never given the chance to get to know him at all, or maybe they know about God but because of circumstances in their lives, they became disillusioned with God and his plans for them. Sometimes, you may be the only Bible they read...in other words, they might never open a Bible themselves, but you can show them God's love for them in the way to treat them and the way you live your life. That's an opportunity for you to help God leave no one behind.
At home - your family are probably the most important people in your lives. They see you at your best and your worst, and sometimes those are the people it is the most difficult to love. Treating each family member with love, whether they deserve it or not...giving them grace enough to make mistakes and know they are loved unconditionally, no matter what...that is an opportunity to demonstrate God's love for us and help God leave no one behind.
In the community - As I have written a lot about lately, we are to love our neighbors, and everyone we meet is our neighbor. So, we need to have our eyes open for those we come in contact with in our community who need a word of prayer, a kind word, a smile, or an act of service. These are all opportunities to show God's love to those who may not know it themselves and ways we can help him leave no one behind.
We DO have the responsibility to DO SOMETHING! I hope you put the picture of the little green army man in your mind and heart today...look for those opportunties to be God's hands and feet on earth and leave no one behind! Heaven rejoices at each little lost lamb that is found!