Taming Temptation: God’s Part in My Temptation
The Search and Rescue
Scripture: Luke 1:3-7
Key Verse: Luke 15:7
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.
The Pharisees were the experts in the law in Jesus’ day. It was the Pharisees that should have been so in tune with the prophecies that they would have recognized that Jesus was the promised Messiah! Unfortunately, most of them were so self-focused that they were blinded to the fulfillment of God’s promise to them. It was these Pharisees that were surprised and disgusted with Jesus when He spent time with “sinners.”
It was one of these times when the Pharisees were upset with Jesus, that Jesus told them a parable of a lost sheep. If a shepherd had 100 sheep, Jesus said, and loses one of them, would a good shepherd go after the one lost sheep? Jesus painted the picture, in full color, when He said: “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home” (verse 5). What a beautiful picture of God’s love and faithfulness! No matter how many obedient children are safely in the fold, our Father will seek out every single lost soul that is far from God.
God is faithful. The most comforting three words in the Bible! We are too often unfaithful and wander off into the “lost ness” of this dark world, but in our unfaithfulness we find that God is still faithful! His Holy Spirit, like a persistent hunting dog, seeks out the trail of a lost soul. The “hound of heaven” never gives up seeking a child for whom Christ died. Our Father knows, better than we do, that our flesh is weak, but never gives up on us, His children.
“Father, I’m amazed at your persistence and steadfast presence and love. I’m not worthy of it, but I will praise you throughout eternity for it. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”