I would really encourage you to read through the Bible in a year…. There is a link on this site and it will give you the daily readings for each day…Some of my biggest growth in my Christian journey has been when I have stayed engaged in the Word of God…
I confess, I get so caught up in it that I read ahead…That’s the reason for this note today.
I just read Luke 15. We know these stories well, especially that of the prodigal son but today it really made an impact that Jesus was responding to criticism by the Pharisees and the scribes. They were ragging on Jesus because He was associating with sinners and Jesus addressed their criticism by telling them three stories, each giving value to that which was lost.
The big picture in these parables, is that lost souls matter to God. No matter how insignificant they seem to us, they have incredible value to God.
From my perspective, there are two ways I look at this.
Am I valuing who God is valuing? Sometimes I have been guilty of surmising that the lost sheep deserves what he gets. Or so what if I lost one coin…. I still have nine.
Not so, Jesus says…. Every individual is precious to God.
“God help me to see what You see and act on that premise.”
The other thing, is that sometimes I’ve felt like the lost sheep or the lost coin…I’ve been the prodigal. And the voice in my head reminds me of how insignificant I am. When I read, “But when he came to his senses” and decided he wasn’t worthy to be a son but would go back as a servant….
My immediate thought was…God, let me come to my senses. But I think we have to take even this a step farther….do I value me as God values me? No, I’m not being arrogant…sometimes that Pharisee attitude holds me at a distance from God.
Again I say, “God help me to see what You see and act on that premise.”
You see, when we see others as God sees them or when we see the value we have in God, the voices lose their power to hold us away from embracing all that God has for those He loves (including ourselves.)