The Lost Sheep

11 Jul

As a church, do we show as much commitment & concern to the existing “body” as we do the salvation of unbelievers? Don’t get me wrong, it is my goal to share the gospel & be a witness of Christ!… but something was brought to my attention by a friend who is a long time Christian & is facing difficulty in her walk, that has really been stirring in my heart. If we rescue the “lost” & lead them to redemption, what happens when they stumble? Do we then say, we lead you to salvation, now you’re on your own? Everyone, Christian or not, understands that everyone will periodically have a need that needs met at certain points throughout life, a struggle (whether it’s a physical one, inner struggle, financial, etc.). As a church, are our eyes open to caring for the existing body as well as the “lost”? Are our eyes & hearts open to the needs within the body?

We use the parable of the Lost Sheep to refer to Heaven’s concern to rescue the 1 sinner as opposed to the 99 who are good with God at the moment. But can a Believer also become “lost” & have that same need to be rescued or helped? If a person in the body suddenly isn’t a familiar face anymore, who cares enough to call them & say, “everything good with you, girl? You’ve been on my mind. Where you been?” Or do we just move along with church agendas & reeling people into BECOMING a part of the body. What about the people who already are?… the people who have served God & the church… who have been a blessing to their brothers & sisters… who have a heart for God, but have just hit a bump in the road? Are we as diligent to rescue them… to BE their FAMILY as God has called us to be?!

The only way people are really going to want to be a part of the church, as opposed to some random social group, is by the evidence of the love that flows throughout the individuals within that church. Are we representing that?… & not just toward newcomers or people who are “good with God” right now & in church everytime the doors open. Discipleship is a broad calling. Are we placing all of the focus in meeting the need & ministering to the hearts of one specific group of people? It’s easy to love someone when they are serving in the church regularly, there everytime the doors open, a smile on their face (cause everything is good), etc…. but what about when that same person disappears or tapers off? Or makes some wrong turns?… did we love them only because they served or were simply easy to love in that time of “being good with God”? Or because we considered them as “spiritual” as ourselves? Or do we actually invest real time & energy in loving them, even when it’s difficult? Do we call them regularly to ask to join them in prayer or encourage them? Do we bring a meal (& not just when they have a baby!)? Do we help them financially? (Eph 4:2 -“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love“). It’s something to examine!

It doesn’t begin & end with “we helped you to find Christ”. It should be, “We helped you find Christ & now we are indebted to loving you & fostering that walk from now until eternity!”

As a church, are we missing something?

1 Peter 1:22 – “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another FERVENTLY with a pure heart”

1 John 3:16-18- “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Galatians 6:2 – “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”

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